ALIBI MAN (Unlicensed Investigator-Florida-Cont) – VG
Hoag, Tami – 2nd in series
Bantam, 2007 – US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780553802016

First Sentence: She floated on the face of the pool like an exotic water lily.

Elena Estes is a former homicide investigator now living and working at the stable yard of her best friend, Sean. Although she could cope with the unexpected bolting of the horse she was riding, she hadn’t expected having to deal with finding the dead and alligator mutilated body of Irina, Sean’s stable hand. Things go from bad to worse as the murder brings Elena back into the circle of the Palm Beach elite members of the Alibi Club, men who will protect each other no matter what. Among the members is Elena’s former fiancée Barrett Walker, who tried to use Elena as an alibi after he raped and murdered a girl, and Elena’s prosecutor father, who got Barrett off.

Elena is a smart woman whom life has taught to be tough. But that doesn’t leave her without feelings. She is a character with whom one can identify and about whom one can care. It those feeling that really drew me into this book. I also liked that she didn’t let her anger overcome her desire to find out the true facts of Irina’s death. In addition to creating a great character, Hoag really understands sense of place, believable dialogue and knows how to create tension and suspense. She also knows how to provide a very satisfying, albeit sad, twist at the end. Ms. Hoag delivers another very good book.

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