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review 2020-06-22 15:34
Still Waters
Still Waters - Tami Hoag

Well I finally finished one of the books that I bought a few months ago when I went to The Book Thing in Baltimore. I would have posted updates here, but BL was acting funky and I wasn't in the mood. Onto the book review!

Well this wasn't my favorite Tami Hoag. Probably because I hated the male lead (Dane) in this one. Going through a bad divorce years earlier and deciding the female lead (Elizabeth) must be a gold digger and only want one thing from men was gross. The murder mystery seemed to be getting overlooked a lot I thought in order for them to spar and then of course they end up in bed. Also the character development of both Dane and Elizabeth was poor. And Hoag for some bizarre reason kept having Elizabeth run around talking like a cliche since she was from Texas. When we get the reveal of who murdered the town's bully and overall scumbag I went really? Not a very good showing of Hoag's writing skills I thought.


"Still Waters" follows divorcee Elizabeth who has moved from Texas to Minnesota to start over again. Her teenage son and her are looking for a fresh start after the tabloid press hounded Elizabeth out of town. Elizabeth now runs the local paper and is hoping that she can eventually get her house together and grow closer to her son. After dealing with a car mishap, Elizabeth goes for help at a nearby construction site. Once there she finds Jarrold Jarvis who had his throat slashed and was left in his car. The town sheriff, Dane, is a local boy who made it to the NFL but then had to return home again. He finds himself angry and distrustful of women and reporters so as far as he is concerned Elizabeth isn't someone that can be trusted and he decides that she must know more than she is telling. When attacks ramp up and the guilty party that everyone thinks did it turns up dead, the town of Still Creek is left wondering if the person who murdered Jarrold is one of them.


I can't say much besides Elizabeth being a reporter made zero sense with her background. She got a divorce settlement, but deciding to move to Minnesota to buy a paper made zero sense to me. It didn't help that we didn't really see her off there reporting or anything. 

Dane was terrible. He pretty much decides after a while that he and Elizabeth are going to have sex with each other and this is after he's pretty awful to her for the first half of the book.


Both leads have teens who have more sense than their parents.

The other characters in this one are not given much to do. The book just flips flops between people and you keep forgetting that there's a murder to solve. There's even an Amish carpenter in this one and I have to say that there's no way any Amish person would work for the "English" so that whole thing kept taking me out of the book.

The writing was okay but the flow was pretty bad. I think after a while the book was just spinning it's wheels. 


The ending was a letdown. We find out who did it, but it didn't make much sense to me and I have to say that the book left some plot holes open that I don't even want to know they would get addressed. 

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review 2020-01-02 18:46
The Boy
The Boy - Tami Hoag

Trigger warning: Sexual assault of minor, domestic violence, suicide attempts


"The Boy" is the second book in Tami Hoag's Broussard and Fourcade series. The twosome are now happily (okay somewhat happily) married for several years and their young son. They are dealing with upheaveal in their department with a new sheriff in charge who wants things done his way.  Detective Nick Fourcade is dealing with fall-out of not being able to close a case which involved an autistic young girl being molested and raped. Detective Annie Broussard is dealing with stress from her aunt having a stroke and feeling pulled from being there as much as she would like with her son. When a murder case is called in that involves a young boy found murdered and his mother taken to the hospital after being beaten and stabbed, Nick and Annie worry that the perpetrator is not finished yet. 


I still have Tami Hoag as one of my favorite mystery/thriller writers out there. I wish she do another Kovac and Liska book, but this one can keep me content for now. My main problem I had were the concidences that tied up the whole book in the end. Other than that I was fascinated by this book and think that it was very strong. The first book in this series didn't impress me much, this one though was so so good. 


Nick is still somewhat of an ass. However, you get to see more depth in him in this one. He is pushing back against a new boss who doesn't seem to care about victims, but how much social media press he gets. Annie feels emotionally distant from him right now and he's the primary on the case involving the dead boy. One thing I liked about Nick from before is that he's really good. He begins to dig, and dig and eventually starts putting some things together. I liked how Hoag lays things out via this character.

Annie does well in this one and you get to see how she handles talking to victims and suspects alike. Though less ready to push back at some of her police colleagues, she realizes the new sheriff isn't the best either. Her and Nick both are more involved in this case due to them thinking of their son and what they would do if someone would harm him.

Hoag also jumps around via different POVs in this one. We get POVs of the new sheriff, a woman in an abusive relationship, a young boy, and the dead boy's mother. I did like the reveals we get along the way. 


The writing in this one is very tight and I thought the flow was good.

The setting of the last book really incorporates the looks/feels/ of Louisiana. I think this one did at times, and other times did not. 


The ending as I already said was too many coincidences to be believed, but I was ultimately satisfied when I finished this one. 

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review 2018-05-17 21:24
Guilty as Sin (Deer Lake #2)
Guilty as Sin - Tami Hoag

I really didn't like this one. I had vague memories of reading book #1, so maybe it's my own fault for not re-reading that one first to go into this one fresh. Honestly though, I don't think it would have helped. The characters didn't grab me and the plot seemed nonsensical after a while. We eventually sputter to an ending. 


The main character (if you can call her that since you get many POVs in this one) is prosecutor Ellen North. Ellen is trying a local professor in good standing in the community with a kidnapping and possible murder of a young boy (Josh Kirkwood). With her boss ready to throw her under the bus at any moment, Ellen is walking a tightrope when the young boy suddenly reappears and refuses to speak about what happened to him. 


We not only follow Ellen, we follow a true crime novelist (Jay Brooks) along with the young boy, his mother, his father, one of the neighbors, the local sheriff, and I know I am forgetting some people. There are too many characters to juggle in this one. It needed cut down a lot.


I personally didn't like the character of Jay at all and thought he was creepy/stalking Ellen. 


I didn't feel one way or the other for Ellen. 


The other characters just pop in and out of the story throughout. I think I was supposed to be on pins and needles about what happened with everyone, but think that Hoag left way too many things up in the air regarding the personal relationships that may have drawn people in via book #1. 


The whole mystery of what happened to Josh Kirkwood and why took way too long to get to. I found myself getting bored along the way. When things are finally revealed I maybe just went "huh" rather than even trying to work out all of the plot holes I had with the book as written. 

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review 2018-05-07 15:48
Almost Perfect Third Book in Kovac and Liska Series
Prior Bad Acts - Tami Hoag

I really enjoyed the third book in the Kovac and Liska series. We have Kovac and Liska involved in a case that involves a judge (Judge Carey Moore) that is attacked after giving out a controversial ruling related to a defendant's prior bad acts not being allowed to be introduced to a jury when he goes on trial for the murder of woman and her two foster kids.

Kovac is at first not looking forward to the assignment. He doesn't care for Judge Moore now that she is a judge. When she was a prosecutor many in the police force liked her. They thought they had a shoo-in now when they brought defendants to appear before her. She quickly disabused them of that notion by not showing favoritism to the prosecutor or defendant. I do love how for Kovac that is a betrayal. He ends up liking Carey though when he sees how she is with her daughter and he realizes that something is up with her marriage.

Liska is still dealing with juggling her job and her personal life. Being a mother to two boys with an absent ex, Liska keeps wondering is it fair to still do homicides and not switch to something that will keep her at home more. 


Honestly the partnership between Kovac and Liska is what keeps me reading this series. They get each other and the other detectives in homicide run together like a very well tuned machine. 

For the first time ever though we get to see a slightly out of control Kovac in this one. He is very focused on Judge Moore's husband and you start to see that Kovac may be dealing with a bit of a "crush" for her despite how he first felt about her. 


I do think that the secondary characters were developed very well. We have the man that many want to see dead for murder (Karl Dahl) we also have Kovac unraveling key players involved with Moore's husband. And we have a detective who had to walk through the house and find three dead people who now haunt him who is focused on getting justice. And we also get a very quick appearance by Kate Quinn (formerly Conlan) who we now assume is married to John Quinn based on what Kovac reveals.  


The writing was great and so was the flow. 

The main reason why I didn't give this five stars though is that there was still the unanswered question related to Judge Moore's husband. It is just left dangling. I purposely re-read "The 9th Girl" after this and it does reference this book/case and Judge Moore so that was nice. I just wish that Hoag had wrapped up all loose ends in this one. 

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review 2018-04-24 17:55
Great Book Featuring Kovac and Liska
Dust to Dust - Tami Hoag

Though I know that Hoag has "Ashes to Ashes" as the first Kovac and Liska book. I always thought "Dust to Dust" was the first book in the series. Mainly because we get Kovac and Liska's third person POVs in this one and the last book really focused on John Quinn and Kate Conlan. "Dust to Dust' has Kovac and Liska investigated the death of an IAB officer with ties to a legendary police officer. Though ruled a suicide, both Kovac and Liska believe the officer was murdered. There are ties to an older homicide from decades ago.


I love Kovac and Liska. They bounce off each other very well and you can see why they work as partners.

Kovac is twice divorced though at his heart he does want to be with someone. We see him starting to click with a lieutenant in IA. This is also the beginning of the Christmas light wars he has with his next door neighbor. I don't know why that whole thing tickles me, but it does. Kovac makes mention of Kate Conlan from book #1, and even goes and sees her and John Quinn (now together and happy). Even though Kovac would love nothing more to ignore the calls from the top to close the current case they are working, he and Liska still push ahead. 


Liska is a divorced mother of two still hung up on her ex. You get to see her trying to juggle being a detective along with being there for her two boys. It's nice to see a female homicide detective who is apparently well liked be her colleagues and very good at her job. 


We get some great secondary characters that I can't say too much about. I really enjoyed Amanda Savard (the lieutenant from IAB) as well as callbacks to book number one. 

I thought the writing was very solid. The current case ties into at least two other side plots, but I found that everything works. 

The setting of Minneapolis always makes me think of winter. I have no idea why. Probably because most of Hoag's books seem to take place during the fall/winter. 


The ending was a gut punch to me. I didn't see the events coming and all I could think was if only at the end. 

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