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Empty Ever After (Moe Prager Mysteries) Paperback – April, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Moe Prager Mysteries
  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Bleak House Books; First Edition edition (April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932557652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932557657
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,636,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the dark, compelling fifth Moe Prager mystery from Anthony-winner Coleman (after 2007's Soul Patch), the PI and former New York City cop pays a heavy price for a choice he made in the late 1970s after locating the missing Patrick Maloney. Prager had decided to preserve both the secret of Patrick's whereabouts and sexual orientation from Patrick's sister, Katy. When Prager marries Katy years later, the shadow of his deception weighs heavily over him, and Katy's eventual discovery of the truth—after Patrick's death—costs him her love. The divorced pair reunite after an unknown enemy launches a complicated campaign of terror against them, aided by a seemingly resurrected Patrick. The occasionally overly convoluted plot and a heavy reliance on earlier books make this less accessible to newcomers, who may also not be as moved as old-timers by the downbeat ending. While this appears to be the end of the series, fans of well-written PI novels will hope to see more of Prager. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The family of Moe Prager, a retired New York police officer and private investigator, has been destroyed by a secret involving the death of his brother-in-law. Now, two years later, he gets a call saying that his dead brother-in-law’s grave has been robbed. As he delves into the matter, reviewing all of his old cases to find links and determine who belongs in the empty grave, he uncovers many strands of corruption and deceit amid a complex web of family relationships. A bleak but satisfying mix of police procedural and noir thriller. --Barbara Bibel --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR's Maureen Corrigan and the "noir poet laureate" in the Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman is the author of twenty novels. He has just been signed to continue Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone series and to begin a new series of his own for Putnam. He is a three-time recipient of the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel of the year and a three-time Edgar Award nominee in three different categories. He has also won the Audie, Macavity, Barry, and Anthony awards. He is an adjunct English instructor at Hofstra University as well as a founding member of Mystery Writers of America University. Reed lives with his family on Long Island.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
He writes good guys, bad guys, and in-between guys (and gals.)
Robert
While his sense of place and dialogue are very strong, he excels at character development.
L. J. Roberts
This book is incredibly disturbing and at the same time a very disturbing read.
Kevin Tipple

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Tipple VINE VOICE on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
The major secret stayed safe for over twenty years and provided the backbone of a story arc that has traveled the first four novels of the series. The shattering aftermath of the revelation provides the springboard of the current novel as Patrick Maloney won't stay dead and buried. The Maloney family plot has been desecrated and the bones of his ex brother in law, Patrick Maloney are missing. Moses' ex-wife Katy is distraught as one would expect and it is left to Sarah, their now grown daughter, to somehow bridge the distant gap between the parents. In so doing, she contacts Moe and before long, Moe is standing at graveside in the year 2000 inspecting the scene for himself.

A former NYPD officer who had to leave the force after a knee injury as well as a rather unorthodox P.I. in the few cases he handled over the years, Moe finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Multiple changes in a relatively short period of time have left him feeling adrift and alone. The desecration of the family plot gives him something to do and a focus for his days. From the beginning, the desecration of the plot which wasn't just limited to the removal of Patrick's body, has him thinking long and hard about his past, the people in it, and the secrets he has kept over the years as well as the secrets he has learned of others.

Soon, Moe learns of another grave desecration in Dayton, Ohio this time with links to Patrick and himself. Moe realizes someone is targeting what is left of his family and they are using Katy as a means to get at him. It is working as Katy's mental state worsens due to repeated shocks to her already fragile system. Seeing her dead brother outside of her home and hearing him on the phone pushes her steadily towards the brink of insanity.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert on July 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
The author starts with a quote - The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.- William Faulkner. As I barreled through this wonderful novel which is also a mystery, I understood the importance of the quote.

Reed Farrel Coleman is a wonderful writer. He has created a compelling main character in Moe Prager. Moe is deeply flawed, but his flaws come from misguided judgment rather than from malice. Often he tries to do the right thing, sometimes he does.

Other reviewers have provided plot details and background. I prefer to comment on the writing and the characters.

For me, great fiction requires great characters. Coleman writes characters who you recognize and who incite opinions. He writes good guys, bad guys, and in-between guys (and gals.) His plot is convoluted, but the plot is merely a road taken for character development.

I have now read the last 3 Moe Prager books, and recommend them highly. Somewhat similar authors include: Ian Rankin, George Pelacanos, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, James Lee Burke.

Coleman is not very well know, but he should be. He writes prose which makes you think and care. I would love to meet Moe Prager, and therefore I would love to meet Reed Farrel Coleman.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeff VINE VOICE on July 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Coleman can take a series farther in fewer books than almost anyone in contemporary crime fiction. Empty Ever After takes the complex life of Moe Prager, a man haunted by multi-generation family problems, and turns it completely upside down.

As usual, there is a great plot, which twists and turns in more ways than the reader expects. Two, there is just a great family background in the Prager extended family being developed in this series, and Coleman makes every character seem very alive and real (even the ones who are dead.) Finally, there's a great loop back in the plot to one of his former books (can't say which one without inserting a huge spoiler) that I found both surprising and believable.

Moe is a very different plan in a different place at the end of the book. Not since the climax of Charlie Huston's 'Half the Blood in Brooklyn' has a character been thrown out of his comfort zone as Moe is at the end of this book. It will be very interesting to see where the next book takes him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John H. Manhold on August 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Empty Ever After, eISBN 9781440541001, Tyrus Books, e-book by Reed Farrel Coleman provides an excellent commentary on today's publishing situation.
As a reader, I have come to the mystery genre rather recently and know few of these authors. Thus, after completing the book and the short biography, I looked at some published reviews. Routinely I do not read a review of a book before I do my own. In part, this is because I do not want mine to be influenced, but it also probably results from the fact that I read many ARC's and judge contests where attention to such material, if available, would be unfair.
The reviews of Coleman's book all are complimentary and seem to be by persons who know the author's work. From this reader's standpoint, much of what they say is true. However, for one who is unfamiliar with his work, some of the relationships, part of the characters' activity, their `convenient' positioning and explanations of past actions are difficult to understand. Thus, for me, Empty Ever After appears to be the result of the author's confused state of mind - a situation most probably not entirely the author's fault.
In the afterword the author writes, Moe Prager is an ex-cop P.I. "tethered to a specific place - Coney Island, his family, a business he despises, to secrets, but, most of all to his past." and "I (had) included sort of an artificial timeline for the series...one thing I knew I could, if necessary, dispense with... (so if I wanted) I could continue the series. One problem: you can't continue a series without a publisher" ..."I had a two-book contract...with one more Moe book to write ...(and) it would have been a different book had I known for sure it would be the last book in the series." And still once more: "...
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