Moe Prager investigates the disappearance of an Internet performance artist known as the Hollow Girl but finds little proof that anyone is missing until she re-emerges online in what could either be a hoax or a life-threatening situation. - (Baker & Taylor)
The final novel in one of the most critically acclaimed PI series in the annals of crime fiction!
"Few writers working in any genre offer tales with such moral complexity, dark humor, and, most of all, heart." --Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me
Drunk, alone, and racked with guilt over the tragic death of his girlfriend Pam, Moe Prager is destined for oblivion. But destiny takes a detour when a shadowy figure from Moe's past reappears to beg for Moe's help in locating her missing daughter. As a reluctant, distracted Moe delves into the case, he discovers that nothing is as it seems and no one involved is quite who or what they appear to be. This is especially true of the missing daughter, an early internet sensation known ironically as the Lost Girl or the Hollow Girl. The case itself is hollow, as Moe finds little proof that anyone is actually missing.
Things take a bizarre twist as Moe stumbles across a body in a trendy Manhattan apartment and the Hollow Girl suddenly re-emerges on video screens everywhere. It's a wild ride through the funhouse as Moe tries to piece together a case from the half-truths and lies told to him by a fool's parade of family members, washed-up showbiz types, uncaring cops, a doorman, and a lovesick PI. Even as the ticking clock gets louder, Moe is unsure if it's all a big hoax or if someone's life is really at stake. The question isn't whether or not Moe can find the Hollow Girl, but whether the Hollow Girl was ever there at all. - (F+W Publishing)
*Starred Review* After an ugly bout with cancer and the death of his girlfriend, Moe Prager (Onion Street, 2013) makes herculean efforts to drown himself in booze until a gut-twanging mystery lures him back to reality. Nancy Lustig, an unforgettable woman from his first case, begs Moe to find her missing daughter, Sloane Cantor. Sloane achieved fame years ago as the Hollow Girl when she launched a fabricated online video diary, ending in a faked suicide that caused mass chaos as enraptured viewers clogged 911 lines nationwide. Right after Moe starts poking around, the bodies of two of Sloane's "friends" turn up, casting doubt on theories that Sloane may simply be taking a secret vacation. Then Sloane begins leaving messages for Nancy claiming she's okay just as a new version of Hollow Girl launches online. Sloane is shown bound and battered, but viewers are warned not to intervene in the "performance." Moe's gut tells him she's in danger instead of in character, and he begins one of his trademark determined but outwardly meandering searches. This is Moe's final hunt, and he's going to leave behind a slew of grieving fans, but his story is wrapped up perfectly here, filled with raw social commentary, nostalgia, and guarded hopefulness. Expect those attracted to The Hollow Girl by the reality entertainment elements to be hooked by Coleman's airtight writing in this literary heavyweight PI series. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Library Journal Reviews
In this sequel to Onion Street, Moe Prager is still grieving the death of his fiancée, who was killed in a car accident for which he feels responsible. He's awakened by his brother from a drunken sleep; Nancy Lustig, a woman he met 35 years earlier, wants to hire Moe to find her missing 30-year-old daughter, Sloane, who enjoyed brief notoriety a decade earlier as Internet sensation "Hollow Girl," airing "real life performance art." Although their relationship has always been tortured, mother and daughter spoke biweekly. Sloane has not called in a month, and when new, more graphically sadistic videos starring a seemingly comatose Sloane start appearing online, Moe gets that uneasy feeling in his "kishka" (gut) that something is amiss. VERDICT Coleman gives Moe an absorbing send-off in this hard-boiled series finale. Although this title can stand alone, for maximum enjoyment the series' eight books should be read in order. As always, Moe is the everyman PI, waxing philosophical about life, love, and family. Fans of literary mysteries, private detectives, police procedurals, and nice guys will devour this book.—Edward Goldberg, Syosset P.L., NY
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