Tami Hoag is in a class by herself, beloved by readers and critic s alike, with more than 22 million copies of her books in print. With Hoag's first novel for Dutton, she proves anew why the Chicago Tribune called her "one of the most intense suspense writers around."
California, 1984. Three children, running in the woods behind their school, stumble upon a partially buried female body, eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn't yet realize is that this will mark the end of innocence for an entire community, as the ties that bind families and friends are tested by secrets uncovered in the wake of a serial killer's escalating activity.
Detective Tony Mendez, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is charged with interpreting those now revealed secrets. He's using a new technique-profiling-to develop a theory of the case, a strategy that pushes him ever deeper into the lives of the three children, and closer to the young teacher whose interest in recent events becomes as intense as his own.
As new victims are found and the media scrutiny of the investigation bears down on them, both Mendez and Navarre are unsure if those who suffer most are the victims themselves-or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is a brutal, calculating psychopath.
©2009 Tami Hoag; (P)2009 Random House
“Bestseller Hoag (Kill the Messenger) ventures into serial killer territory with results sure to please her many fans.” (Publishers Weekly)
Yes. Good mix of mystery, action and drama.
Yes. I really did not know who was the bad guy until the very end.
She develops the characters in her own way with her tones and inflections placed just so.
I did laugh out loud a couple of times which is nice when the content is so serious much of the time.
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
A little gruesome, typical serial killer fare, but still entertaining. A nice feel for what police had to utilize before they had all the forensics in use now.
Publisher's summary let you know it wasn't going to be just allusions to horror, they do get detailed.
Enjoyable listen if a bit disturbing.
I would recommend this book - I couldn't stop listening.
There is nothing quite like it. The story twists and turns and keeps you guessing at every moment.
Kristen is great at bringing each of the characters alive an making them unique
Several moments moved me however the teacher and her love for the children was remarkable.
Tell us about yourself! I have always ben an avid reader, but my eyesight isn't what it used to be. The iPod and audible been a blessing.
Great research, Good Plot Good character developement.
When Ann Found the necklace in the box she got as a gift at the pizza place and figured out what was up when the boys father asked for it back.
Both. But it also gave me the benefit of what solid profiling colud accomplish
I would love to see another book in the Oak Knoll series. It has to have at least Ann, Vince, Frannie and the regular cast of detectives.
Scary suspense. Well done story telling. Good character development. I liked interactions and conversations. The last hour was edge of your seat. There is an enjoyable romance, but it’s a minor part of the story. Anne’s friend Franny was very entertaining.
CAUTION FOR SENSITIVE READERS:
Violence and torture. The serial killer glues the eyes and mouth shut, destroys the ear drums, and tortures with a knife. There was not a lot of detail, but those ideas stayed with me more than I wanted. One expert said “The strength of your villain is the strength of your story.” Well this villain was very bad. It’s good to have bad villains. I don’t want to fault the author over this, but this one depressed me more than others.
Several children suffered, but I hurt the most for two of them - permanent damage by their parents. A significant part of the story was showing troubled marriages with different problems. One was a physically abusive father. Another was a narcissistic mother. I shudder at things done by both of them.
I was happy toward the end with what happened to the killer. But I was angry with the author in the last few pages. She introduced a second bad person holding evidence from the victims and did not explain it. I had no idea how this person was connected to the crimes. It was an open ending. The book was not finished. I don’t know why authors do this. It makes me frustrated and angry. According to other reviewers these questions were not answered in the sequel.
A couple things were missing that I wanted to know. How did the killer get glue in the eyes without the victim seeing him before he did it? Where did he keep the victims?
The narrator was good except for her voice for Vince who was a former Chicago cop. The narrator used an east coast accent for him, part Boston, part Brooklyn. It was nothing like Chicago. One example of a Chicago accent is Dennis Farina, a Chicago cop turned actor.
Genre: mystery suspense
I haven't read much from this author in a long while so I thought I would start back up with this book and I wasn't let down it was really good, it kept me listening.
If you listen carefully to how the FBI profiler describes the serial killer--which is repeated several times in the book-- there's only one character who fits the description. I kept thinking there would be some twist at the end, but there wasn't. Agree with other comments that the book overdoes the "too bad we don't have DNA testing yet" kind of theme. And every single character has some sort of tragedy in their background. However, the narrator was terrific (never heard her before), so it was a fun listen. But not great plotting.
Yes, it was a good yarn.
This is my second book of hers and it is good. It grabs you, with children involved in the whole mystery. The best part is the romance. It is secondary to the murder mystery but it was essential.
The narration was done well. She did all the characters well. It flowed because of the narration.
The strength of the kids facing serial killers. They daily for a week have to deal with the thoughts did their dad do the murders combined with family issues and bulling from school kids and parents dysfunctions.
I would recommend this book.
Other Tami Hoag fans might think this book was great.
I usually enjoy Tami Hoag when I want a great potato chip read (little literary value, just fun). This one missed the mark.
I had it solved within pages of meeting the guilty party. That always creates a sense of disappointment for me. I was sad!
I'm listening to both James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. So far they're both great.
None, I guess Anne was okay. I do usually enjoy Kirsten Potter though. I'll find another novel she reads and try again.
Most of them. Vince, the haggard FBI guy, was just too much, too flawed, too perfect, too smart, too typical. Not believable.
I won't give up on Tami Hoag. You just can't win them all.
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