Friday, March 25, 2011

Review...And Every Man Has to Die..

Title: And Every Man Has to Die
Author: Frank Zafiro
Publisher: Gray Dog Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-936178-41-4
‘The Russians are making a play to control organized crime here in River City.’ With one line, author Frank Zafiro sets the stage for a bloody war on the streets of his fictional town in Washington. Ex-cop, four time published, Zafiro knows crime and depicts it in real cop fashion. And Every Man Has to Die is Zafiro’s best work to date. His writing is as meticulous as his villain Valeriy who will burn down a house and the woman and child inside to get across the point he expects totally loyalty from his foot soldiers. On the good side of the law, Officer B.J. Carson, is a rookie who isn’t quite prepared for crime warfare. She’s still enamored by her uniform and other co-workers dressed in blue who make good bedfellows. Katie MacLeod, seasoned and somewhat jaded, has been placed on restricted duty after a losing a battle with a fleeing bad guy. So the police force in River City, a combination of characters who have been brought to life in the past with Zafiro’s rapid fire writing style, must put the pieces of the puzzle together before the Russians take over. They discover second in command, vicious Valeriy is trying to outsmart his boss, Sergey. He has pitted Blacks and Asians against each other so he can come out on top of the heap and hopefully Sergey will get caught in the cross fire. Why should a Russian trust a Russian seems to be the underlying theme for these types of thugs.
Zafiro doesn’t paint a glamorous picture of the River City force, either. Their drug of choice is legal. Beer and booze takes you straight to a hotel or bedroom. There seems to be no white knights in Zafiro’s stories. Real people, with real problems. If I were to pick at problems in his story, it would be in his mix of characters. Chisholm, Sully, MacLeod, Tower. There’s no one major hero in this book, no one soul to carry you through the angst as you turn each page. But then Zafiro is a cop, he knows it takes more than one person to solve a crime. In that, he’s done a good job. By 2204 hour in the plot line, the pace can’t get any better. If you remember the chase scene in the French Connection, by far the best of Hollywood, Zafiro has surpassed it. This book should put Frank Zafiro on the fast track.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another day...another dollar

I'm slowly recovering from being 'stranded' in London. I had to change my passwords in several email accounts and sent out dozens of notes to encourage others to do the same. I've learned a few things since the scam notice went out to send funds for my rescue. First, people are unpredictable. Friends who I hadn't heard from in a long time, decided they should at least contact me but made it clear money wasn't on the way. A long lost brother who blacklisted me from his communication network inquired as to my exact location but didn't offer to 'help'. Hmmm...wonder about his ulterior motive... And then a few people in my 'groups' network offered to help anyway they could. Love their blind faith. Most of those glad-to-helpers were from the writing community. Money is scarce for those struggling to sell their first book. Ahh..but I know they are more savvy and knew the 'send funds' message was a scam. So they were playing it safe. I couldn't help but love each and every message...even the ones indicating they didn't mind if I were 'stranded' for a long time. (Just a couple.) It made my day even more interesting. A German friend figured out the phone number didn't jive...not a London lady. Another friend called the scammer and asked the names of my dogs to verfiy my needs. Smart like a fox. Another friend said she knew it was a scam because I knew she never had extra money. The second lesson out of this is that one should never discount what a near or far friend might or might not do for you. Third lesson is don't trust the internet. At least be diligent about saving info, deleting email addresses that are no longer pertinent to your business or friend list. Fourth is, there's only a few people in the world you can truly trust. Whether its for rescue or not. One gal who always totes the message that you do anything/everything for a friend, didn't bother to comment. The ones who are trustworthy, would come to your rescue, might surprise you...the ones who don't might surprise you. There are no certainities in life. Best to play it safe and rely on your own wit whether it be with friends, family or aquaintances. Cheers, Wil

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Yesterday an email note went out to all my contacts which stated I was stranded in London and needed funds to get home. Fat Chance! I always have a back up plan no matter what I do. Almost always...that is...I'm human, too. I received numerous phone calls and email notes about my name and email address being used to solicit money for a foreign bank account. Dear friends that I have said no way...'Wil you've got to get yourself out of this mess'. So I invited them all to spend a couple of their hard earned bucks and come to London and party with me! They could at least buy the ole wretch a cup of tea or a healthy pint in a pub. Although I prefer wine I could settle for a lesser drink. Still no offers. And that's the way it goes with smart friends. A scam is a scam no matter how needy one sounds. It reminds me of the scads of people who are now protesting about bargaining rights, free pensions and benefits. Wanting more for less. Some people believe taxpayers should foot the bill for them to retire without one penny of their own saved for later years. And they want taxpayers to pay for their health care benefits here and now. Of course, some service is really needed from goverment workers. The service from those who protect us. I'd be willing as a taxpayer to give all fire and law enforcement workers full benefits for life at the taxpayers expense...they put their lives on the line. But the rest of us...well, life is a crap shoot and you make a choice about where and what kind of work you want to do. If you're lucky, the work you do is something you love and pays you well. The free market pays for your knowledge, skills, dedication and success. Anything less and you're not worthy of the income. And that leads me/us to writing...while it is a struggle for most of us to earn enough money to buy a luxury townhome in Manhatten, we don't whine, complain and say 'you owe me more'. We plug away with passion like our foot is on the gas pedal. The Great American Novel is just a page away. The lesson here is: Don't scam yourself, dear writers in cyberland. Don't expect someone will come and rescue you if you are stranded on that lone page...where that paragraph won't move forward. Reach deep, laugh at the fact that your muse sometimes asks for a little breathing room, let it reflect on the pay dirt ahead. Let it invest in itself--when it speaks again, you'll move on to the next chapter. I'm sure the scammer that had me stranded in London decided to move on when no one came to my rescue. I hope those striking Democrats in Wisconsin will regain their senses and get back to work and I'm more hopeful that fellow workers, writers, bakers, nurses, school teachers, too---no matter what their chosen profession, vocation will embrace the fact you have to give your all when you do what you do or you're not worth a dime. It's up to you to invest in your future.
Now on to the next chapter...happy writing!