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Innocent Monster (Moe Prager #6)

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  555 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews

Seven years have passed since the brutal murder that tore Moe Prager’s family apart and it's been six years since Moe’s brushed the dust off his PI license. But when his estranged daughter Sarah comes to him with a request he cannot refuse, Moe takes a deep breath and plunges back into the icy, opaque waters of secrets and lies. Sashi Bluntstone, an eleven-year-old art pr

Hardcover, 291 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Tyrus Books (first published September 2nd 2010)
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Mar 23, 2012 J.R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Moe Prager, an aging former cop, retired private detective and now co-owner of a chain of wine stores, seizes a chance at redemption when his daughter from whom he’s been estranged for seven years asks him to help find the missing daughter of a friend.

Sashi Bluntstone, an 11-year-old art prodigy, has been missing for nearly a month and Moe is leery of the prospects of finding her. Still his eagerness to have Sarah back in his life trumps such mundane concerns.

The job plunges Prager into a maelst
I really, really enjoyed this book. I purchased it after another book was recommended for me on Amazon, and I just wasn't interested in that book, but THIS one was in the related titles. I have been looking for a good replacement for Lehane's Kenzie and Gennaro books, and had yet to find such well done mysteries again. I haven't read anything else by Coleman yet, but based off of this introduction to the Moe Prager universe, I think I've got a (potential) live one. And for the first time ever, I ...more
Rogue Reader
May 15, 2011 Rogue Reader rated it really liked it
The sixth Moe Prager mystery, Innocent Monster, is my first and I’m glad to discover a new series set in New York and the boroughs. Moe’s the protag, an ex-cop, ex-PI, who’s bored stiff with the wine shops he owns with his brother and is pulled back into a case by his daughter Sarah. It’s a good, straight forward mystery centered on the disappearance of a child painter-prodigy that is in some ways reminiscent of the Jon Benet Ramsey case.

Reed Farrel Coleman’s credentials are impressive. He’s th
Kathleen Hagen
Innocent Monsters, by Reed Farrell Coleman, B-plus, Narrated by Andy Caploe, produced by audible inc. downloaded from

Seven years have passed since the brutal murder that tore Moe Prager's family apart and it's been six years since Moe's brushed the dust off his PI license.
But when his estranged daughter Sarah comes to him with a request he cannot refuse, Moe takes a deep breath and plunges back into the icy, opaque waters
of secrets and lies. Sashi Bluntstone, an eleven-year-old art
Aug 07, 2012 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-lendable
From the front pages of the book I somehow got the impression that this was actually the sixth novel about Moe Prager, yet the first part of the book seemed to be introducing him for the very first time. Which seemed odd to me but would have been fine except that it seemed to take a really long time to finish the introduction and get into the story.

Once things finally got underway, this novel seemed like a pretty stereotypical detective novel to me, even though I don't really read many in the ge
Mar 21, 2011 Viccy rated it it was amazing
Moe Praeger is back after seven years. His wife, Katy, is dead, murdered in front of him and his daughter, Sarah, has not spoken to him since. All the secrets, through all the years, finally caught up with him. But Sarah calls him one day and needs Moe to return to his P.I. days. Her friend, Candy, has a daughter, Sashi, who is missing. Sashi is an artistic genius and has been since the age of four. Sashi has supported her parents and they have become used to her art bringing in the cash. Moe qu ...more
First Sentence: Kathy’s blood was no longer fresh on my hands and after 9/11 people seemed to stop taking notice.

It has been six years since Moe worked his last case; the case that created an estrangement from his daughter, Sarah. When Sarah asks him to find 11-year-old Sashi Bluntstone, an art prodigy who has been missing for three weeks, he can’t refuse her. What he didn’t expect were the dark secrets and betrayals hidden in that world of apparent refinement.

Coleman’s background in philosophy
Tim Niland
Nov 01, 2010 Tim Niland rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
After a series of personal setbacks, Moe Prager thought he was finally out of the PI trade. A successful wine merchant in Brooklyn, the former cop and private investigator is contacted by his estranged daughter, who is concerned about the missing child of a close friend of hers. Seeing a chance to re-connect with his daughter, Prager reluctantly takes the case of a missing child prodigy whose artwork is worth thousands of dollars. Coleman really writes well and with great compassion for his crea ...more
May 15, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it
Moe Prager is a wreck of a man. He and his daughter are estranged due to an incident that killed his wife a few years back. He gave up being a private investigator and owns a wine store with his brother. But when his daughter calls and asks him to take on a case of a missing 11-year old girl that is also an art prodigy and the daughter of a family friend. He takes the case only if to get back on speaking terms with his daughter. When he starts probing, secrets are exposed and Moe just wants out. ...more
Ellen Keim
Jun 07, 2015 Ellen Keim rated it liked it
Although I really liked this addition to the Moe Prager series, I wish I had started at the beginning of the series, because now I know too much about the outcomes of earlier books and won't enjoy them as much if I read them now. That's the tricky thing about writing (and reading) a series. This book didn't stand on its own as well as I would have liked.
Orest Stelmach
Mar 07, 2012 Orest Stelmach rated it really liked it
Moe Prager investigates the disappearance of an art prodigy in Brooklyn.

Former cop and private investigator Moe Prager prefers to deal in wine rather than crime these days, but he's lured back onto the streets by his daughter to take on another case. He's motivated by his relationship with his daughter, who is a close friend of the missing child's mother.

The narrative hums through gritty Brooklyn, but it's Moe's soulful voice that propels the reader forward. A wide range of authentic characters
Enrico Tassinari
Nov 14, 2014 Enrico Tassinari rated it really liked it
Another good story by Coleman, who's not worried about the passing years, the aging of his hero and the ghosts that will haunt him for the rest of his life. It's a very good mystery that maybe worthed some more in my rating but I didn't like some major coincidences in the plot that help Moe to meet a woman, to solve the mystery, to save his life. These facts might have been plotted in a more credible way without touching the structure of the novel. Anyway, for Prager's serie more than others, to ...more
Silvia Navarro
Aug 17, 2016 Silvia Navarro rated it really liked it
Moe Prager investigates the disappearance of an chile art prodigy in Brooklyn.

Since this is a series (and I did not know when I bought it) it was slow to get my interest, but it became more fascinating as the story progressed.

It's a very good mystery/thriller with plenty of twists. I did not see the ending coming.
Sheila Rodden
Nov 23, 2014 Sheila Rodden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow start but good ending

Slow to get my interest, but it became more fascinating as the story progressed. Hoping to find a child alive and justice served finding the kidnapper was what made for a better storyline. Shows oldtimers can still do good in the world.
Chuck Barksdale
Dec 12, 2015 Chuck Barksdale rated it it was amazing
This was another great book in one of my favorite series. Moe Prager agrees to help his daughter's friend find her artist daughter mostly to reestablish a lost relationship with his daughter. As typical of the books in the series, Moe is better than most in his investigations. He also struggles with his personal feelings. A dark book that does have some hopeful and positive moments.

Three more books in the series left for me to read. Of course, I already own them and I'm taking my time in getting
Jan 15, 2011 Nancy rated it really liked it
Though long retired from PI work and occupied with operating several successful family wine stores, Moe Prager takes on a case as a favor to his daughter from whom is is somewhat estranged.

As in other Moe Prager books, threads of his personal life are intertwined with a mystery and the core mystery is solved but not everyone lives happily ever after.

This is a fast paced story that will hold your interest until the last page.

Innocent Monster is part of a series well worth reading. Unlike other b
Robert Intriago
Feb 20, 2011 Robert Intriago rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-noir, 2011
A very good Moe Prager mystery. Moe is now 60 years old and it has been 7 years since his ex-wife died and he has divorced his new wife. He has given up his detective agency when his daughter asks him to investigate the disapperance of a friend's daughter.

The story is well crafted and the characters are well defined. Moe is his usual smart mouth. He does a lot of introspection, has a lot of regrets and bad dreams, a little bit much in instances. He also does some physical stunts that appear out
Mar 29, 2013 Ken rated it really liked it
Another solid detective thriller in the Moe Prager series. Moe gets a chance to mend fences with his estranged daughter, Sarah, if he investigates the disappearance of Sachi Bluntstone, an eleven year old artist 'savant'. This is a very dark mystery, and nearly everyone in the tale seems to have some serious negative attributes, and if the girl is found dead, it exponentially adds value to her paintings. Moe gets a break from his dull job as partner in his brother's wine business, and he just mi ...more
Aug 09, 2011 Morgan rated it it was ok
Moe Prager thinks he is like a tragic Greek hero … at least to this reader. Tragedy just follows him and while he has enormous guilt feelings if you read between the lines, nothing is really his fault. Prager is an ex-cop who was treated like a neglected house plant by the NYPD, he is estranged from his daughter (unjustly), he is an ex-PI and while rich he not 'fulfilled'. He crys on anybody's shoulder about his sad, sad, existence. This is why I gave the book by Reed Farrel Coleman only two sta ...more
Moe Prager is Jewish, he feels guilty about his wife's death, feels he could have prevented it. He will be glad to tell you these things again and again.

He has a new case to solve, if he does, maybe he can resolve some of his guilt. A girl is missing, a talented girl, she paints, her paintings are popular, her paintings are valuable. Trouble is ...they become more valuable when she's dead.

She disappears, police can't find her. Enter Moe, looking for a little girl, looking for a daughter's love,
Sep 03, 2012 Pmcdnld2 rated it liked it
This is one in a mystery series I have never read before. Moe Prager is an ex-cop, ex-pi who now owns several wine shops with his brother. His daughter from whom he has been estranged for several years comes to him to help in the search for a friend's little girl. The little girl is supposedly an art prodigy at 11 years old whose paintings have been selling since she was 4 causing much controversy in the "art" world. He takes the job as a way to reconcile with his only child. Some very weird peo ...more
Aug 27, 2011 Robyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, free, thriller
I got this book free for Kindle, and am glad I did.

This is a great mystery/thriller with plenty of twists and complex characters. Although it is the first Moe Praeger novel I have read, it is far from the first in the series. I did feel like I would have gotten more out of it if I'd read the earlier books first, but they were not necessary to understand or appreciate this book.

I'm not sure if I'll read more from this series or not. I think I would enjoy them but I just have so many books on my
Robert Van Tuyl
Mar 09, 2015 Robert Van Tuyl rated it really liked it
Couldn't put it down.
Jun 16, 2014 Jamie rated it it was amazing
best one so far
Oct 07, 2011 Iamthez rated it really liked it
I had completely forgotten I had this story on my kindle and the other day, as I was thumbing through, I decided to just read it.

I think I got it for free but I'd like to think I would've paid for it if I'd had the chance.

The story is very film noir, with the narrator really taking you for a good trip. The main story focuses on an art pprodigy's kidnapping/disappearance, but there's so many different storie that it's easily to be captivated and entertained.

I really enjoyed this novel.
Malina Vasquez
Feb 19, 2012 Malina Vasquez rated it it was amazing
First time reading this author but not the last. If there are previous books in this series I intend to read them as I would like the back story on Moe, his family and friends. He touches on it in this book just enough to get the reader interested. This time out Moe is helping locate the daughter of his own daughters friend. Moe has been retired so this doesn't come easy tor him. I'm glad to say I have Hurt Machine on my kindle to read, this is a good series to start.
Dec 07, 2011 Macjest rated it really liked it
Didn't see that one coming. At the end when you find out who did what, it's a bit of a surprise.
As far as the characters, Moe Prager is kind of interesting. He has a few years on him and more than a little wear and tear, but I like him. I haven't read any of the other books in the series, but this one left me curious enough to check them out.
Things haven't been easy for our pal Moe, and one could argue that they don't really get better here. But for readers who love complex and messy mysteries with no tidy solutions, he's the best schmuck you could have. The plot's not quite as tight as it could be, but still a solid entry into one of my favorite under-heralded series.
Jun 25, 2012 Joseph rated it liked it
If you like the other 5 books in the Moe Prager series, you'll like Number 6, and Coleman's got the page-turning formula down pat. Just like when I read Raymond Chandler, I realize that nobody would actually say the stuff in Moe's dialogue but - hey, this is noir fiction after all - I don't care. I'm simply along for the ride.
Mar 31, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
The biggest disappointment in this book was that I seemed to have skipped one in the series, so lost out on quite a few big bad events in the previous book. I love this character, and the plot here was less meandering and circuitous than some Praeger mysteries. The intricacies of human relationships is masterfully portrayed.
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aka Tony Spinosa

Reed Farrel Coleman’s love of storytelling originated on the streets of Brooklyn and was nurtured by his teachers, friends, and family.

A New York Times bestseller called a hard-boiled poet by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan and the “noir poet laureate” in the Huffington Post, Reed is the author of novels, including Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone series, the acclaimed Moe Prager series, shor
More about Reed Farrel Coleman...

Other Books in the Series

Moe Prager (9 books)
  • Walking the Perfect Square (Moe Prager #1)
  • Redemption Street (Moe Prager, #2)
  • The James Deans (Moe Prager, #3)
  • Soul Patch (Moe Prager, #4)
  • Empty Ever After (Moe Prager, #5)
  • Hurt Machine (Moe Prager, #7)
  • Onion Street (Moe Prager, #8)
  • The Hollow Girl (Moe Prager, #9)

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