The Bone Records
by Rich Zahradnik
January 30 - February 10, 2023 Virtual Book Tour
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."
"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."
"A wonderfully flawed protagonist and a complex mystery combine with current events in Zahradnik's best novel to date. The Bone Records had me hooked from page one."
Elena Taylor, award-winning author of All We Buried and the Eddie Shoes mystery series
Read an excerpt:
The story has an engaging, sympathetic protagonist in Grigg Orlov (Grigoriy Andeiovich). With his mixed heritage, he grew up an outsider in the Russian immigrant community of his father’s people. He didn’t fare much better later when he pursued his dream of becoming a New York City police officer. He was jumped by a couple of academy classmates and severely injured enough that he was forced to withdraw. He lost his mother at an early age, so it’s always been just him and his father, and when his father goes missing, and the police show little interest in finding him, he pursues the matter night and day on his own. Their reunion is sudden and ends quickly with tragic and shocking results.
There is a growing sense of menace as the story progresses, assisted by the noirish descriptions of the neighborhood, his living in his empty childhood home after he’s sold it, and the places he visits – old haunts that hold lots of memories of times with his father. The Coney Island setting is especially moody with the included bits of its history. Grigg gets much-needed and timely assistance in his investigation from some unlikely sources, but I really liked the growing relationship between him and his work manager, Jamie Carmichael. Again, I was slated to be shocked by the outcome.
The use of bone records in the story was unusual and original and sent me down some internet rabbit holes. There are actually some of these for sale on eBay! I’d never heard of these before, and I couldn’t help but read more about them.
The book is set during the Clinton-Trump presidential campaign. It features computer hackers and whole warehouses of keyboard jockeys posting political memes, posts, and disinformation, from all party viewpoints, which stoked the emotions of the denizens of social media, dividing and conquering as intended.
With its fast-paced action, originality, atmospheric settings, and engaging characters, I was in the dark and off-balance, never knowing what the resolution would be until the end. I recommend THE BONE RECORDS to mystery and thriller readers who would enjoy a unique plot or a New York City setting in 2016.
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.
Catch Up With Rich Zahradnik:
Instagram - @rzahradnik
Twitter - @rzahradnik
Facebook - @RichZahradnik
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