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The Killing Moon: A Novel Paperback – January 1, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hogan's fourth novel (after the Hammett Award–winning Prince of Thieves) convincingly and movingly brings alive the dying Massachusetts community of Black Falls, which is plagued by a brain drain and by a corrupt, if small, police force. Don Maddox, the town's first (and only) college scholarship recipient, reneged on his obligation to return and work in the community, but 15 years later the prodigal son shows up for his mother's funeral. Oddly, Maddox becomes a part-time auxiliary policeman, clashing often with his superiors. The author soon reveals Maddox's hidden agenda, which is related to a lucrative drug ring and to a series of murders believed to have been committed by a registered sex offender. Strong characters and a memorable setting more than offset a windup with some predictable cliffhangers. (Jan.)
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

Hogan, winner of the 2005 Hammett Prize, turns in another disturbing thriller, this one revealing the dark underside of small-town life. At the behest of one of the city fathers, Donny Maddox has returned to Black Falls, where he's installed as a part-time cop. Bucky Pail, who runs the force more like a gang than a law-enforcement agency, is incensed by the maneuver, especially since he's unable to intimidate Maddox. Black Falls is full of terrible secrets, and laconic, angry Donny fits right in, though his motives seem less overtly corrupt and self-serving than most of the people he encounters. Hogan feeds out Maddox's history at a frustratingly slow rate, and his use of different narrators makes for a sometimes bumpy telling. But there's no denying the attraction of the righteous-angry-man-against-the-corrupt-system theme, and Hogan delivers plenty of excitement, much of which comes in the form of several riveting (and notably vicious) confrontations. At his best, Hogan will remind readers of Lee Child and Stephen Hunter. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074328965X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743289658
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christine Shaw on January 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The story takes place in the small town of Black Falls, Mass. Population 1,758. Since the closing of the paper mill, the town's economy is slowly dying. No supermarket, no ATM, no traffic lights and no cable or cell phone service. The police force has been cut from twenty men to two full-time and a few part-time officers. The Sergeant and highest ranking member of the force is Bucky Pail. Bucky has held this position since the death of his father three years before. Since Bucky came into power, the Department is corrupt. He and his employees terrorize the townspeople to the point that they are afraid to report any problems or complaints.

Only one member of the Police Department, Don Maddox, a part-time officer who works the graveyard shift three night a week, is ligit. With the help of the town's elder statesman, Stavros Pintopolumanos, otherwise known as Pinty, Maddox is embedded into the police force of Black Falls to bust this corrupt organization. Maddox is an undercover state policeman.

When a brutal murder stuns the town and a registered sex-offender goes missing, the state police homicide detectives arrive in town and take over the police station which of course does not sit well with Bucky. Bucky has enough problems, especially with his new employee, Maddox. Tension is high between the two men because Maddox will not play Bucky's game.

Maddox upholds his undercover status and at times appears suspicious to Trooper Leo Hess, the state police detective in charge. As the mystery unravels, Hess is convinced that the sex-offender, Dillon Sinclair, is the murderer. Maddox is not convinced since Sinclair is his informant.

This is my first Chuck Hogan thriller and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is very well-written, pacing is good and the climax is explosive. The murder scenes are a bit gory but do not take away from a most satisfying read.
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Format: Hardcover
I realy enjoyed this book, it is a must read for the crime fiction reader. The book is suspensful and informative at the same time. The mystery is gripping and makes it a real page turner. I would recommend this book to anyone connected with law enforcement
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Format: Hardcover
Chuck Hogan's "The Killing Moon", a convoluted thriller based on the strange circumstances occuring in the small dying rural Massachusetts town of Black Falls, reads like a written version of TV's "Twin Peaks". Homeboy Donny Maddox recipient of a town sponsored college scholarship returns to Black Falls after a 15 year hiatus. The town is in a state of decline since the closing of the mill some years ago, which providede the main source of employment. At the urgting of now retired police chief emeritus Pinty, a close personal friend, he joins the local police force on a part time basis.

Maddox soon discovers that corruption runs rampant within the local fuzz headed by the Pail brothers, Bucky and Eddie. Maddox is soon immersed in investigating a series of crimes involving violence and drugs. Clues point to a local man and sexual offender Dill Sinclair as being the driving force, however his whereabouts are unknown. When local new age internet salesman Randall Frond is discovered brutally murdered, the cesspool of town depravity boils over. The state police lead by macho man trooper Leo Hess are called in.

As the investigation continues, we discover that Maddox might have ulterior motives for his presence in town. As the state police and Maddox dig deeper, the full extent of the town's secrets become revealed.

Hogan jumping from one character to the other gives us bits and pieces of information to aid us in unravelling the mysteries behind this bizarre town.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Within the first couple chapters I was fairly certain who the villain was. There were some surprises for me, so if there were hints along the way I missed them, but by and large I could tell where this was going. I don't understand why writers feel they have to contrive suspense. If the plot is solid and rooted in character and reality, then the suspense should naturally emerge. The face-off with the antagonist at the end played out like the ending of a Beethoven symphony. Just when the reader would expect the end, some other incident would suddenly emerge. The reader could tell what would happen to the villain. I wanted to say, "Let's just get to it!" Given that the protagonist of the novel was a seasoned and accomplished cop it was difficult to believe that he would have behaved as he did in the setup to his confrontation with his antagonist at the end. I also found Hogan's characterization of the community of Black Falls to be terribly one-sided. No sense that anything ordinary occurred in the town. It was all dark stuff for the most part. I've not read other Hogan works. so I can't compare this to his other novels.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chuck Hogan's latest novel, a classic suspense thriller, crafts an amazingly insightful profile of a small New England town with nowhere to go but down. Sounds depressing but actually it's not. I'm a fan of Hogan's work and with The Killing Moon, he has treated readers to one of his finest yarns yet.

With the Killing Moon, Hogan has crafted a classic page turner (or is it page-turner?) filled with uncomplicated nuance and character. Hogan artfully builds the story, drawing the reader into a hidden sub-culture of drug-fueled depravity, sketching good guys and bad guys with such complelling humanity and depth, it's hard to know who the good guy really is until the very end. Which, for me, defines a classic suspense novel.

Kudos to Chuck Hogan. Please keep writing.
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