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EMPTY EVER AFTER by Reed Farrel Coleman

EMPTY EVER AFTER

By Reed Farrel Coleman

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-932557-64-0
Publisher: Bleak House

Private eye Moe Prager knows for a fact that his brother-in-law is dead. So what’s this, then, his ghost? After 20 years?

Uncle Patrick’s grave has been messed with, says Moe Prager’s daughter over the phone. Mom’s upset, she adds; please call her. Katy and Moe are divorcing, but she remains the love of his life. Before he can act, however, the phone rings again. This time it’s Mary White, the bereaved sister of Patrick’s lover. Jack’s grave, too, has had malicious attention. The next call, though, is the one that shreds fragile Katy’s equilibrium and puts her in the hospital. “I miss you, sis,” announces a voice that’s indisputably Patrick’s. Compounding the emotional barrage are inexplicable sightings of Patrick, apparently undimmed by age. A hard-boiled PI, a been-there-seen-that ex-New York cop, a born-again Brooklynite, Moe Prager does not believe in apparitions. What he does believe is that someone has suddenly decided to end a two-decade moratorium on payback. Of course he’s right. But who among his crowded enemies list is vengeful enough, and savvy enough, to strike at him where he’s most vulnerable—through the people he loves?

A slight, implausible mystery is further diminished by unfortunate crossovers into romance. Subpar work by Coleman (Walking the Perfect Square, 2001, etc.).