With the help of Soundworks, we created this podcast of the first chapter of ‘City of Grudges.’

Inweekly: “Writing Souther Thrillers”
published Feb. 22, 2018

Pensacola authors Mike Papantonio (“Law & Disorder” and “Law & Vengeance”) and Rick Outzen discuss the challenges of writing fiction on topics that are very close to their professional lives. Read more.

“Outzen, the publisher and owner of Pensacola Inweekly, a Florida alt-weekly newspaper, brings his journalistic expertise to his provocative first novel.”
Publishers Weekly

Author Rick Outzen Reflects on Small Town Florida and “City of Grudges”
MYSTERY TRIBUNE January 12, 2018

The premise of “City of Grudges” is simple: People don’t want to hear or read news that may be less than flattering about their heroes. Any reporting that doesn’t agree with their politics and opinions is immediately declared to be “fake news.” Rather than debate an issue, the first move is to attack the reporter. Read more.

Initial Press Release

City of Grudges
Pensacola newspaperman publishes new thriller about his city

New York, NY – SelectBooks, Inc. is proud to announce the upcoming release of a new addition to its acclaimed list of thriller fiction titles. City of Grudges by Richard Outzen (ISBN: 978-1-59079-443-2) is scheduled for release in March 2018.

The novel follows the exploits of Walker Holmes, publisher of the fictional local alt-weekly the Pensacola Insider, as he navigates the corrupt and ruthlessly vindictive landscape of Pensacola, Florida, politics. Walker is a pugnacious type who is simultaneously endearing and insufferable. He has a tenacity and willingness to speak the truth against the powerful that often leads him into situations well over his head. All the while he is faced with the daily challenges of creeping middle-age and the urgent need to keep his newspaper solvent.

In City of Grudges, we find Mr. Holmes confronted with making the difficult decision of publishing an article which will incriminate Bo Hines, his friend and one of the Pensacola community’s most beloved native sons, of embezzling funds from the local arts council. This decision leads to hazardous conditions for both Walker’s personal safety and the well-being of his prized newspaper. In a city that knows how to hold its grudges, he may have finally gone too far.

Like his protagonist, the author of City of Grudges, Rick Outzen, is a publisher of the weekly Pensacola newspaper, Inweekly, which he founded in 1999 and in 2001 merged Joe Scarborough’s competing paper, The Florida Sun. In 2005 he launched his very popular Rick’s Blog, discussing a variety of local topics including news, politics, and entertainment. Much of Outzen’s personal experience as a newspaper publisher in Pensacola has been channeled into his novel which gives it much of its freshness and veracity.

Joe Scarborough, the former Congressman and Outzen’s former business partner, and now cohost of Morning Joe, stated, “City of Grudges captures my hometown of Pensacola, Florida, much the same way Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil immortalized Savannah.”

City of Grudges is a fun, quirky thrill ride, filled with twists and turns and a colorful cast of characters. This novel should help to establish Outzen as a masterful storyteller, and a significant voice from the Southern United States. It is also a welcome addition to SelectBooks’ growing list of fiction taking place in the rich and fascinating locale of Pensacola, Florida. Previous titles include Law and Disorder and Law and Vengeance from Mike Papantonio’s series of thrillers. Rick can be found online at his paper’s website and his blog He is also host of the daily radio program Pensacola Speaks on WCOA, 1370AM.


“City of Grudges captures my hometown of Pensacola, Florida, much the same way Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil immortalized Savan- nah. Rick Outzen’s Southern thriller moves his colorful characters through the corruption of small town politics under the piercing gaze of Walker Holmes—a newspaper publisher that his friends either want to drink with or punch out. Readers get a gripping front row seat of Walker’s wild ride.” —JOE SCARBOROUGH,  Host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, former congressman (R-FL)

“Outzen’s twenty-year experience as a newspaper journalist has shaped him into an innovative and skilled storyteller. His rst novel captures the voice of the Deep South in a way that would make Flannery O’Connor proud. I hope City of Grudges is only the beginning of a long series of books we see from this writer.” —MIKE PAPANTONIO, Bestselling author of Law and Disorder and Law and Vengeance

“With City of Grudges, Rick Outzen directs the Florida glare onto his adopted city of Pensacola as brilliantly as Carl Hiaasen has done for so many years for South Florida. Corruption, dead bodies, and smooth, wise-cracking dia- logue pile up as quickly as cars in a I-10 fender-bender. The newspaper- man-as-hero is in safe, entertaining hands with this experienced journalist, so move over all you Florida crime novelists—there’s a new pen in town!” —W. HODDING CARTER, Author of Stolen Water: Saving the Everglades from Its Friends, Foes, and Florida and five other critically acclaimed books of non ction