Last Words by Rich Zahradnik

last_words In March of 1975, as New York City hurtles toward bankruptcy and the Bronx burns, newsman Coleridge Taylor roams police precincts and ERs. He is looking for the story that will deliver him from obits, his place of exile at the Messenger-Telegram. Ever since he was demoted from the police beat for inventing sources, the 34-year-old has been a lost soul.
A break comes at Bellevue, where Taylor views the body of a homeless teen picked up in the Meatpacking District. Taylor smells a rat: the dead boy looks too clean, and he’s wearing a distinctive Army field jacket. A little digging reveals that the jacket belonged to a hobo named Mark Voichek and that the teen was a spoiled society kid up to no good, the son of a city official.
Taylor’s efforts to protect Voichek put him on the hit list of three goons who are willing to kill any number of street people to cover tracks that just might lead to City Hall. Taylor has only one ally in the newsroom, young and lovely reporter Laura Wheeler. Time is not on his side. If he doesn’t wrap this story up soon, he’ll be back on the obits page–as a headline, not a byline. Last Words is the first book in the Coleridge Taylor mystery series.
 
REVIEWS
 
“The tenacity of the main character will resonate as he fights against the barriers set up against him and reclaims his former life…. a fast-paced, deeply entertaining and engrossing novel. LAST WORDS is the first book in a mystery series featuring the intrepid investigative reporter. Readers will be glad these aren’t the last words from this talented author.”
—Robin Farrell Edmunds, ForeWord Magazine, Winter 2014
“This novel was wildly suspenseful & completely original. Zahradnik took a hold of me and ran, weaving an unforgettable tale… The final crescendo had me biting my nails, flying through the pages. It was fantastic.”
—Pure Jonel, Confessions of a Bibliofile
 
web3397BIO
Rich Zahradnik is the author of the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series published by Camel Press. LAST WORDS is the first novel in the series and was published Oct. 1, 2014.
He 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 elementary school kids how to publish newspapers.
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