Onion Street

( 3 )

Overview

A Moe Prager Mystery

It's 1967 and Moe Prager is wandering aimlessly through his college career and his life. All that changes when his girlfriend Mindy is viciously beaten into a coma and left to die on the snow-covered streets of Brooklyn. Suddenly, Moe has purpose. He is determined to find out who's done this to Mindy and why. But Mindy is not the only person in Moe's life who's in danger. Someone is also trying to kill his best and oldest ...

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Onion Street

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Overview

A Moe Prager Mystery

It's 1967 and Moe Prager is wandering aimlessly through his college career and his life. All that changes when his girlfriend Mindy is viciously beaten into a coma and left to die on the snow-covered streets of Brooklyn. Suddenly, Moe has purpose. He is determined to find out who's done this to Mindy and why. But Mindy is not the only person in Moe's life who's in danger. Someone is also trying to kill his best and oldest friend, Bobby Friedman.

Things get really strange when Moe enlists the aid of Lids, a half-cracked genius drug pusher from the old neighborhood. Lids hooks Moe up with his first solid information. Problem is, the info seems to take Moe in five directions at once and leads to more questions than answers. How is a bitter old camp survivor connected to the dead man in the apartment above his fixit shop, or to the OD-ed junkie found on the boardwalk in Coney Island? What could an underground radical group have to do with the local Mafioso capo? And where do Mindy and Bobby fit into any of this?

Moe will risk everything to find the answers. He will travel from the pot-holed pavement of Brighton Beach to the Pocono Mountains to the runways at Kennedy Airport. But no matter how far he goes or how fast he gets there, all roads lead to Onion Street.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Edgar-finalist Coleman’s outstanding eighth Moe Prager mystery (after 2011’s Hurt Machine) explains how the NYPD detective turned PI became a cop. The 2012 funeral of an old friend prompts Prager to recount the complex history he shared with the dead man, Bobby Friedman. The flashbacks begin in 1967, during Prager’s college years, in the aftermath of a car explosion on Coney Island. The blast killed Brooklyn College students Martin Lavitz and Samantha Hope, campus radicals affiliated with the antiwar movement. The official theory is that a bomb’s premature detonation foiled their plot to blow up a draft board office. Friedman, who was Hope’s boyfriend, is sure that the police aren’t telling the truth about her death. Soon after, Prager is just able to save Friedman from a speeding car. More violence compels Prager to investigate. The twists and turns are unpredictable, but Coleman pulls everything together by the end. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (May)
From the Publisher
"The seventh outing (after Hurt Machine) for PI (and former NYPD cop) Moe Prager makes an effective coming-of-age prequel, explaining how he got into police work in the first place. Coleman has won multiple awards for his gritty but soulful series, and this entry is of that same high caliber. Don't miss it." —Library Journal

"Coleman's latest - a prequel to the award-winning Moe Prager series - is a slam-dunk recommendation for readers drawn to smart, gritty, crime fiction with label-defying characters. Coleman . . . nicely balanc[es] plot and action." —Booklist, Starred Review

"Edgar-finalist Coleman's outstanding eighth Moe Prager mystery (after 2011's Hurt Machine) explains how the NYPD detective turned PI became a cop. The 2012 funeral of an old friend prompts Prager to recount the complex history he shared with the dead man, Bobby Friedman. The twists and turns are unpredictable, but Coleman pulls everything together by the end." —Publisher's WeeklyStarred Review

"Very entertaining company on the beach before the summer slips away." —Penthouse

"The story is exciting enough by itself, it's simply a good mystery story, but what makes it so great is the little pieces of foreshadowing of Prager's future . . . An interesting character study as well as a piece of good historical hardboiled fiction. This one's recommended. Highly." —Sons of Spade blog

"Moe Prager fans are in for a treat as novice crime fighter Moe attempts to solve this convoluted case, giving insight into the cop, PI, and man he eventually becomes. [Coleman] . . . paint[s] a setting so vividly that readers are immersed in the dreariness and despair of 1967 Brooklyn, makes for a book that's difficult to put down." —Mystery Scene Magazine

"There's a lot to enjoy here. It's a book that many Moe fans will enjoy. It's also one that newcomers might find interesting and, in case they don't already know, there's a lot to come if they become hooked." —Sea Minor blog

"For long-time fans of Prager and creator Reed Farrel Coleman, the novel sheds a new and welcome dimension on a long-admired and much-beloved protagonist. It provides a sharp and clearly defined literary snapshot of a tumultuous era . . . The element that I enjoyed most about the book was the manner in which it presented its host of street characters, all of whom had real-life counterparts in the life of anyone who was of age during the 1960s . . . Onion Street is worth reading for that reason alone." —BookReporter.com

"Coleman . . . use[s] the late Sixties, as well as [his] prose poet style, to look at [his] characters in fresh and exciting ways." —Mystery People

"The bones of this story is your typical noir, though Coleman, the master of the twist, never lets the story stray into formula. This story is very organic, and several details resonated with me. Freed from the constraints of a series, Coleman has written what is probably his best novel yet." —Edged in Blue

"A satisfying addition to the series, demonstrating Coleman's trademark humor, twisty plotting, well-developed characters, and an evocative and authentic portrait of the author's beloved Brooklyn. For those who have not yet discovered the series, Onion Street is an excellent place to start." —Reviewing the Evidence

"A deep moral story involving right and wrong . . . Moe’s various actions can be questioned, while his intentions are always honorable. All in all, it is a very human saga, and we get to know Moe a lot better in a serious way. Recommended." —Spinetingler Magazine

Library Journal
His friend Bobby's funeral brings up memories of volatile 1967 Brooklyn for Moe Prager. A student at Brooklyn College, Moe is worried about Bobby Friedman's possible connections to a radical political group. Moe feels uneasy enough about Bobby's safety to keep an eye on him, actually saving Bobby when he is almost killed in a hit and run. When Moe's girlfriend, Mindy, is beaten into a coma, he goes vigilante against an enemy he doesn't understand. Moe is forced to make an ally with an unexpected source, a drug dealer named Lids, if he hopes to survive. VERDICT The seventh outing (after Hurt Machine) for PI (and former NYPD cop) Moe Prager makes an effective coming-of-age prequel, explaining how he got into police work in the first place. Coleman has won multiple awards for his gritty but soulful series, and this entry is of that same high caliber. Don't miss it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440539459
  • Publisher: Adams Media Corporation
  • Publication date: 5/18/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,216,304
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Called a hardboiled poet by NPR's Maureen Corrigan and the noir poet laureate in The Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman is the former executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America. He currently resides in Long Island, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    After seven novels in the Moe Prager mystery series, a retrospec

    After seven novels in the Moe Prager mystery series, a retrospective is in order, especially after Moe has undergone surgery and chemotherapy for stomach cancer. The occasion follows the funeral of a boyhood (and best) friend, after which his daughter, visiting from Vermont, asks him why he became a cop, and what follows is a story by itself.

    Moe looks back to events in 1968 when he and his friends were attending Brooklyn College. The Vietnam War was raging, radicalism was in the air, and Moe was at loose ends. One night his girlfriend is found in a coma on the street, apparently having been viciously beaten, and suddenly Moe has a mission: to find the man who beat her up, taking him on a journey that later led him to become a policeman and PI.

    It is a hard-boiled tale involving all the worst elements of the period, bomb-throwing radicals, dope pushers, rotten cops and the like. It also is a deep moral story involving right and wrong. The humor of past Moe Prager novels is missing from “Onion Street,” but that is completely understandable: it is not a light-hearted subject with deaths strewn along the way. And some of Moe’s various actions can be questioned, while his intentions are always honorable. All in all, it is a very human saga, and we get to know Moe a lot better in a serious way. Recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2013

    I feel like I got on the wrong bus, got off at the wrong stop, s

    I feel like I got on the wrong bus, got off at the wrong stop, sat in the wrong Sunday school class, and then raised my hand with the wrong answer to a gimme question. If this were a fishing expedition, I somehow ended up on the wrong pier, in the wrong state, with the wrong lure, and I’d even forgotten my damn hat (the fedora that I keep handy for emergency purposes).

    I’d really prefer not piss off a slew of Reed Farrel Coleman fans and have them banging on my doorstep at all hours of the day or night, but I also can’t inflate my rating for a book that I didn’t enjoy. So, if you insist on paying me a visit, you’re welcome to visit me at my winter home in North Pole, Alaska.

    Mr. Coleman sure has his literary credentials in order. And he has more starred reviews than Britney Spears has pairs of underwear.

    But reading this book reminded me of a one-man missile operator. The clichés seemed to attack me every few pages; the dialogue seemed a bit trite and stilted; the pages moved at a glacier’s pace; and I found myself plugging toothpicks in my eyes to continue reading. As I waited for someone to push the giant red button, I ended up off-roading more than I stayed on the asphalt.

    I did, however, enjoy the premise: an amateur sleuth working on his college education, investigating the attempted demise of his love interest. And the voice did make me want to break out my fedora on occasion, but I often, and just as quickly, wanted to shove it back in the closet and slam the door.

    Most people enjoy the Moe Prager novels, and you might as well, but I just wasn’t one of them.

    I received this book for free through NetGalley.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2013

    I've read all of the first seven Moe Prager books by Reed Farrel

    I've read all of the first seven Moe Prager books by Reed Farrel Colemand and I've enjoyed each and every episode in the life of the former Brooklyn cop turned some-time private investigator.

    Now, author Coleman goes back to Moe's beginnings with a prequel that takes place in Brooklyn in 1967 and shares the story of just what might have lead Moe in the path he takes (or stumbles through) in life.

    I never like to give away anything spoilerish in reviews, but this book is a wonderful read, a real can't-put-it-down page turner with dark humor and great characters. Whether you've read the rest of the series or if you decide to start here with the series prequel (and then you'll be sure to go back and read the rest of the series), I think you'll have a very good time getting to know Moe Prager and the writing of Reed Farrel Coleman. Enjoy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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