Ashes To Ashes (Kovac & Liska) Paperback – 4 Apr 2007
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Some doctoral candidate is doubtless hard at work as you read this, trying to explain why and how the serial killer suddenly became every thriller writer's favourite subject. Meanwhile, the irrepressible Tami Hoag shows us in her latest sure-to-be-a-best-seller how the theme should be handled--with sensitivity, wit, and enough energy to heat a small city.
A monster known as the Cremator is killing prostitutes in Minneapolis parks and setting their bodies on fire. When one of his victims turns out to be the daughter of a local millionaire, and a homeless teenager claims to have witnessed the burning, it brings together former FBI agent Kate Conlan (now working as a victim-witness advocate) and the Bureau's top serial-killer profiler, John Quinn. Conlan and Quinn share a painful personal history; now they have to work together against a very smart lunatic who seems to be able to read their minds.
Although none of this is actually groundbreaking material, Hoag leaps into her story as if she were the very first writer to have thought of it. And guess what? Her innocence and verve are contagious. We throw scepticism to the winds and gladly go along for the thrilling and romantic ride, just as we did in other Hoag hits (Cry Wolf, Dark Paradise, Guilty As Sin). --Dick Adler
The "New York Times" bestseller! "Without a doubt...one of the most intense suspense writers around."--"Chicago Tribune" "[Tami Hoag] demonstrates just why she has become one of the hottest names in the suspense game....Bottom line: Leaves competition in the dust."--"People" "[A] detail-packed thriller...The Silence of the Lambs comes to mind more than once."--"Entertainment Weekly" "Tami Hoag is the queen of the crime story."--"New York Post" "You'll want to lock the doors while you're reading."--"Star Tribune," Minneapolis "An up-all-night read."--"The Detroit News" "From the Hardcover edition."See all Product description
Top customer reviews
A serial killer is out to get prostitutes in Minneapolis and an ex-FBI female profiler, Kate Conlan, now working as a lowly witness-advocate, finds herself in the middle of the action. There are tough cops (both male and female) and a Mr. Cool top FBI master profiler, John Quinn, all of whose paths criss-cross over incinerated bodies and a building public relations disaster when a local millionaire's daughter disappears and is presumed a victim of "Smokey Joe's" -- the serial killer who likes burning his victims in public places.
Somewhat predictably, Conlan and Quinn make it to the sack since they happen to be ex-lovers, who both feel terribly frustrated with their post-affair, separate lives. Thankfully, Hoag keeps the sex well below saturation so that we can concentrate on the task of nailing Smokey Joe.
The plot is somewhat squishy at times, but the main characters sound very real and hard at work of putting the bad guys behind bars. Hoag's cop language is thoroughly convincing. Situations evolve quickly and lead into smooth transfers to the next (unanticipated) twist of events. As for winter in Minneapolis, it sounds awful, a true beastly affair of snow and mud under lead-colored skies.
And yes.... the serial killer turns out to be the most unlikely person in the Ashes to Ashes line up.
This is an honest cop thriller. On my Page Turner scale of 0 (worst) to 10 (best), it comfortably scores a 7 plus.
I enjoyed the story, at 570 pages it's by no means a short novel but for me it was a page turner. With plenty of twists and turns I was pretty certain I knew who the Cremator was but I was wrong.
I found the novel well written and felt that the characters were very believable. With a good mix between the narrative and the dialogue driven parts.
I'm looking forward to reading the next in this series before long.
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