Walking the Perfect Square introduced Moe Prager—retired New York City cop-turned-wine shop owner—to much acclaim and an enthusiastic readership. Still possessed of his vintage police savvy, and perhaps the only Jewish licensed PI in the five boroughs, Moe wonders if he’s really meant to be a merchant and not a cop. Redemption Street finds him in 1981, lured into the mystery of a 1966 hotel fire—one that killed seventeen people, including his first love—by a long-grieving brother and Moe’s own restless determination to set things right.
Reed Farrel Coleman’s crisp, page-turning narrative has Moe trudging through his childhood summer vacation stomping grounds, the now-decaying Catskill resort scene. The borscht belt’s near-forgotten landscape of scarred lives, ambitious politicians, and corrupt cops is the minefield Moe must brave to find the truth. Was the fire really sparked by a negligent smoker or was it murder? Will the long dead keep their secrets or divulge their stories? And will what Moe uncovers lead him down another blind alley or into the bright light of Redemption Street?
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Reed Farrel Coleman is the author of Walking the Perfect Square, the first in the Moe Prager series.From Publishers Weekly:
Set in 1981, Coleman's fast-paced sequel to Walking the Perfect Square (2002) will please fans of both hard-boiled and traditional mysteries. A retired cop with an inactive PI license, Prager is happily bored in his new incarnation as a Manhattan wine merchant, husband and new father. Residual ambivalence about his choice to help cover up the disappearance of his wife's beloved brother leads Prager to reconsider his initial refusal to take on another quest for a missing siblingâ€"Arthur Rosen's search for the sister widely believed to have died in a fire at a Catskill resort 15 years earlier. When an arrogant and shadowy real estate magnate attempts to bribe him to refuse the case, Prager leaves his family and job to try to unearth the truth about the fatal blaze, which claimed 16 lives and was officially blamed on a careless bedtime smoker. He finds that the conflagration marked the point at which the small town of Old Rotterdam began its decline and that his questions stir up ill feeling from the locals, who include mysterious neo-Nazis and a group of Jews who call themselves the Yellow Stars. Prager's dogged pursuit leads to a satisfying and logical solution, while demonstrating Coleman's gift for blending a classic whodunit with a gritty, realistic procedural. Prager is a fascinating creation, believably grappling with his status as an unaffiliated and unobservant Jew, with ample room for greater growth.
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