Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: Hurt Machine

Reed Farrel Coleman is an award winning writer in the field of Detective Novels. He has published a dozen novels across three running series, including seven as part of the Moe Prager mystery series. Hurt Machine is the seventh and latest in that series, to be released in December of 2011.

Moe Prager is at a crossroads in his life. The aging former NYPD cop turned detective is about to marry off his daughter Sarah and has found that he has been diagnosed with cancer. When his ex-wife Carmella steps back into his life and asks him to investigate the murder of her sister Alta, a NY EMT, things get more complicated. You see, Alta and another EMT Maya refused to give assistance to a dying Robert Tillman at an upscale eatery. The more Prager investigates into the case, the more he finds people aren’t willing to talk.

This was my first exposure to Coleman’s work and the Prager novels, and I have to say I enjoyed what I read. The case is hardly as cut-and-dried as one would expect. The deeper Prager digs into the case, the more complicated he finds things are. Just like life.

Coleman knows New York City well and gives the reader a good feel for the environment in which the characters move and live. He also seems to have a very strong handle on the tight-knit working communities of the police and the firefighters, both of which come into play in this novel. But, most importantly, Coleman knows how to create well-rounded characters that are interesting to the reader.

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