Book Review: Hurt Machine

 Hurt Machine by Reed Farrel Coleman

The nice ladies at FSB Associates sent me a copy of this title, and gave it the preview that Publisher's Weekly has named it a top book for 2011, so I had to find out for myself!

This is the latest in a series featuring retired NYC cop-turned-private investigator Moe Prager. On page one, we learn that Moe has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and he wallows with this news, even as his daughter prepares for her upcoming nuptials. At a pre-wedding party, Moe's ex-wife and ex-partner Carmella approaches him and begs him to investigate the murder of her sister Alta, an EMT that had been vilified by the entire city of New York for a previous "wrong".

Moe takes the case, and with lots of twists and turns, we finally get the answers we're seeking. This novel is full of "local color" and a bit of rough language, but you truly feel you are roaming the streets of Brooklyn with Moe, that you are really part of the New York City scene. It was obvious that this was a series - there were several backstories hinted at that weren't fleshed out - but I was able to roll with it, even if I didn't know all of Moe's rather colorful history (there's that colorful word again!).

Overall, I agree that this is a strong mystery for those who liked their stories hard boiled and twisted, especially those taking place in New York. A well written mystery!

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