I have read many books by this authoress, my favourite being Dark Horse. I faithfully get each new book since that one eager to submerge myself in another intense thriller, with clever, creative and detailed plots as well as an offbeat romance somewhere in the background. This one is another one to enjoy. It started off slowly, with sparse information on the protagonists in short chapters, but this was just a ploy to build the suspense and seed the imagination and keep the pages turning right to the surprizing end.
Our heroine Anne Navarre, is a naive school teacher. She has failed to pick up intense unhappiness in several of her pupils prior to their discovering a corpse in this idyllic town, and through her subsequent interaction with them discovers their awful parents, and their awful home lives. She feels it is her responsibility to try to make everything better, and takes on a crusade to investigate the murder.
The story unfolds through the eyes of Anne and the four children who find the corpse. We meet her father, various professionals, police and detectives displaying all spectrums of boys club behaviour, with Vince being a kind of anti-hero, injured and shop-soiled. It is through his meeting with Anne that he makes a journey from Deeper than the Dead to deciding to settle down and retire in the town. Anne makes her journey from naivety through to a gutsy she-wolf performance protecting her young despite serious injury to herself.
I will not spoil the actual plot by detailing it here.
As a woman, Tami Hoag fills in all the details female readers crave and most male writers omit (ie nuances, descriptions of clothes, interiors of houses). It is this attention to detail that captivates the reader, and provides a deeply fulfilling read.
I usually find American authors difficult to read through their awkward use of grammar and terminology, but found nothing here to interrupt my reading pleasure.
Well done Tami, another success to your CV.