Amazon Exclusive Essay: Quintessential Moe by Reed Farrel Coleman
The Moe Prager Mystery series stands on two fundemental building blocks. One of those blocks comes courtesy of the great William Faulkner who said, "The past is never dead. It isn't even past." The other comes from Joseph Wambaugh, the man who, in the 1970s, changed crime fiction forever and for better. He said, "It's not how the detective works on the case, but how the case works on the detective."
In each book in the series, these are the two forces supplying the fuel to power the engine of the story. This is never more evident than in Hurt Machine, the seventh installment in the series. Moe, now in his mid-sixties, is faced with the best and worst life has to offer. His daughter Sarah, Moe's only child with his late wife Katy, is on the verge of marriage. Yet two weeks before the wedding, he discovers that there's a cancer growing in his stomach that will probably kill him. Add to this the arrival--after a painful divorce and a ten-year absence--of Moe's second wife and former PI partner, Carmella Melendez, asking him to take on a controversial and wildly unpopular case. If ever there was a setup to explore the past and to see how a case works on the detective, this is it.Moe is forced to battle two antagonists in Hurt Machine: the person or persons trying to prevent him from discovering the truth about the case and the cancer. All the time, Moe can hear the clock ticking away the remaining minutes of his life. When the end is near, the past comes alive in a way it never has before. So it is for Moe.
“Moe Prager's … first love will always be Brooklyn. Reed Farrel Coleman's latest book in a series heavily saturated with local color. Prager … travels the length and breadth of the city talking to cops, firemen, gangsters and restaurateurs in their picturesque natural habitats. For someone who reads people by the places they eat, drink and make merry, that's good enough to make Prager postpone his death until he solves this case.”
—New York Times
"Razor-edged contemporary whodunits don't get much better than Shamus-winner Coleman's seventh Moe Prager mystery."
—Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review