Book Review: The Bone Records by Rich Zahradnik
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The Bone Records
NY Police Academy washout Grigg Orlov discovers an eerie piece of evidence at the scene of his father’s brutal murder: a disc-shaped X-ray of a skull. It’s a bone record—what Soviet citizens called banned American songs recorded on used X-rays. But the black-market singles haven’t been produced since the sixties. What’s one doing in Coney Island in 2016?
Grigg uncovers a connection between his father and three others who collected bone records when they were teenage friends growing up in Leningrad. Are past and present linked? Or is the murder tied to the local mob? Grigg’s got too many suspects and too little time. He must get to the truth before a remorseless killer takes everything he has.
Praise for The Bone Records:
“The Bone Records grabs you by the throat on the very first page, then never slows down as it takes you on a wild ride through New York City streets filled with Russian intrigue, underworld crime, police corruption and a man’s desperate quest to avenge his father’s murder. Shamus Award-winner Rich Zahradnik has written a taut, terrifically exciting and thought-provoking thriller.”—R.G. Belsky, award-winning author of the Clare Carlson mystery series
“The plot is not only timely, but utterly unique—a tale of cultures colliding, often with sudden and unexpected consequences, as lonely city claims-adjuster Grigg Orlov spends his long nights chasing down leads on the mysterious disappearance of his father… This is a compelling read, highly recommended.”—LA Times bestselling author Baron R. Birtcher
“A fast-paced thriller set around Coney Island during the tumultuous lead-up to the 2016 presidential election… The Bone Records is a well-crafted mountain of intrigue and non-stop action.”—Bruce Robert Coffin, award-winning author of the Detective Byron Mysteries
Published by: 1000 Words A Day Press
Publication Date: November 2022
Number of Pages: 338
To purchase The Bone Records, click any of the following lins:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads
Book Review: The Bone Records
“Grigg’s reunion with his father was brief—eight minutes to be exact—and ended when a man with a nickel-plated revolver shot Dad twice.” Award-winning author Rich Zahradnik’s first line of The Bone Records starts readers off on a literary rollercoaster.
Grigg Orlov doesn’t fit in anywhere. Mixed race—a Russian father and a Jamaican mother who died years before—he relies on his dad for community and connection. Failing out of the police academy after a ruthless beating leaves him permanently handicapped, Grigg struggles to survive, but at least he has his dad.
Then his father goes missing, and Grigg’s world loses its center. When his father ends up dead, Grigg goes on the run as he sets out to bring his father’s killer to justice, not to mention keep from meeting the same violent end.
The non-stop action of The Bone Records combines with engaging characters in a high stakes battle, where everyone has something they believe in. Add in the corrupt underworld of the Russian mob and the backdrop of a complicated political landscape, and readers are in for one hell of a ride.
Set in 2016, Zahradnik incorporates the political climate through radio announcements, social media, and other news outlets, landing readers squarely in the middle of a divisive time in American politics. Alongside the fascinating era, Zahradnik places readers in a dynamic location: Coney Island. “Outside the station, Deno’s Wonder Wheel turned slowly, towering over the amusement park that took its name from the ancient fifteen-story ride. The wheel’s spokes glowed a hot neon white. Hazy coronas surrounded all the lights.”
The iconic location is more than just an interesting neighborhood, it’s also the place Grigg calls home. “Coney Island’s beaches and rides and freak shows anchored him; they were his midtown, his Times Square.”
It’s also the place that fostered all the good memories in his life. After the death of his father, his failure as a police cadet, and the dissolution of his love life, Grigg has nothing left to lose … or does he? Zahradnik gives Grigg something else to live for, pushing the stakes to the end.
As fast-paced and engaging as the “mystery” is in The Bone Records, half the fun is the journey of the characters. Grigg is a sympathetic protagonist who is aided by equally engaging secondary characters. From ex-girlfriend Katia Sokolav to Joe the Borscht, everyone has an agenda, and no one can be trusted.
Crime fiction readers will be swept up by The Bone Records, proof that Zahradnik remains at the top of his game.
Rich Zahradnik is the author of the thriller The Bone Records and four critically acclaimed mysteries, including Lights Out Summer, winner of the Shamus Award.
He was a journalist for twenty-seven years and now lives in Pelham, New York, where he is the mentor to the staff of the Pelham Examiner, an award-winning community newspaper run, edited, reported, and written by people under the age of eighteen.
To learn more about Rich, click on any of the following links:
Instagram – @rzahradnik
Twitter – @rzahradnik
Facebook – @RichZahradnik
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Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell
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Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator
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This Post Has 4 Comments
Fantastic review! This one does sound like an interesting one to me!
You will not be disappointed! Great writing.
Elena: Thank you for reviewing my novel.
My pleasure! Such a terrific read.