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.
I read this book then went on to order the other 2 in the series because Tami Hoag isn't known for doing a series of books even though I consider her a really enjoyable writer. I instantly fell in love with her characters and this book is told a good chunk by a young boy named Tommy Crane. Details over families who look like they have it all but have some very disturbing secrets and families who make you grateful for your own. Lots of people to like in this novel and others you love to hate makes the town of Oak Knoll a quiet setting for some twisty plots. Read the series it's really good.
Found this book for a steal at the thrift shop without every hearing about it, just seems interesting by the title. Overall I REALLY enjoyed this book! There are so many odd/suspicious charades that every time I thought I had the killer figured out, another crazy thing happened to make me rethink my certainty.. Really well written, couldn't put it down..
Another great book from Hoag! The setting is in the early 80's, when DNA technology was still being discovered and fingerprints were compared by the human eye. It is wonder any criminals were ever caught! I gained a new appreciation for our current crime scene technology, especially the ease of checking something as simple as fingerprints, or looking up criminal histories through NCIC. The story was believable, the characters are engaging, especially the children, who were the real victims of it all.
Tami Hoag is one of my favorite authors. Her writings are suspensful, indepth mysteries that leave you not wanting to put the book down until it is finished. Deeper Than Dead is not an exception to this. The characters are rich, the plot is well written and with just the right amount of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. Another Tami Hoag winner!
I haven't read a book by Tami Hoag in quite a long time, but this one was passed on to me by a friend and I thought I'd give it a try. I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Plausible storyline, interesting characters, well written, with plenty of twists and turns. If your reading preferences are murder and suspense, this one would be quite worth your while.
Initially, I contemplated giving up on this book as parts of the story seemed to drag and come to a near standstill as the story seemed to focus on minor supporting characters. Im glad I stayed with it as the author was able to bring these characters more into the spotlight so that I could see how integral to the story they were. Though my suspicions about the identity of the See No Evil killer proved to be accurate, I was not anticipating several other events involving other characters that were a surprise and disturbing in their level of the sinister and macabre. The story takes place in the early 80s when DNA testing is not as common or widely used as it is now. The town soon realizes there is a serial killer loose when it is discovered that another woman has gone missing.
At the center of the story is elementary school teacher, Anne Navarre, who is trying to make sense of the grisly discovery by some of her students of a dead woman. I liked this character. She cares deeply for her students and is very protective of them. We also learn that Anne is living with and caring for her elderly father, a very mean spirited and hateful man. Fortunately, she doesnt take his crap and is willing to put him in his place when he becomes verbally abusive. Tony Mendez is one of the sheriffs deputies working the case along with the help of Vince Leone, an FBI agent who specializes in profiling. We also get to see more into the lives of the children, Tommy, Wendy and Dennis. No story would be complete without the addition of detestable characters and this one delivers. I couldnt stand Tommys mother and Denniss father.
Though this story dragged in part for me, I am glad I stuck with it because once it kicked into gear, I couldnt put it down.
3.5 stars for this uneven thriller..., June 21, 2010
By Denise "DC" (Missouri, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Deeper Than the Dead (Hardcover)
I don't expect to read about 1980s police procedures when buying a new book so the fact that Deeper Than the Dead was set in this time frame was a bit disconcerting. In the end, however, the time setting didn't make that much difference in my overall impression of the book.
The story moves at a fairly fast pace and the red herrings thrown out to make the reader think that first one, and then another man is the murderer are planted fairly well and kept me wondering throughout the novel. The story involves 3 major families (one reviewer says 4 but the Cody Roache family isn't really a contender)whose patriarch might possibly be the heinous killer. In addition, the narrative introduces us to an embattled FBI agent working off the clock, Vince Leone, who was shot in the head with a 22-caliber pistol and survived as the male romantic interest, and the teacher of the fifth grade students who are at the center of the drama, Anne Navarre. I found this 28-year-old teacher to be somewhat annoying and a little too perfect and interfering in the investigation. The romance that evolves is entirely predictable and again, irritating but I understand that the author is writing romantic suspense so had to deal with this aspect to please fans of that genre.
Things that annoyed me: many loose ends in the story. There are several pieces that aren't explained and are just dangling. We don't find out the outcome or identify of one major dead person and I don't like it when authors don't provide details for certain threads. We have no idea of why the killer became the way he did or why he selected the victims he chose. I like a lot more psychological probing than Tami Hoag did with this novel. I have read all her other books, some are better than others, but this one was a bit on the lite side in terms of delving into the mind of a serial killer. If the main character was supposed to be an FBI profiler, I expected more detail about background and motive.
Things I liked: fast, interesting and definitely a new twist with part of the focus being on how bad parents affect children! They are definitely able to see and hear what goes on in their homes and often are much wiser about the way things stand than parents ever suspect.
Recommend if you're looking for a quick read and don't expect too much science or pathology-psychology!
Great book! I've read over a dozen Hoag novels and have to admit that this is now one of my favorites. The story is fast paced and hard to put down. I found myself guessing who the killer was and changing my answer a couple of times before the end. I am curious to see if Ms. Hoag is setting us up for a reoccurring character in Mendez. I also like that it is based in 1985 so the next time we meet these characters we get to see what happens to them. maybe she'll move to the present, or maybe 1999. Wouldn't that be fun?
California, 1985 - Four children - running through the woods behind their middle school - literally stumble upon a gruesome discovery. Partially buried in a shallow grave and covered by wet leaves is the body of a young woman, her eyes and mouth glued shut. Close behind the children is their teacher, Anne Navarre, shocked by this discovery and heartbroken for her students as she witnesses the end of their innocence. What she doesn't realize is that this discovery will also effectively mark the end of innocence for the entire community of Oak Knoll, as the ties that bind both friends and families are tested by the secrets uncovered in the wake of an apparent serial killer's escalating activity.
FBI investigator Vince Leone, fresh from a law enforcement course at FBI headquarters, is tasked with interpreting those recently revealed secrets. He's using a new technique known as profiling - to develop a theory of the case; a strategy that pulls him ever deeper into the lives of the four children, and brings him closer to the young teacher whose own interest in recent events becomes as intense as his own.
As each new victim is found and the media scrutiny of the investigation intensifies around them, both Investigator Leone and Ms. Navarre wonder if those who suffer the most are the victims themselves - or the family and friends of the killer, blissfully unaware that someone very close to them is actually a cunning, calculating psychopath; capable of such horrific brutality.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The plot was very exciting and dramatic; jam-packed with action, and filled with enough twists and turns to grab my attention right from the beginning. I was completely engrossed by the story and found that it just wouldn't let me go.
Despite having one or two books by Tami Hoag on my bookshelf already - although I don't think I could tell you where either book actually is at the moment - Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag is the first book that I've read by this author. I would give Deeper Than the Dead a definite A+! and will certainly keep my eyes open for more thrillers by Ms. Hoag to read in the future.
This was my first Tami Hoag book. I started this book with the expectation that it would be good after reading previous reviews. The reviews did not do thus book justice. Excellent edge of your seat reading. It is the first book in a long while that I could not walk away from. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a book that will keep you guessing and at times hoping you are not correct. It does have some pretty graphic material included in the description of the crime scenes. For me it only added to the drama! Great book.
Spellbinding. Set back before the development of modern forensic science it is a book laced with well developed characters and some truly depraved individuals. An interesting look at the adaptability of an experienced serial killer and the making of another. I love the origin of the title of the book, which I will leave off for you to discover too.
If I was not already a Tami Hoag fan, I would be after reading this book.
Overall, I thought this was a really great thriller that kept me turning the pages. The novel was set in 1985 before the days of DNA identification, wide-spread use of data analysis, and cell phones. The story is about a serial murderer who glues his victims eyes and mouth shut, deafens them, and then systematically tortures and kills them, leaving the bodies for discovery. The story starts out with one of these bodies being discovered by a group of children who turn out to be the focus of the novel along with their dysfunctional families. As I said, this was a real page-turner; however, I had a good idea who the killer was from the very first few pages. Also another killer was brought into the story and the novel did not really resolve why or who he had killed...this seemed like a major loose end. This is the first Hoag thriller I have read and I intend to read more based on this one with an overall strong recommendation.
This was a great book. I loved how she kept me guessing who the killer was. I ended up changing my answer several times. It has been awhile since I've found a book that stands out, was well written and was based in the eighties. All I can say is wow.
Set in the 1980's when 'profiling' was in the beginning stages,Vince Leone goes to this town to help to catch the killer and soon finds himself falling for the teacher, fighting the fact that he still has a bullet in his head he still wants love and a life with the woman he has fallen in love with. The children that find the body soon have to deal with new issues within their own families.
Hoag does her usual good job with this thriller set in an affluent Los Angeles suburb where four children stumble over the partially-buried body of a vicious serial killer's latest victim. The suspects quickly assemble, and the careful reader may finger the correct one early on, but there's enough doubt and guilt floating around this deceptively quiet community to keep things uncertain right up to the last minute.
Finally a book that is great start to finish, for me it seems hard to find these days!!! I love this book because when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it and was wishing I could get back to it!!!! to me, that is how a book is suppose to be.....on to book 2!!!!