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Innocent Monsterby Reed Coleman
Synopses & Reviews
Seven years have passed since the brutal murder that tore Moe Pragers family apart and it's been six years since Moes brushed the dust off his PI license. But when his estranged daughter Sarah comes to him with a request he cannot refuse, Moe takes a deep breath and plunges back into the icy, opaque waters of secrets and lies. Sashi Bluntstone, an eleven-year-old art prodigy and daughter of Sarahs dearest childhood friend, has been abducted. Three weeks into the investigation, the cops have gotten nowhere and the parents have gotten desperate. Desperation, the door through which Moe Prager always enters, swings wide open. Just as in Sashis paintings, theres much more to the case than one can see at a glance.
With the help of an ex-football star, Moe stumbles around the fringes of the New York art scene, trying to get a handle on where the art stops and the commerce begins. Much to Moes surprise and disgust, he discovers that Sashi is, on the one hand, revered as a cash cow and, on the other, reviled as a fraud and a joke. Suspects abound beyond the usual predators and pedophiles, for it is those closest to Sashi in life who have the most to gain from her death. Cruel ironies lurk around every corner, beneath every painting, and behind every door. Almost nothing is what it seems.
Beware the innocent monster, for it need not hide itself and it lives closely among us: sometimes as close as the mirror.
Reed Farrel Coleman's mysteries starring Moe Prager have won or been nominated for many of the crime fiction world's biggest awards, including the Edgar, the Shamus, the Barry, and the Anthony. The Moe Prager mysteries were named as part of Maureen Corrigan's Best Books of 2009.
"In Shamus-winner Coleman's darkly impressive sixth Moe Prager mystery (after 2008's Empty Ever After), the retired Brooklyn PI takes on a baffling missing person case only because his estranged daughter, Sarah, begs him to help. In the three weeks since art prodigy Sashi Bluntstone, the 11-year-old daughter of Sarah's childhood friend Candy Castleman, disappeared from a walk on the beach near her Long Island home, the police have found no trace of the girl, who 'skyrocketed to prominence at age four when her Abstract Expressionist paintings... began selling for tens of thousands of dollars.' Prager, who encounters a host of ugly characters, including parents Max and Candy, who aren't telling all they know, and resentful painter Nathan Martyr, becomes increasingly sure that Sashi is dead, but keeps slogging along. His past as a cop, his guilt over his wife's murder, and his current career as a wine merchant make Prager a complex character well suited to handle a complex mystery. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
The sixth in the NPR-favorite Moe Prager series features the PI getting older and facing the collapse of his second marriage.
About the Author
Reed Farrel Coleman Lives on Long Island. He writes the Moe Prager mystery series. His writing has won nearly every major award in crime fiction.
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