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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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text 2018-04-22 16:13
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Dust to Dust - Tami Hoag

This book was so good! Kovac and Liska are the best. The ending shocked me. Can’t wait to read book number three. It’s been years since I read the start of this series, so happy to be revisiting.

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text 2018-04-21 03:59
Reading progress update: I've read 80%.
Dust to Dust - Tami Hoag

Almost done and loving the second book in this series! Kovac and Liska really are great partners. When an IA cop ends up dead though everyone says it’s auicide, they both think otherwise. It seems linked to events from 20 years ago.

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