The hallmark of any of Rich Zahradnik novel is a powerful sense of time and place that is far more than a one-dimensional backdrop for the characters and action of the story.
So it is with his latest mystery, The Bone Records. Zahradnik’s rich descriptions of the faded glory of Coney Island and the threadbare decline of surrounding neighborhoods collectively known as Little Odessa create a vivid landscape for the lonely and desperate quest of Grigg Orlov to find his father’s killers.
Orlov is a racial outcast in the Russian enclave he stubbornly calls home. His father was a Russian emigre, but his mother was Jamaican. He’s stigmatized and downtrodden, forced to sell the home he shared with his father. He’s also crippled, his left leg badly damaged following a vicious attack by masked police academy classmates that forced him to give his dream of becoming a New York cop.
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