Sunday, August 9, 2015

Drop Dead Punk by Rich Zahradnik

Title:  Drop Dead Punk
Series:  Coleridge Taylor Mystery #2
Author:  Rich Zahradnik
Published:  July 22/15 by Camel Press
Length:  254pgs
Genre:  mystery/thriller
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Coleridge Taylor is searching for his next scoop on the police beat. The Messenger-Telegram reporter has a lot to choose from on the crime-ridden streets of New York City in 1975. One story outside his beat is grabbing all the front page glory: New York teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, and President Ford just told the city, as the Daily News so aptly puts it, "Drop Dead." Taylor's situation is nearly as desperate. His home is a borrowed dry-docked houseboat, his newspaper may also be on the way out, and his drunk father keeps getting arrested.

A source sends Taylor down to Alphabet City, hang-out of the punks who gravitate to the rock club CBGB. There he finds the bloody fallout from a mugging. Two dead bodies: a punk named Johnny Mort and a cop named Robert Dodd. Each looks too messed up to have killed the other. Taylor starts asking around. The punk was a good kid, the peace-loving guardian angel of the neighborhood's stray dogs. What led him to mug a woman at gunpoint? And why is Officer Samantha Callahan being accused of leaving her partner to die, even though she insists the police radio misled her? It's hard enough being a female in the NYPD only five years after women were assigned to patrol. Now the department wants to throw her to the wolves. That's not going to happen, not if Taylor can help it. As he falls for Samantha--a beautiful, dedicated second-generation cop--he realizes he's too close to his story. Officer Callahan is a target, and Taylor's standing between her and some mighty big guns.

My Review:

Intrigue, lies, betrayal, murder, and one reporter trying to uncover it all. Zahradnik takes this and runs with it, creating an intricate and fast paced novel that had me on my toes. I found myself trying to unravel the mystery alongside the main character. Each new plot twist had me more and more involved in the tale. Zahradnik easily takes readers a few steps back in time allowing them to experience each and every aspect of the tale as if they were back in time. The accuracy of the portrayal of 1970s New York added to the authenticity of the story, making it even more intriguing.

I really liked how Zahradnik introduces readers to all of the major players at the beginning of the novel, letting you know who’s who. They do continue to develop along the way, growing as their story unfolds. The hands on approach of the characters, the main character especially, gives an up close and personal look at who they really are. I loved getting to know them and following this story.

Once again Zahradnik has created a one of a kind tale that kept me guessing right to the very end. I loved getting to know the characters and finding out their stories while unravelling a mystery.

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