Review: Coleman’s Walking the Perfect Square

Walking the Perfect Square (Moe Prager Series)
Reed Coleman

I picked this one up because the star of the series is a New York Jew. My kind of guy. I wasn’t expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised. Reed Coleman is a strong writer, much better than most writers of this sort of fiction, and Moe Prager is a captivating and human hero who it is easy to cheer on.

The story is a standard PI haunted by a case he can’t forget. But the way it is plotted is well done, the characters expertly drawn, issue of sexuality and mental illness are handled with a care you rarely see in detective fiction, and the descriptions of New York are done in the loving and authentic way only a native of the city can accomplish. Prager is drawn as the opposite of the standard hard boiled detective. He is a caring and thoughtful person. He loves his kid, and wants to do right by his family and his client. Notably, his religion plays a much smaller role than I was expecting from the way the series was sold to me by a friend. Sure sometimes the writing was a little over done, and yes some of the jokes are pretty corny, but this is a great read for anyone interested in detective fiction, New York in the Seventies, or just a pretty damn good book.
Recommended for the enthusiast.

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