Thursday, April 27, 2017

Book Review: 2017 Edgar Nominee: Where it Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman

Where It Hurts

Author: Reed Farrel Coleman
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Date of Publication: January 26, 2016
Pages: 368

    Reed Farrel Coleman is a veteran writer with many accolades.  He has twenty three previous novels.  Where It Hurts is the beginning of a new series featuring ex-cop Gus Murphy.  This author knows how to tell a story.  The dialogue here is crisp and moves the story along.  The author is very familiar with the Long Island setting and this gives the book authenticity.  This novel is character driven and the main character is very sympathetic.  You can't help rooting for Gus Murphy.

    While most ex-cops in these types of novels are alcoholics, Gus is not.  He is mired in grief over the loss of his only son.  His marriage disintegrates, his daughter goes off the deep end and his career is over.  He is pathetically sleep walking through a mindless job as a van driver for an airport hotel.   Gus is approached by a career criminal who asks for his help in solving the murder of his son.  Gus agrees to help this fellow, mainly because he is sympathetic over the situation.  Gus is gradually sucked into a serpentine investigation, crossing swords with his former co-workers in the police department as well as annoying members of organized crime, drug dealers and assorted other ne'er-do-wells.  

     This was an entertaining and well written novel.  My only complaint is that the action kind of comes and goes.   There are very slow sections where the author explores the characters more than moving the plot along.  Frankly, I got lost a few times.  All in all, though, this was a very good read and I would suspect that future installments will be even better.

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