Title: And Every Man Has to Die
Author: Frank Zafiro
Publisher: Gray Dog Press, 2011
‘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.