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Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, Bk 1) (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Deeper Than the Dead - Oak Knoll, Bk 1 - Audio CD - Unabridged Author:Tami Hoag, Kirsten Potter (Narrator) When three children stumble on a shallow grave in 1984, an idyllic California community is rocked to its core. The victim is a young woman, her eyes and lips sealed closed, a blind and silent witness to an unspeakable crime. The third victim in two years’ time, it’s clear that a serial killer has come calling. — As a membe... more »r of the FBI’s fledgling criminal profiling unit, Special Agent Tony Mendez knows serial killers. It quickly becomes apparent that the See-No-Evil killer is no ordinary psychopath. The profile paints a portrait of a man easily trusted, well respected, and intelligent—a man no one would suspect.
Dr. Peter Crane fits the bill. A pillar of the community, he volunteers at a center for disadvantaged women—a center the victims had all attended. Crane is also a beloved husband and father to a ten-year-old son, Tommy, who was one of the three children to discover the grave. Needing insight into Peter Crane’s world, Mendez asks Anne Navarre, Tommy’s fifth-grade teacher, to find out what she can. It’s a request Anne finds both intriguing and unethical—much like Mendez himself.
Then a new victim leads to a different suspect—a man whose son was another of the three children to find the grave but a man whose position in the community is also above reproach, a sheriff’s deputy. As the connections between the two families become increasingly tangled, it seems clear that one of these children holds the key to a serial killer’s double life . . . and a revelation of evil so dark, so deep, no one may survive.
Having read the three books in the series backwards, culminating with Deeper Than the Dead, my impressions of this book are a little. . .tainted? The problem was that while it was easily as compelling as the other two, I kept trying to remember how the relationships, as introduced, evolved in later books. Easy enough to remember that Vince and Anne hook up, but I kept thinking that I should have known who the killer was. References are made in the other two books, as is what happens to the children. My mind kept trying to slot what happens eventually into what's happening in front of me. Distracting. Great book and series, though. No getting away from that. Highly recommended. So, too, is reading them in order, for reasons stated.
The first half of the book was just alright for me, but the last 150 pages or so were great! As an elementary school teacher, I identified with the Anne Navarre character. I found her relationships with and actions/reactions toward her students to be believable. I am usually able to spot the killer in a book without much effort, but this one took me longer. I liked that! I did eventually figure it out, but not long before it was revealed.