Friday, August 5, 2016

Rich Zahradnik - A Black Sail - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

On the eve of the U.S. Bicentennial, newsman Coleridge Taylor is covering Operation Sail. New York Harbor is teeming with tall ships from all over the world. While enjoying the spectacle, Taylor is still a police reporter. He wants to cover real stories, not fluff, and gritty New York City still has plenty of those in July of 1976. One surfaces right in front of him when a housewife is fished out of the harbor wearing bricks of heroin, inferior stuff users have been rejecting for China White, peddled by the Chinatown gangs.

Convinced he’s stumbled upon a drug war between the Italian Mafia and a Chinese tong, Taylor is on fire once more. But as he blazes forward, flanked by his new girlfriend, ex-cop Samantha Callahan, his precious story grows ever more twisted and deadly. In his reckless search for the truth, he rattles New York’s major drug cartels. If he solves the mystery, he may end up like his victim—in a watery grave.

My Review

Doing the right thing. Does anyone ever do that anymore? Apparently, not in 1976. Yet, there's a dichotomy to this book that rings true even today. In America, there's a group of people who are powerless to fight the system. They're either too poor, too uneducated, too unconnected to stand up for their rights. While there exists another sort, those who know how to manipulate those in charge until they get what they want. They're either rich, involved in criminal activity or both, and they're not about to take no for an answer.

Taylor is a seasoned New York City reporter. He's seen a lot. He knows how the game is played, and yet he refuses to play it. He sticks to his own personal code of honor. If a young woman turns up dead, he wants to know why and who did it, and nobody is going to silence him.

Yet, his chivalrous attitude isn't all about the greater good. Taylor's looking to move up the ladder, possibly catch the attention of an editor at the Post or the Daily News. He's a guy with a high school education who started off as a copy boy. He wants to do something important with his life, something that'll make an impact. He's ambitious, but at the same time, he's out to help what he calls the "strays" of society, the people who fall through the cracks, be it a child drug addict, a college student going down the wrong path, or even his dog.

However, by doing so, he realizes that in many ways, he's just as helpless as they are. When threatened for sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, the wrath of the federal government descends upon him. For daring to cross them, they make it clear that they can destroy his entire life in an instant by taking away his job, dragging him to court, you name it. They have all the power, and he has none.

Is that how any freedom-loving American likes to think of themselves, being at the mercy of those in positions of authority? I don't think so. But is that the way it is? Unfortunately, yes. Taylor is coerced into backing down and shelving his story, if only to continue to keep fighting another day for those without a voice, including himself.


A Black Sail can be pre-ordered at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $15.95 paperback
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 264
Release: October 1, 2016
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603812115
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

Rich Zahradnik is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Coleridge Taylor Mystery series (A Black Sail, Drop Dead Punk, Last Words).

The second installment, Drop Dead Punk, won the gold medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs). It was also named a finalist in the mystery category of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Last Words won the bronze medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2015 IPPYs and honorable mention for mystery in the 2015 Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Awards.

"Taylor, who lives for the big story, makes an appealingly single-minded hero," Publishers Weekly wrote of Drop Dead Punk.

Zahradnik was a journalist for 30-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter.

In January 2012, he was one of 20 writers selected for the inaugural class of the Crime Fiction Academy, a first-of-its-kind program run by New York's Center for Fiction.

Zahradnik was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1960 and received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University. He lives with his wife Sheri and son Patrick in Pelham, New York, where writes fiction and teaches kids how to publish newspapers.

Links to connect with Rich:
Web Site

About the Giveaway

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