At a pre-wedding party for his daughter Sarah, Moe Prager is approached by his ex-wife and former PI partner Carmella Melendez. It seems Carmella's estranged sister Alta has been murdered, but no one in New York City seems to care. Why? Alta, a FDNY EMT, and her partner had months earlier refused to give assistance to a dying man at a fancy downtown eatery.
Moe decides to help Carmella as a means to distract himself from his own life-and-death struggle. Making headway on the case is no mean feat as no one, including Alta's partner Maya Watson, wants to cooperate. Moe chips away until he discovers a cancer roiling just below the surface, a cancer whose symptoms include bureaucratic greed, sexual harassment, and blackmail. But is any of it connected to Alta's brutal murder?
Solve more cases with Moe Prager.
©2011 Reed Farrel Coleman (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Razor-edged contemporary who-dunits don't get much better than Shamus-winner Coleman's seventh Moe Prager mystery." (Publishers Weekly)
"Coleman makes Prager a believable, complicated character, brought to life by a first person narrationthat lets the reader into Prager's closely guarded thoughts....Character driven but with a layered plot, this is a recommended read." (Suspense Magazine)
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"Good but not Great"
I think very highly of the Moe Prager series. Moe is a solid character. The Hurt Machine is set in Moe's later years. Moe has been a police officer, a private eye, and a wine shop owner. Now Moe has cancer and is focusing on a murder no one else seems to want to uncover.
If you like Micheal Connelly's Bosch series and are looking for something along the same line, your not going to get closer than Prager. Hurt Machine is not the best entry in the series. I'd recommend starting from the beginning. This one is a little far fetched.
I think that the narrator was not up to women's voices. Often he made characters seems stupid through inflection.
An unknown author by the name of Joe Hensley wrote a novel called Snowbirds Blood. Its about a senior citizen coping with mortality while he searches for his missing wife. It struck me that this novel was very similar in pitch to Hurt Machine, but was masterfully done instead of cliched.
"Excellent, engaging mystery"
I have never read or listened to a Reed Coleman book before. I was very impressed by this book. It is very well-written and much more thought provoking and deep than your average mystery. The character of Moe Prager is interesting and Andy Caploe does a very nice job narrating for him (though his other voices are just OK and sometimes annoying but I could overlook that). This is the 7th book in the series but I was able to enjoy it without having read any of the other books. I had a little bit of a difficult time understanding his past relationships with various characters but finally figured it out. The case he solved in the previous book was referred to several times and in enough detail that I would not want to go back and read it after this one. If you think you might want to read that book, I'd suggest doing it before reading this one. I am very glad that I stumbled upon this book. The story and writing are excellent and the performance is solid. I highly recommend it.
"The Hurt Machine"
The detective part of the story is good, the mystery is well laid out and I like that the author leaves all the clues in plain view while the story is told. I don't like narrators who have a dry mouth sound when they narrate. I know it's difficult to narrate but I can't help but want a better sounding voice when I'm paying Audible prices. Plus his imatition of women was like the sound of nails on a chalk board to my ears. Still the story pulled me through. The first person narrative was so bitter sweet as Moe is now a baby boomer coming to the end of his life with terminal cancer and sees everything though that lens of regret and acceptance of others as he looks at himself as honestly as he can.
"Not too bad"
I found these books a little boring....tho' i listened to the entire series anyway. The narrator, to me, seemed to put the wrong intonations on words and sentences, and each story seemed to be 'finished & explained" two or three times during the reading, before a 'twist' lead into another half a dozen chapters. All in all i found them readable.
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