cover image Hurt Machine: 
A Moe Prager Mystery

Hurt Machine: A Moe Prager Mystery

Reed Farrel Coleman. Tyrus, $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4405-3199-6

Razor-edged contemporary whodunits don’t get much better than Shamus-winner Coleman’s seventh Moe Prager mystery (after 2010’s Innocent Monster). Shortly after the Brooklyn PI learns that he has stomach cancer, Carmella Melendez, his ex-wife, asks him to look into the stabbing murder of her estranged sister, Alta Conseco. Two months before her demise, Conseco and a fellow EMT, Maya Watson, became the subject of international outrage after failing while off-duty to help Robert Tillman, a cook who suffered a fatal stroke at a Manhattan bistro. Prager pursues the obvious course of seeking a link between Conseco’s and Tillman’s deaths. Watson has become an uncommunicative recluse, who provides little help, but the owner of the restaurant near where Conseco died is an old friend and an ex-cop, happy to help in any way he can. Logical and surprising plot twists combine with Prager’s world-weary narrative voice to produce another winner. (Dec.)