Walking the Perfect Square by Reed Farrel Coleman
A Novel (Moe Prager Mysteries)

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August 6th, 1998: Moe Prager, a former cop, waits to call his daughter for her 18th birthday. In the midst of an ugly family meltdown, Prager is desperate to find a way to make sense of what has caused his once-happy family to implode. As he waits, however, it is Prager who receives a call that might not only solve a case that has haunted him and his wife for twenty years, but might also supply the glue to patch his family back together.

December 8th, 1977: Patrick Maloney, a supposedly popular college student, walks out of a Manhattan nightspot into oblivion. It’s no wonder Maloney’s disappearance barely registers on the radar screen. Son of Sam strikes. Elvis is dead. It’s the Sex Pistols vs. the BeeGees, Studio 54 and the Dirt Lounge, est and yin/yang, gas shortages, Quaaludes, pot and polyester, Plato’s Retreat, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the neutron bomb.

Moe Prager, a cop forced into early retirement by injury, certainly hadn’t noticed Patrick Maloney’s disappearance. But when Prager’s ex-partner calls with an offer to work on the case, Moe, wracked with self-doubt over his undistinguished career, signs on.

As Prager traces Patrick Maloney’s steps from his upstate home to his college dorm on Long Island, from the Tribeca bar where he was last seen to an old flame’s mansion on the Gold Coast, Moe realizes that nothing about the case, especially the details of the missing man’s life, is as it seems. Even the picture his parents gave the police was two years out of date. Why? What could his parents be hiding? What tortured secrets might have driven Patrick to create a public persona so different from his true self?

Questions multiply as Prager searches for Patrick in New York’s notorious punk underground, gay clubs and biker bars. Will Moe’s blossoming relationship with Patrick’s older sister help to bring Maloney back home or will it help to destroy any progress in the case? Can Moe overcome the roadblocks thrown in his path by dirty cops, corrupt politicians, and an ambitious reporter? And who are the truly ominous forces working behind the scenes to pull Prager into the very private hell of the Maloney family? Is Moe Prager running in circles or simply walking the perfect square?

About Reed Farrel Coleman

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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.
Published April 7, 2008 by The Permanent Press. 308 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Walking the Perfect Square

Kirkus Reviews

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Hurrying to the hospital back in the present tense, he’s convinced that Tyrone Bryson can unlock the mystery of Patrick Maloney’s disappearance—if only Moe can outrace death.

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Publishers Weekly

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Moe's job—he's an ex-cop forced to retire because of a knee injury—is to find the son of another cop, a young man who left a party one night and hasn't been seen since.

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Reviewing the Evidence

WALKING THE PERFECT SQUARE is a wonderfully atmospheric tale set in New York City and moving between the 1970s and the 1990s.

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Reviewing the Evidence

At one time, Moe Prager was an officer with the NYPD, admittedly, not a very good one, although he did love the job.

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