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)
This was a good mystery, although many of the characters were a little extreme. Hard to explain what I mean by that, but everyone seemed to be an extreme version of what type of person they were supposed to be, if that makes sense. Also, I have to wonder about the author - what kind of person can dream up the horrific thing this serial killer did to his victims??? I found that quite disturbing. The other con was the ending wasn't entirely satisfying to me. However, all in all it was an interesting mystery story.
I've been fascinated by psychological profiling since I was a teenager and John Douglas published his book Mind Hunter. From that angle it was an interesting story about the beginnings of a serial killer and the way that profiling can help see past the facade of a person or situation. Admittedly, profiling takes a back seat to the character-driven plot in this story. It's an interesting retrospective on the difficulty of solving violent crimes without key technology like DNA analysis since it takes place in the '80s. At first the main characters of the story left me wondering what they really had to do with anything. Hoag does tie everything in nicely at the end concerning the seemingly disparate characters, but I found myself disappointed in the ending. I was hoping that there would be a plot twist at some point that would throw me off guard somehow; that profiling would lead to a person I wouldn't have suspected. I was wrong. An attempt at a twist was present, but it was not convincing enough to throw me. I'm sure everyone won't feel this way. I've read and seen a lot of stories about crime, murder mysteries and serial killers so you'd really have to pull out all the stops to surprise me. Overall, it was a good story, I was just hoping for something unexpected.
I thought Kirsten Potter did a very good job of narrating. Her voice is pleasant and she has a smooth delivery. I would listen to other books by her which is a very positive endorsement. There are some books I won't listen to because of the reader; she is definitely not one of them!
Lots of suspense! Maybe a little easy to figure the plot but still filled with surprises. I'll listen to it again.
West Sunbury, Pa.
I would have loved this series of books if not for the foul language. All the books were a surprise to the very end. Cut out the f word, and you would cut at least 15 minutes off the time for the 3 books.
I will not listen to any more books by Tami Hoag because I am sure if these 3 talked like this, the others will follow a similar pattern.
I am sorry for the down review, but this is the way I feel.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
I won't postpone dinner for just any book, but I was too jumpy to find out what happens to stop! Loved that: 1) The 80's were a mitigating factor in the story, 2) the characters were true to their traits, and 3) NOT taking the easy way out to make the story tidy. My only criticism was the romance aspect of the story was forced and hard to believe. Really could have done without that part - - but the brilliant and well-rounded characters of the children made up for it. Narrator is also first rate. Can't wait for part two!!
The reader's various "voices" were horrible. Like my drunk uncle attempting to do impressions at thanksgiving dinner.
Yes, certainly Tami Hoag's. I will never be reading/listening to another one of her books again. I really enjoy the mystery genre but this was painful.
The characters were complete superficial stereotypes. They had little to no depth at all. The Francis character was the most insulting part of the book. The author turned what could have been an interesting addition to the cast of characters and made him into a horrific and insulting gay caricature. I mean I cringed whenever his character was in a scene because it was so insulting. Also, as someone who has worked with kids all their life, clearly the author did zero research on how 10-11 year olds behavior, think or talk. She made them out to be 6 year olds. Which could have been fine but then make them that or actually DO research. Maybe even have a conversation with a 10 year old. This made the story even more unbelievable.
And what should have been the most interesting part of the book; the "WHY" the killer did what they did, was barely touched on. That is the most interesting part, the back story. The diving into the psyche which with all the talk of profiling I assumed was going to be part of the finale. UGGGGGGG I HATED IT.
I certainly would. I purchased this book because it was on sale but I got a great surprise & will be listening to the entire series.
None that I can recall
IDK. Too many to name.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
If I could, I would have given this book minus ratings. If I dislike a book this much, I usually just either return it or decide not to review. But this time I think I should warn serious readers of psychological thrillers, dark mysteries, or romantic fiction.
The characters here are mere stereotypical ciphers, the dialog is trite and hokey. I could not believe that a woman writer could present women in such a way: there's the nagging scold, the grasping and icy social climber, the cowering battered wife - all without a trace of subtlety or insight. Men are manly men, total abusers, or not very interesting. And, heaven help us, there's even the chattering, gossipy, one-of-the-girls gay man! Seriously?
Add to this a nearly sickening and exploitative degree of graphic violence against women, child abuse, and utterly unimaginative and gratuitous sex scenes.
Even the "mystery" isn't all that good. It doesn't come as any surprise at all who the villain is.
Waste of time, money and/or credit. Skip it!
There was so much going on within this story that I felt I was watching a SOAP OPERA. It was ridiculous after a while. I also hated the way that the teacher, Anne Navarre, was so sweet and the perfect teacher, but then turned into a different, mean personality when she went home to be with her father.
I am amazed to see how many people loved this book. Definitely not my favorite at all. I am sure I will not continue with the series.
I also did not particularly like the narration by Kirsten Potter either. I hated the accent she did for the character Vince.
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