Lights Out Summer

Book Cover


1960s & '70s

Rich Zahradnik

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A young woman is gunned down on the same night Son of Sam strikes elsewhere in Queens. The New York press drop everything to pursue the psycho killer, leaving Coleridge Taylor to tell Martha Gibson’s story. As he closes in on the mystery, the blackout of 1977 sets off an orgy of looting and arson.



Short Summary

In March 1977, ballistics link murders going back six months to the same Bulldog .44. A serial killer, Son of Sam, is on the loose. But reporter Coleridge Taylor can’t compete with the armies of journalists fighting New York’s tabloid war. He pursues the murder of a black maid killed the same night.

Bobby Livingston, friend of the DeVries family, which has lost three to murder, draws Taylor to a meeting, claiming he has letters written by Son of Sam. Livingston sets up to murder Taylor and Evangeline DeVries in identical fashion to Son of Sam. Livingston is killed in a showdown in Studio 54.


New York, 1977

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements


Mature Audience Themes

Language/Profanity,Substance Abuse,Nudity

Main Character Details

Name: Coleridge Samuel Taylor

Age: 36

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Adventurous,Confident,Decisive,Faithful,Honorable,Funny,Sarcastic,Strong Moral Code,Charming,Engaging,Underdog

Additional Character Details

Name: Samantha Callahan

Age: 26

Gender: Female

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Heroic,Honorable,Modest,Sexy,Skillful,Funny,Strong Moral Code,Underdog

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Additional Character Details

The author has not yet written this

Development Pitch

About The Author

Lights Out Summer, the fourth book in Rich Zahradnik’s Coleridge Taylor Mystery series, won the 2018 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Private Eye Novel. The first three novels in the series were shortlisted and won awards in the three major competitions for books from independent presses.

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Camel Press

Year Published: 2017

Hard Copy Available