Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hose Monkey

Hose Monkey
Reed Farrel Coleman
Tony Spinosa
Tyrus Books
F + W Media, Inc.
Cincinnati, Ohio
ISBN: 1-932557-18-0
292 pages

"Setting things right is God's work and he seldom seems moved to do it."

Joe Serpe is a survivor.  He is an former NYPD detective who is still feeling the death of his brother.  His brother was one of the firemen who were evacuating the Twin Towers on September 11th.  Joe still feels the loss.  This is survivor's guilt.  He just cannot successfully continue with life as it was proceeding.  Being a policeman reminds him of his brother. 

Now he works as a driver of a heating-oil truck.   It is seasonal work that can often be stressful collecting payment for the heating-oil and frequently having to drive in icy conditions.

One of Serpe's co-workers is found dead.   This employee had idolized Joe.   The unfortunate victim had been developmentally and mentally challenged.  Realizing that he was a role model brings back memories and thoughts of his brother.  Did Joe accidentally set-up the unfortunate victim?

Joe begins to use his old investigative skills along with his old enemy from Internal Affairs, Bob Healy.  The two team up to discover what really happened to the hose monkey.

Bob has issues that continue to haunt him from the past.  He knows that he owes Joe.

The guilt the two of them carry brings a humanistic and realistic feel.   During the investigation, the two have an array of suspects from the Russian mob to anti-immigration activists.

The characterization in Hose Monkey is outstanding.  You know the characters, understand their motives and their flaws.  Even though the reader might not always like Joe, you empathize with him. You see this story through Joe's eyes.

Reed Farrel Coleman has been called a "noir poet laureate" by NPR's Maureen Corrigan.  Having written over twenty novels, he has won numerous awards including the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel three times, an Edward nominee also three times, and has won an Audie, Macavity, Barry and Anthony.   Coleman also is an English instructor at Hofstra University.

Hose Monkey is the first installment in a new series featuring Joe Serpe under the pen-name of Tony Spinnosa who really is Reed Farrel Coleman.

Hose Monkey is violent.  However the stylistic writing is addictive creating a memorable tale.   The pages seem to fly as you read faster and faster until the last page.

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