PRIOR BAD ACTS (Police Proc-Minneapolis, MN-Cont) – VG
Hoag, Tami – 3rd in series
Bantam, 2006- Amer Hardcover

When Judge Carey Moore refuses to allow the prior bad acts of Karl Dahl, accused of committing the brutal murder of a mother and two young children, she is vilified by the police and newspapers as being soft on killers. But someone is even more angry and severely beats her and later threatens her. Detective Sam Kovac is assigned to the case along with his partner Nikki Liska. They, too, think the judge’s ruling was wrong but the more they investigate the attack, the more layers to both Carey’s beating and the original murder.

Ms. Hoag really knows how to create great characters. They are fully dimensional, interesting and realistic. She also knows how to write effective, real sounding dialogue. She effectively balances suspense, human tragedy on all levels and humor. The plot was a bit obvious, although it did have some complexity and good twists, as was the building relationship, but it was a good enough read not to mind. This, as are all Ms. Hoag’s books, was solid, enjoyable, page-turning reading.

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