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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

“Bestseller Hoag (Kill the Messenger) ventures into serial killer territory with results sure to please her many fans.” (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

A pleasant surprise

I struggled for a long time when purchasing my last book, but finally decided on this one. I am glad that I chose this book because, not only was it an intriguing mystery, but it was also a critical look into the psychology of families and the impact their actions have on children. The whole premise of the novel from the description made it seem like it had nowhere to go but into nap time, but it kept me very involved. I had to put off a few things at the end because I could not wait to see what happened in the last 5 or 6 chapters. Also, the reader was excellent. A perfect choice for this particular novel. And since you usually figure out the end of novels like this well before the end, it was refreshing to be pretty surprised at the outcome. Lots of twists and turns and surprises all along the way to keep you fully involved.

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jess
  • Newbury Park, CA, USA
  • 02-05-10

Well written, well read

This book is will have you taking the long way home to spend more time listening. It is a bit graphic in parts and may give you nightmares but the story is so well-done, the suspense is amazing. Kirsten Potter's narration is outstanding and I am going to seek out her readings. She has a great talent. She even sounds sexy as the tough guy Chicago FBI agent!

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lori
  • Anchorage, AK, United States
  • 01-12-10

this who dunnit kept me guessing

An excellent read with a long suspect list, that kept me guessing on the bad guy's identify. It is amazing how one incident can affect so many lives, this story shows it.

I liked all the characters and loved the different written and verbal voices - credit goes to excellent narration by Kirsten Potter. Her rendition of Frannie was excellent and funny and she is just fabulous!!!! thanks Tami Hoag for a great read.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Nancy
  • Palmetto, FL, United States
  • 04-07-10

author has psychological insight

Very few authors understand the borderline/abusive wife/mother as well as the dynamics between an abusive husband and his wife. Tami Hoag presents both of these situations throughout this book and is right on. As a psychologist I commend this author for understanding and presenting these characters for the readers to understand.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Daisy 2
  • Corona, California
  • 01-07-10

Really got sucked in!

Had a hard time stopping my listen to work, go to bed, etc. Really enjoyed it.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Terrina
  • The Oaks, NSW, Australia
  • 02-07-10

I loved this book! Couldn't stop listening.

This is a great book. A real "page turner". It kept me listening into the wee hours of the morning and even made my housework enjoyable!
A superb narration from Kirsten Potter. Can't wait for the next book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Susan
  • Rock Hill, SC, United States
  • 01-12-10

Great book!

I really did enjoy this book. Couldn't wait to keep listening. I do think the character Anne N. was a little stiff and a little too perfect. But, ignoring that, I did enjoy the story.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joy
  • Spencer, IN, USA
  • 01-10-10

great characters

She does a great job of making you care about the people in the book: a nice variety of characters

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • 01-19-10

Excellent Read

Excellent read! If you liked Night Sins and Guilty as Sin this is a book for you to read. There really needs to be a sequel and I can't wait for it to come out

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

What a disappointment

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The reader's various "voices" were horrible. Like my drunk uncle attempting to do impressions at thanksgiving dinner.

Has Deeper Than the Dead turned you off from other books in this genre?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful