Launch party for Reed Coleman’s HURT MACHINE.

Award-winning author, Crimespree contributor and all-around good guy Reed Farrel Coleman celebrated the release of HURT MACHINE (Tyrus Books), at The Mysterious bookshop, on December 12th.

At a pre-wedding party for his daughter Sarah, Moe Prager is approached by his ex-wife and former PI partner Carmella Melendez. It seems Carmella’s estranged sister Alta has been murdered, but no one in New York City seems to care. Why? Alta, a FDNY EMT, and her partner had months earlier refused to give assistance to a dying man at a fancy downtown eatery. Moe decides to help Carmella as a means to distract himself from his own life and death struggle. Making headway on the case is no mean feat as no one, including Alta’s partner Maya Watson, wants to cooperate. Moe chips away until he discovers a cancer roiling just below the surface, a cancer whose symptoms include bureaucratic greed, sexual harassment, and blackmail. But is any of it connected to Alta’s brutal murder?

Reed was joined by fellow New York authors SJ Rozan, Megan Abbott, Hilary Davidson, Peter Spiegelman and Jim Fusilli. Also in attendance were Maureen Corrigan from NPR and Connie Casey from Salon.com.

In just a matter of weeks, HURT MACHINE has garnered  praise from critics and was proclaimed “one of the best books of 2011″ by Publisher’s Weekly.

HURT MACHINE is the seventh book in the Moe Prager series and Reed’s 13th book overall.  Reed’s site refers to it as ” reportedly the next-to-last Moe Prager book.”  This is based on a conversation Reed had with Declan Burke. Reed mentioned plans for a prequel and maybe one more that would take place after the events of HURT MACHINE. That Reed is thinking of retiring Moe does not surprise me since he has kept time moving forward in the series and Moe is not as young as he used to be.

While these books are certainly entertaining, Reed goes beyond simply spinning a yarn, he delivers characters with depth as well as stories with complexity and that are filled with real emotions. If you have not read the series, I strongly recommend picking up a book (Hell, pick them ALL up) and entering the world of Mr. Prager.