City of Grudges

Fiction - Thriller - Political
256 Pages
Reviewed on 09/25/2018
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Author Biography

Rick Outzen is the publisher and owner of Pensacola Inweekly, an alt-weekly newspaper that published its first issue on July 1, 1999. Six years later, he launched his blog, aptly named “Rick’s Blog,” that quickly became among the most influential blogs in the state of Florida. His reporting on the Billings murders, a double-homicide that garnered national attention, for The Daily Beast garnered the attention of the New York Times, that profiled him and his blog. He was also featured on Dateline NBC’s segment on the murders, “No Safe Place.” Rick also covered the BP oil spill for The Daily Beast, earning international attention for unraveling the oil company’s spin on the disaster. He was interviewed by MSNBC, CNN, CBC-TV and Al Jazeera English. He was the first reporter kicked out a BP meeting, and his newspaper was the only publication on the Gulf Coast that refused to take any advertising from the British oil giant. He has been a finalist for the Sunshine State Awards for investigative reporting for his coverage of the failed turnaround effort of a middle school in the Escambia County Public School District. Rick grew up in the Mississippi Delta and graduated from the University of Mississippi, Magna Cum Laude. He has lived in the Pensacola, Fla. area since 1982.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

The truth must prevail whatever the cost, even if that means being ostracized by the very community you live in. This is Walker Holmes’s mantra in City of Grudges written by Rick Outzen. When he discovers Bo Hines’s fraudulent activity at the Art Council, Holmes makes this the focus of his weekly paper, the Pensacola Insider. Not many are impressed, in fact, many are infuriated by the allegations. Bo Hines is one of the most respected and esteemed people in the small town. The attacks start coming and so do the angry comments that leave the newspaper struggling to survive. When Bo Hines’s wife is found dead at their house, Holmes’s condemnation by people takes an even stronger turn. When some residents threaten total boycott of the weekly paper, this becomes the least of Holmes’ problems as he tries to dodge death threats and complete financial ruin. In the end, what he unravels has everyone reconsidering what they think they know.

Thought-provoking and compelling, City of Grudges by Rick Outzen offers an engrossing story presented against a fitting background. Pensacola, a town that contains a varying range of old grudges and whose occupants have a strong sense of community, has little time for an outsider who constantly stirs up trouble and targets the elite. Walker Holmes surprises readers by his strong-mindedness and passion for truth as he fights for the disadvantaged. Outzen also investigates some contemporary issues existing in the town such as the plight of destitute African American communities living in Pensacola, as well as the rampant trend of child sexual exploitation. Informative and captivating, City of Grudges is definitely a worthwhile read.

Barbara Mayall

love this book. Being a citizen of Pensacola and being involved in the political realm, this book is a fictional true to life tell all! Good job Rick!