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The James Deans (Moe Prager Mysteries)by Reed Farrel Coleman
Don't read The James Deans for its plot although it has a good one read it for Moe Prager. Prager's not your typical P.I. He's a former beat cop who left the job after a freak carbon-paper accident ruined his knee and is now co-owner of a pair of wine shops. There are a lot of people writing well-plotted crime fiction out there, but there are few with Reed Farrel Coleman's gift for character and dialogue.
Synopses & Reviews
It's 1983 and Reaganomics is in full swing. But beneath the facade of junk bonds and easy money, New York remains a gritty metropolis offering Nirvana with one hand and desolation with the other. Moe Prager, ex-NYPD cop turned reluctant P.I. is too busy reeling from a family tragedy to see what's coming. He's about to be sucked into a case that might deliver him what he's always wanted or plunge him into purgatory.
Two years earlier, Moira Heaton, a young intern for an up-and-coming politico, vanished without a trace. Although there is no evidence supporting her boss's involvement, rumors and whispers have conspired to stall his once-promising career. Now, in a last-ditch effort to clear his name, state senator Steven Brightman, with the clout of a wealthy backer, enlists Moe's help. With twists and turns galore and Moe's inimitable voice, The James Deans is an absorbing page-turner that will add to the burgeoning reputation of one of today's most promising writers.
"Coleman draws inspiration from the real-life Gary Condit/Chandra Levy case for his appealing third hard-boiled mystery set in the early 1980s (after 2004's Redemption Street). New York PI Moe Prager and his wife, still traumatized by a recent miscarriage, are surprised to be guests at a high society wedding. The affair proves to be a pretext for a mover and shaker to recruit Prager to the cause of a charismatic state senator, Steven Brightman, whose political rise was stalled by the disappearance of an attractive young intern more than a year earlier. Despite the cold trail, thoroughly explored by both the police and Brightman's hired sleuths, Prager finds new clues that lead him to a surprise solution. Given this revelation relatively early on, few readers will be startled that a different truth emerges before the refreshingly ambiguous conclusion, with justice at best partially served. Not everyone will go for the heavy-handed humor (a long-winded 'southern politico' named Clinton 'had better stay in Arkansas, because he has about as much chance for national office as the Mets have of winning a second World Series'), but all will cheer the likable, virtuous Prager. Agent, Wendy Silbert at Harvey Klinger. (Feb. 1) Forecast: Blurbs from Michael Connelly, S.J. Rozan and Steve Hamilton will help lift this one out of the pack." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Moe Prager is my kind of private eye." Michael Connelly, bestselling author of The Narrows
About the Author
Reed Farrel Coleman was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of Walking the Perfect Square and Redemption Street, the first two books in the Moe Prager series.
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