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Empty Ever After Paperback – November 15, 2012
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About the Author
Reed Farrel Coleman is a New York Times bestselling author that has been called a "hard-boiled poet" by NPR's Maureen Corrigan and the "noir poet laureate" in The Huffington Post. He has published more than twenty-five previous novels, including novels in Robert Parker’s Jesse Stone series, the critically acclaimed Moe Prager series, and the Gus Murphy series. A three-time winner of the Shamus Award, he has also won the Anthony, Macavity, Barry, and Audie Awards. He lives with his family on Long Island.
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Top Customer Reviews
Besides being a sort of wrap-up of everything that has gone before (as Coleman states in the afterward), while wiping the slate clean Coleman fashions and intriguing and suspenseful thriller. Someone has desecrated the grave of Moe's ex-wife's brother (the subject of Coleman's first book), and soon Moe realizes that it is not some simple vandal...someone with a serious axe to grind from Moe's past has decided to make his life a living hell, and take his wife and daughter with him. Moe needs all his resources to track down a look-alike for his dead brother in law, who torments his wife to the edge of insanity, and this leads him to backtrack on all his former cases and check up on people who might want he and his family to suffer....or to die, as he finds out the bizarre tormenting goes far beyond simple revenge. While catching up on people who might have revenge on the mind, he discovers several surprises, some dead ends, a wild side-track with a motorcycle gang running a meth lab, and there are several murders and what looks like the death of the main suspect....but Moe isn't satisfied. And because of this, and Moe's curiosity about what is really going on, someone in his circle of family and friends will pay the ultimate price.
As always, his great descriptions (even minor characters stand out fully formed in Coleman's novels), sense of place (New York City and the area are a big player in his novels), and meticulous plotting stand out here as they do in every other Moe Prager tale. Moe is not a flashy or gun-happy detective, but when he plods along looking for an answer, he usually comes to the solution one way or another, even if the answer isn't always pleasant.
The reader has to know that Coleman's books rarely have happy endings, and despite a final death that IMO was a bit unnecessary, this one does spin a surprise at the end that I did not see coming that gives Moe a little hope and good feelings going into the next two novels (Innocent Monster and Hurt Machine), which is good to see. All in all, this is a spectacular achievement as Coleman manages to work aspects of all four of the previous Moe Prager novels into this one, making it very enjoyable if you have kept up with the series. If you haven't picked up a Prager novel before, this is not the one to start with, but it will pay off with a great ending if you read the first four and then finish up with this one.
This Prager mystery, like all of the earlier ones, has lots of twists to keep your attention. The past again plays a big role, but all of the loose ends are finally tied up, and I will be interested to see Moe move on. Although I enjoyed this book as much as the others, I was starting to find the past a bit tedious. The storyline couldn't continue along this path for much longer. Reed Farrel Coleman obviously felt the same, and talks about this in the Afterword.
I just purchased Innocent Monster, and can't wait to get started!