Review #12: Innocent Monster by Reed Farrel Coleman

ImageThis is the first novel I’ve been Reed Farrel Coleman, and I have to say I am glad I stumbled across this author. This is the 6th book in the Moe Prager series, yet it also was good as a standalone. I didn’t feel “left out” by not having read previous books.

Moe Prager is ex-NYPD, ex-PI, current wine-store owner. He is estranged from his daughter following the murder of his first wife several years ago (I assume captured in earlier novels). His daughter comes to him one day, asking him to help find the daughter of a close friend. Prager sees this as an opportunity to get back in his daughter’s good books and jumps at the opportunity.

This mystery reminded me a lot of Dennis Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie series… it’s pretty gritty at points with many characters having secrets to hide and protect. Told from Prager’s first person perspective, we get both backstory as well as his great insight into his current motivations. He’s not quite as beyond-the-law as Kenzie is, but Prager certainly engages in some sketchy and dangerous behavior with some shady characters to get to the bottom of the mystery of the missing 11 year-old art prodigy. The action is quite realistic, and the ending certainly caught me off guard.

I borrowed this one through Amazon’s Prime Membership, and would certainly read more and might even consider purchasing some of the Moe Prager series.