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Publisher's Summary

It was a crime so brutal, it changed the lives of even the most hardened homicide cops. The Haas family murders left a scar on the community nothing can erase, but everyone agrees that convicting the killer, Karl Dahl, is a start. Only Judge Carey Moore seems to be standing in the way. Her ruling that Dahl's prior criminal record is inadmissible raises a public outcry, and puts the judge in grave danger. When an unknown assailant attacks Judge Moore in a parking garage, two of Minneapolis' top cops are called upon to solve the crime and keep the judge from further harm.

Detective Sam Kovac is as hard-boiled as they come, and his wisecracking partner, Nikki Liska, isn't far behind. Neither one wants to be on this case, but when Karl Dahl escapes from custody, everything changes, and a seemingly straightforward case cartwheels out of control. The stakes go even higher when the judge is kidnapped, snatched out of her own bed even as the police sit outside, watching her house. Now Kovac and Liska must navigate through a maze of suspects that includes the stepson of a murder victim, a husband with a secret life, and a rogue cop looking for revenge where the justice system failed. With no time to spare, the detectives are pulled down a strange dark trail of smoke and mirrors, where no one is who they seem and everyone is guilty of Prior Bad Acts.

©2006 Tami Hoag; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The breathtaking plot twists are perfectly paced in this compulsive page-turner." (Publishers Weekly)
"A first-rate thriller with an ending that will knock your socks off." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    441
  • 4 Stars
    396
  • 3 Stars
    140
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    292
  • 4 Stars
    141
  • 3 Stars
    63
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    288
  • 4 Stars
    173
  • 3 Stars
    45
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • mary
  • VENTURA, CA, United States
  • 02-02-09

maybe a 3 1/2

This was a good book. I liked the main characters and their bantering back and forth. The story and the twists were good too. The narrator was too breathy when the characters were stressed. I don't remember him being this noticable in other readings.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Book/Poor Reader

I loved this book, but the reader is distracting with his unusual pauses, making every character sound a little cognitively deficient. Keep with Scott Brick for the next one.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Should have been a better listen

This is a good book from a good author but the breathy reading style of the narrator really detracted from the listening experiene.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ariane
  • Derwood, MD, USA
  • 03-14-08

A little too predictable

This was a pretty good book, in a pulp fiction kind of way but it was a bit too predictable and the characters were rather shallow and stereotypical: All the victims were women--all the women were victims, and the men were either psycopathic killers, cheating scumbags or emotionally stunted. I guess it would make a good movie for "Lifetime" TV

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • NJ, United States
  • 02-23-08

Disappointing

This book starts out great with a creepy crime, an interesting band of characters (both good and evil) and the typical hard-boiled detective, with a heart of gold. But about 2/3 of the way in, our detective and lead heroine turn into these mushy, sensitive alter-egos and it really just falls apart. The narration is ok, but gets a little touchy-feely too and lends to this feeling. It's as if the book starts out as "crime fiction" and finishes as "chick lit". I had a hard time finishing it, maybe more so because it started out so well.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Becky
  • Charlotte, NC, USA
  • 04-27-06

Good plot with interesting twists

I am a fan of Tami Hoag's. This is a good listen, but "The Messenger" gets a higher rating from me. The multiple plot twists kept me very interested and wanting to put the next CD in. Good character development, although it's hard to believe that the main character would be as naive as portrayed. I would recommend this title, but if you haven't listened to Hoag before, check out some of her previous work.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Patty
  • Minnesota
  • 04-21-06

Couldn't Turn it Off

I had trouble turning this off. This has to be one of Tami's best. It's twists and turns kept me going till the end! Great reader too - Really recommend this one!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jane
  • Kremmling, CO, USA
  • 04-27-06

GREAT read!

This is a book with many twists and turns, exciting plot, the solving of a brutal crime, and yet lightened by occasional humor. The narrator's voice for the "criminal" was excellent...the childlike quality and pace matched the character's stunted soul. For me, the conclusion seemed to drag out a little, but that's being a little nit-picky about a really great read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • adrienne
  • EAGLE RIVER, AK, United States
  • 12-21-14

Kovac and Liska plus murders and kidnap!

I was well into this listen when I suddenly realized that I "know" Kovac and Liska. This book has gruff Kovac in the thick of things and, in spite of his prior opinions, gets personally involved with one of the victims. Liska tries to keep him grounded and investigates other leads. There are several gruesome murders and even more possible perps. Sorting out who is guilty of what while trying to protect the victims keeps the story moving. I will definitely look for more Kovac and Liska books.

Holter Graham is one of the better narrators; something I take into consideration before buying an audiobook.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Superb Mystery Thriller

This was the first Tami Hoag novel I've listened to but it almost certainly won't be the last. The story kept me interested from the first chapter to the very end.

The characters in the book are developed well and the authors style of telling the story from each characters point of view provided excellent reading. The ending surprised me and as I thought several times through the book that I'd worked it out, just goes to show I'm not as good a detective as I thought. I was also pleased to hear some post stories to the main characters rather than the usual end of story anti-climax.

Holter Graham also did a superb job at narraton. A riveting read and well worth the download. Highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Mrs. REP
  • 07-02-08

Really good thriller.

Edge of your seat stuff.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful