cover image Empty Ever After: A Moe Prager Mystery

Empty Ever After: A Moe Prager Mystery

Reed Farrel Coleman, . . Bleak House, $24.95 (259pp) ISBN 978-1-932557-65-7

In the dark, compelling fifth Moe Prager mystery from Anthony-winner Coleman (after 2007’s Soul Patch ), the PI and former New York City cop pays a heavy price for a choice he made in the late 1970s after locating the missing Patrick Maloney. Prager had decided to preserve both the secret of Patrick’s whereabouts and sexual orientation from Patrick’s sister, Katy. When Prager marries Katy years later, the shadow of his deception weighs heavily over him, and Katy’s eventual discovery of the truth—after Patrick’s death—costs him her love. The divorced pair reunite after an unknown enemy launches a complicated campaign of terror against them, aided by a seemingly resurrected Patrick. The occasionally overly convoluted plot and a heavy reliance on earlier books make this less accessible to newcomers, who may also not be as moved as old-timers by the downbeat ending. While this appears to be the end of the series, fans of well-written PI novels will hope to see more of Prager. (Apr.)