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Empty Ever After (Moe Prager #5)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  332 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
There are no second acts for the dead or are there? For over twenty years, retired NYPD officer and PI Moe Prager, has been haunted by the secret that would eventually destroy his family. Now, two years after the fallout from the truth, more than secrets are haunting the Prager family. Moe Prager follows a trail of graverobbers from cemetery to cemetery, from ashes to ashe ...more
Paperback, 259 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Bleak House Books (first published April 1st 2007)
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EMPTY EVER AFTER (PI, Moe Prager, New York, Cont) – Ex
Coleman, Reed Farrel – 5th in series
Bleak House Books, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9781932557640

First Sentence: We walked through the cemetery, Mr. Roth’s arm looped through mine.

PI Moe Prager has secrets he’s kept from his wife, now ex-wife. Now those secrets are making themselves known with tragic results. It’s Moe’s job to find out who hates him so much they want to destroy his life and the lives of those he loves.

With each new book by Cole
Enrico Tassinari
Finally Moe Prager caught me. It took four good books to finally read one that, being alone a very good novel, can be rated excellent if taken as the fifth and final chapter of the first part of Moe's life. The plot, with a page turning mystery, pushes Moe around all the events told in previous books, touches all the loose ends and wraps them up for a bitter/sweet final. This book helps the previous ones to make more sense. About Coleman, I particulary enjoy the final notes after the novel's end ...more
It's hard to use like as a standard for judging RFC's books. They are very good books, but I'm never sure I really like them. I do like Moe however, so I'm always compelled to read the next book. This book is no different from the others in the really fine writing and character development. Like all of them, it is very dark, yet somehow I was not bummed out when I finished it. That's because of Moe - the mensch who tries to do the right thing, frequently with disastrous consequences. There's alw ...more
Nov 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of this book is an examination of Moe's past cases and who among those former characters would like to make Moe suffer. A good refresher if it's been a long time since you've read the first four books.....but this complicated level of revenge seemed implausible. Moe is sardonic as ever...... always an interesting character.
dOnnabud lewis
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Empty Ever After is a fast-paced, spine-tingling, cunningly-devised mystery. The conclusion left me breathless, with my head spinning. It's an excellent read!

Favorite passages (2008 hard cover edition):
"Kites bathed in dying orange light flirted with the Verrazano Bridge and dreamed of untethered flight." (page 67)

"The group had attracted some national media attention in the early part of the decade, but by 1990 had fallen into the creases of history the way pocket change dissappears into the fu
Not a book that would really stand alone well but it does a good job of tying up all the loose ends and revisiting the characters from the previous books. For me, it was not quite up to the standards of the other entries in the series but Moe is a great character and the writing was as well done as always.
Tim Warson
Ok, but familiar

Necessary backstory to close several arcs, but a third was already-trodden ground. Excellent writing as always. Some new themes thankfully introduced at the end.
Carrie Garza
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And most of my questions are answered, as intended. Really loved this book.
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The latest in the Moe Prager series brings our reluctant PI to the near present. It's the turn of the century. The Twin Towers still stand, George Bush is a non-entity, and Moe Prager is suffering from a nineties hangover. His daughter is grown. His hated father-in-law is dead. His wife has left him. Moe finds his only solace in running a chain of wine stores with his brother, a business he seems to hate, but takes refuge in anyway. He also keeps his feet wet as a PI by running an agency with fo ...more
Lukasz Pruski
"Empty Ever After" is Reed Farrel Coleman's fifth book in the Moe Prager series. I quite liked the first novel in the series (and rated it with three and a half stars). Despite verbose writing and off-putting pomposity of including a foreword, a prologue, an epilogue, and an afterword, it was a good story, with realistically portrayed characters and sharp sociological observations. Alas, in my view the current installment is a much weaker book.

Moe Prager, an ex-cop, now a PI and a part-time wine
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Empty Ever After
Reed Farrel Coleman
Bleak House Books, 2008, 272 pps.
ISBN No. 978-1-932557-640

Can you keep a secret? Moe Prager can keep a secret for a long, long time. In “Empty Ever After” Moe’s secrets are not secrets any more.

Patrick Maloney was Moe’s brother-in-law and has been dead and buried for a number of years. That is until recently. Patrick’s grave has been disturbed. Patrick’s remains have disappeared. This is only one of the many strange events that bring Moe’s past secrets to light
Kathleen Hagen
Empty Ever After, by Reed Farrel Coleman, b, Narrated by Andy Caploe, Produced by Audible Inc., downloaded from

Moe Prager is living alone in this fifth novel in the series. He has a fragile relationship restored with his daughter, but Katie doesn’t want to see him. Then, he gets word that the grave of his brother-in-law, Patrick, has been robbed of his body. He further hears that there has been some tampering of Patrick’s lover’s grave in Ohio. Then, a look-alike to Patrick starts t
EMPTY EVER AFTER. (2008). Reed Farrel Coleman. ***.
If you are new to Coleman’s Moe Prager mysteries, jumping into this episode will leave you scratching your head. Coleman has reached what seems to be the end of most of Prager’s woes stemming from his former life. I think it was about time. It was getting a little tiring to read about a P.I. who spent all his time investigating himself. Still, it is well written…but I found it hard to keep on caring where it was all leading to. Characters that I
Chuck Barksdale
Nov 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was another great but dark book and the fifth in the Moe Prager series by Reed Farrel Coleman. I've really enjoyed all of the books in the series so far and this is certainly one of the best. The book was written to be a possible last book in the series and it certainly reads that way as it resolves a number of ongoing issues in the series. Of course in a dark series such as this one, the resolutions are not necessarily what the reader wants but what the author felt was needed. After all, t ...more
Jun 06, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-book-list
i loved Reed Farrel Coleman's first three books in his Moe Prager detective series. I only liked the fourth one. And I hated the fifth one.

You are dead to me Mr. Coleman.

You can't kill off a lovely woman just because you think it will make the story more compelling and "real life." Okay, so I don't know if that's really why he did it, but whatever. He shouldn't have. He could have ended the series on a much happier note without ruining the story.

AND I simply didn't think this book was as well w
Jun 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Very satisfying--Moe Prager is a great character, as are the others in Coleman's world. Some of them reach resolution, though I won't tell you who; can't spoil things. In fact, I hesitate to say much about the story itself, for the same reason. Coleman does deal with issues beyond "who done it," which gives depth to the story. While I do get a bit weary of mysteries (books or tv) being about someone coming after the detective him (or her) self, that worked for me here, as an intro to the series ...more
I enjoyed the layers of this fifth book in the series, but was relieved to read this in Coleman's Afterword: "The books had become too heavily burdened with backstory." My sentiments exactly, and I'll see how Coleman addresses that problem in the next in the series, Innocent Monster. I think Empty Ever After would have been a very unsatisfying experience for anyone who hasn't read the previous four, and quite recently at that.
Decades of secrets, lies, and lost connections come together for Moe here, and it's absolutely haunting - one of my favorite books so far this year. It's emotionally exhausting to read as he combs over his past and contemplates roads not taken, but ultimately you start to see what Moe is capable of becoming if he can look forward instead of back. Read this one in sequence with the earlier Pragers, but have a box of tissues and a loved one to hug nearby when you reach the end.
John Devlin
I've liked Moe Prager, a low rent PI where the stories stay small, believable, and there's an everyday grit to the storytelling, but this is not that Moe. Perhaps because this was to be a conclusion of the series we're treated to a panoply of old characters and a plot out of a superhero comic with a bad guy set on exacting revenge 20 years later.
The ending is anti-climatic and the emotional resonance that should have been there is utterly absent.
Aug 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of retelling of stories from previous Prager novels. A number of old enemies killed off. The ending arrived abruptly. Fortunately, I've read some of the books in the series out of order. The later novels seem to be better written, and have a clearer focus without the baggage of previous entanglements. In fact, The Hurt Machine offered several sentences that made it into my collection of The Best Sentence I Read Today.
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the author's writing style and I liked the main character. It felt like this was a book in a series and I had missed the first dozen or so stories. It got confusing the references to this private investigator's past cases and their main characters. I was a little disappointed that the eventual villan in this story was not really introduced until the last 25 pages. All that said, I grabbed the book off my brother in law's shelf to read at the lake and it was quick and engaging.
Jul 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wyma by:
I was surprised to find this - thought I'd read all of Coleman's. It's a good series mystery - lots of personal life as well as crime. I heard about Coleman from a bookseller in Austin. Then met him at Baltimore BCON. Quite humble. Very good writer still waiting for a NYT best seller?

I finished it last night. I believe this is his best novel thus far. The lead, Moe Prager, is a Jewish wine seller, former cop, part-time PI, living in New York. Look for Coleman. He never disappoints.
Jun 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
For me, how a book, or series, ends and wraps up is very important. Don't get me wrong, the journey is important, and without a good journey no ending can make a good read. But, once you've invested yourself and your time in enjoying the journey, it's the ending that lingers.
I love the way RFC writes and the character he has developed in Moe, but the ending makes the story lasting, somewhat but not completely wrapped up, somewhat happy but far from completely happy.
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the Moe Prager Mystery novels.
I finished this one in less than a day! I feel that you have to have read the novels before it, to fully understand this one-though Coleman does a good job on keeping you up to speed.
I like Moe. That fact makes reading this novel VERY hard at times.
Again all I can say is WOW.
May 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Moe Prager is deeply philosophical private investigator who needs to find the truth even if he destroys him. His compassion and insight truly marks him as a character who will live on. Reed Farrel Coleman is a master writer who is underrated and unrecognized, but that won't last. His talent takes him above the rest. His writing is poetic and hard hitting. He is a writer's writer.
John Kues
I like his books, his writing is interesting and he knows how to keep the interest up, but....I wonder how many books he can write with the same story being repeated and added to. He makes plots lines that go on and on, just when you think he is wrapping up the story something else happens. The plot kept me from giving it 4 stars, but I debated. I love his characters.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Instead of reading 1 book, this felt like I just completed 5. That's what the author had in mind, & it worked perfectly. I believe it could have been enjoyed as a "stand-alone", but having read the others made that much more riveting. For that's what it was: riveting.
May 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-series
I *heart* Moe Prager! Coleman has created a smart, compassionate character in Moe. This is the fifth in the series of mysteries centered around Moe and his family. I got totally engrossed in the story - as I did with the other 4 books. Is this the last one?
Deale Hutton
Aug 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Moe Prager mystery. The character development is excellent, especially the ex wife and daughter. It feels very real. There is a surprise that totally caught me off guard, which is unusual ...not surprised by crime fiction. A good story for people haunted by secrets and ghosts.
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moe Praeger has been a P.I. longer than he was a cop. He had kept a lot of secrets through the years. Those secrets ruined his marriage and continue to haunt his life. And now, it's too late to come clean. A great finale to Moe's life.
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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)
  • Innocent Monster (Moe Prager, #6)
  • Hurt Machine (Moe Prager, #7)
  • Onion Street (Moe Prager, #8)
  • The Hollow Girl (Moe Prager, #9)

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