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Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: Hollow Girl by Reed Farrel Coleman




Drunk, alone, and racked with guilt over the tragic death of his girlfriend Pam, Moe Prager is destined for oblivion. But destiny takes a detour when a shadowy figure from Moe's past reappears to beg for Moe's help in locating her missing daughter. As a reluctant, distracted Moe delves into the case, he discovers that nothing is as it seems and no one involved is quite who or what they appear to be. This is especially true of the missing daughter, an early internet sensation known ironically as the Lost Girl or the Hollow Girl. The case itself is hollow, as Moe finds little proof that anyone is actually missing.

Things take a bizarre twist as Moe stumbles across a body in a trendy Manhattan apartment and the Hollow Girl suddenly re-emerges on video screens everywhere. It's a wild ride through the funhouse as Moe tries to piece together a case from the half-truths and lies told to him by a fool's parade of family members, washed-up showbiz types, uncaring cops, a doorman, and a lovesick PI. Even as the ticking clock gets louder, Moe is unsure if it's all a big hoax or if someone's life is really at stake. The question isn't whether or not Moe can find the Hollow Girl, but whether the Hollow Girl was ever there at all.
 
I picked this one up because the star of the series sounds like such a normal guy.. My kind of guy. I frankly wasn't expecting much, but was very pleasantly surprised. Reed Coleman is a very good writer, much better than most writers of this sort of fiction, and Moe Prager is a captivating and human hero who it is easy to cheer on.
 
I would say that this is one of the two or two or three best mystery series' out their right now. Reed Farrel Coleman has written a winner and i cant wait to read the beginning of the series.
The story is a standard PI haunted by a case he can't forget, but the way it is plotted is well done, the characters expertly drawn, issue of sexuality and mental illness are handled with a care you rarely see in detective fiction and the descriptions of New York are done in the loving and authentic way only a native of the city can accomplish. Prager is drawn as the opposite of the standard hard boiled detective. He is a caring and thoughtful person. He loves his kid, and wants to do right by his family and his client.
 
This is the final book in the series and it is okay as a stand alone but you will get much more enjoyment if you start with book 1 of the series.