14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2007
Although nothing amazing, this was a good, reliable crime novel. I have been disappointed with Tami Hoag's previous crime novels, and so was slightly reluctant in picking this up and giving it a go. I'm glad I did. It was compelling and page-turning (if you can stand the cheesy American trash talk!)and the plot was interesting, with two different crimes being intertwined. Hoag doesnt make it overly complex or confusing, so its an easy story to follow.
This is definitely one of those crime books that you can pick up when you're in the mood for something pacy and escapist. I'll probably be reading more of Hoag's books now having read this one.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2011
Although I love this book I didn't really want to read it twice!! I bought this book before and it was titled Prior Bad Acts and now for some reason they changed the title (and haven't mentioned this anywhere in the book) to Dead Sky. I have emailed the publisher but still no response, very disappointed by this! Good book though....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2009
Once again Tami Hoag has given us a fast moving,must read the next page,crime thriller.The story starts with the brutal murder of a woman and her two foster children.A drifter by the name of Karl Dahl is arrested and it turns out he has previous convictions.Enter judge Moore she rules that Dahl's record is inadmissable in court.When the news hits the streets there are a few people upset to say the least.The outcome of her decission is that she is attacked in the underground car park which leads to the introduction of detective Sam Kovac and his partner Nikki Liska.Sam is an old fashioned cop and loves to stick his nose in where it is not wanted.Sam goes to the A & E to see the judge and takes her home.In due course Sam gets right up the nose of Mr Moore who we later find out is up to his neck in a nice little porno racket that he would prefer his wife didn't know about.(It's her that's paying for it).Hence suspect number 1 - the husband.The accused in the meantime has been in a prison fight and escapes from custody when being treated at hospital.Hence suspect number 2.The adopted older son of the murdered woman is at the same time reported for missing school at the time the judge was attacked.Hence suspect number 3.The husband of the dead woman is not to happy with the judge hence suspect number 4.A cop who took early retirement from the job is not happy about criminals getting off on technicalities and decides to do something about it -- suspect number 5.AS Sam and Nikki go about their investigation the judge is kidnapped from inside her house with a police guard outside.By this time Sam has grown fond of the judge and the race is now on to find her alive.A good detective story very fast moving and well worth a read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Judge Moore's decision to not allow Karl Dahl's previous convictions be mentioned in court sets off a string of violent events. Karl is on trial for the violent and sadistic murder of a foster mother and her two children; a crime that has the whole county baying for blood.
Needless to say, Carey Moore's decision results in an outpouring of emotion and on leaving the court she is assaulted in the car park. It is only her quick thinking that saves her life.
The detectives can understand why the judge may have been assaulted and are confronted with a range of potential suspects, including the judge's own husband.
This is a novel full of twists and turns and when Dahl escapes from hospital following an attack in the prison the body count starts to rise.
There are two crimes in the novel, the original murders and the judges assault, and the detectives have their work cut out to solve them both. The characters are fleshed out enough to make them interesting and there is enough background to flesh out the story without overpowering the thread of the investigation. The book is pretty fast paced and whilst it is quite easy to work out "who dunnit" early on' the writing is such as to keep you turning the page.
This was my first Tami Hoag and whilst not the best I have read it was an enjoyable murder mystery and I will be giving another of her books a go.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2007
It seems as if justice has, for once, been served on Judge Moore. After her controversial decision not to allow records of prior criminal acts to be admissible in a multiple murder trial, there would have to be more than one person out there who had reason to do the judge serious harm. Carey Moore is delivered a savage beating in the car park across from her office and becomes what she often sees on the other side of the bench, a frightened and angry victim. Detectives Sam Kovac and NIkki Liska (first introduced in Hoag's ASHES TO ASHES, released in 1999) are assigned to protect the cowed Judge and her family as the media runs with the very newsworthy story, swiftly making camp on the Judge's immaculate front lawn before she even returns from the hospital. The Haas murders were the worst ever encountered by the Hennipin Police Department and haven't been forgotten by a grieving community either, eager to see the accused Karl Dahl punished for taking the life of a mother and those of her two foster children.
Sam Kovac can understand why someone would have it in for the judge, whilst never forgetting what his job of protecting one of the senior members of the judiciary entails. Never one to hide from his professional responsibility, Kovac ignores criticism of his tactics and takes the investigation right back to the home, invading the Judge's personal life to the point where the two begin to form a bond. It is unbelievable to him when the Judge is kidnapped from her home with a police presence outside, and even more unbelievable that the accused Dahl also manages to escape during a prison transfer. With so much ground to cover, literally and otherwise, Kovac and Liska must go separate ways, reopening old wounds for the surviving family and the former detective who had hung his whole career on this one murder case. With three possible suspects sharing equal space in Kovac's sights, the detective must make a fast choice of which to pursue in order to save Carey Moore's life.
The Kovac and Liska novels, three to date, are the edgiest of author Tami Hoag's collected works. There are many reasons to read the work of this author who can deliver the goods across many genres; romantic fiction, romantic suspense and crime/American police procedurals. The character of Sam Kovac is quite irresistible and makes a welcome return in DEAD SKY, a multi-perspective novel that has enough of a window with each viewpoint to tease the reader into musing who it is that is harbouring the greatest grudge. The dialogue between the two detectives, and between all of the police, is a definite plus to lighten up what could be otherwise be a heavy emotional load with all the death and vengeance that is doled out over the pages.
Hoag definitely has the gift of making much with simple description and does not allow either action or the internal monologues in each scene to dominate, always presenting the tableaux for reader supposition. Fast and entertaining, DEAD SKY will not likely present much of a challenge in the whodunit stakes, but as there is a secondary crime in addition to the murders Hoag has kept all detail relevant and wasted little with both cases being, as they always are in mystery reads, intertwined.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Tami Hoag's novels have appeared regularly in the national best seller lists since the publication of her first book in 1988. She lives in California.
Even the most hardened of homicide cops - a group whose everyday lives were filled with violent death - were sickened by the Haas family murders. It left a mark on the community that even time could not erase. But convicting the alleged killer, Karl Dahl was a beginning. Only the figure of Judge Carey More seems to be standing in the way of justice.
Her ruling that in law Dahl's previous criminal record is inadmissible in court causes a public outcry. This puts the judge in danger and when an unknown assailant attacks her in a parking garage, two of the top cops are called in to investigate and also ensure that the judge does not come to any further harm.
The stakes become higher when the judge is kidnapped from her own home in front of a police guard. Detective Sam Kovac is as hard-boiled as they come, and his wisecracking partner, Nikki Liska, isn't far behind. There are several lines of inquiry: Now Kovac and Liska must navigate through a maze of suspects that include the step-son of a murder victim, a husband with a secret life, and a rogue cop looking for revenge where the justice system failed, but are the police going to find which, if any of them are to blame before it's too late.