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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 28 April 2010
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.
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on 2 May 2014
I like a good crime thriller and I although I like to work out 'who did it' I do like to be kept guessing right to the end. It was easy to work out the guilty party in this book & the only reason I kept reading it was that I felt maybe I was mistaken, but no surprises in the end & when I finished it I annoyingly thought 'how many hours of my life have i wasted reading that!' Other authors I enjoy reading are sara paretsky, lee child & harlan coben so if you do too then don't bother with this
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on 26 November 2013
Took a very very long time to get to the plot, description is great in any book/story but not when it goes on for pages and the same ground is covered over and over. This author was recommended to me, but I'm not sure if I would read their work again.......
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on 24 October 2010
In the Caifornia town of Oak Knoll in 1985 four students of Anne Navarre make a discovery. A discovery that no child or adult should ever have to make. A woman who's eyes and mouth have been glue shut. The local police are not sure what to do, so Det. Tony Mendez decides that they need to call in help. FBI agent Vince Leone is pioneering agent in the area of profiling the killer and hoping that they are figure out his next move before makes it. But in the town of Oak Knoll, there are many secrets and not may live to see them exposed.
"Deeper thanthe Dead" is the lastest book by Tami Hoag. Overall, I enjoyed the book but I was a lttle let down by ending. To me, it felt a little rushed and I also felt let down. Also the relationship between Anne and Vince just didn't ring true to me, it also felt rushed. I liked "Deeper than the Dead" and I am sure that I will read the next book Secrets to the Grave but I am not sure if I would pay full price
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on 10 November 2013
I really enjoyed this book. I only bought it as the second book in the series was on offer on Kindle and I like to read books in order. Having never read a Tami Hoag I didn't know quite what to expect, but I loved that it was set in the 1980s and the way that it was written made me feel that this was more than a regular crime novel. I recommended it to our book club as I thought it gave a lot if insights into the characters and made me think.
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on 18 January 2016
Thought I might enjoy this but............dreadful. Being set in the 80s didn't excuse the revolting stereotyping of girlie giggly women, laughably authoritarian chaps, and crap plot. But there you go. My bad for buying it. Didn't finish it. Life's too short.
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on 13 June 2016
I had to sit up late to finish this story of young children finding a half-buried body in the woods on the way home from school, and the effects this will have on their lives, their families' lives and their teacher's. It would be hard to meet a more dysfunctional bunch of parents anywhere, all of them have their problems, secrets and past histories, they are all well-drawn by Hoag and you soon find where your sympathy or loathing is directed. I loved it!
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 18 July 2013
This is a complex and well plotted police procedural which captures the reader's attention from the outset and keeps the interest going throughout. It kicks off with a young woman, kidnapped and abused, and unable to hear, see or speak and we then follow the police investigation. The story is set in 1985, when DNA investigative techniques were not nearly so advanced as they are these days, since the use of these techniques would, undoubtedly have cracked this case rather quickly.

Four young children find a corpse, which it is established is the work of a serial killer. Ultimately three of their fathers fall under suspicion, though they are certainly not the only suspects. The author keeps her audience guessing right until the climax which is both tense and action packed. The investigating policemen are a local cop, Detective Mendez and an FBI profiler, Vince Leon who is the obligatory damaged cop, having been shot in the head in an attempted mugging previously. We even have a measure of romance as Vince falls for a local teacher, and whilst I was a bit worried that this was getting a bit soppy at one stage, ultimately it did not divert the tale to its detriment.

Overall an excellent story which I thoroughly enjoyed. Highly recommended!
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on 13 February 2011
A genuinely good read. Frighteningly horrid baddie who is kept a tantalising secret until very close to the end. The climax comes quickly and satisfyingly too. The most interesting aspect of the whole novel is Hoag's decision to set it in the 80s when profiling was in its infancy and DNA evidence didn't exist. It makes the police work interesting in a different way from the police procedurals I've read too many of recently.
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on 11 May 2010
Small towns harbour deep secrets, and behind the facades of the perfect lives of perfect families lie betrayal and evil. Dysfunctional families also self combust. It's of the thriller genre, "Who's the bogeyman committing these wicked and sadistic acts in our perfect community?"

Deeper than the Dead starts a little shakily, but builds to a chilling but ultimately predictable second half with a clever little twist right at the end.

Four children stumble across a partially buried body in woods adjoining the park where they play. It's innocence lost for three of them, and the total unravelling of the fourth. Violence in children is not is not an easy subject, and the tipping over from bullying and other anti social behaviour to a total meltdown is in turns chilling and a warning to us all. As the book progress, more disturbing discoveries are made, and the violence escalates. Hoag has also used children to progress the story in previous books and this works well.

The main adult characters are Anne, a rather soppy teacher who is supposedly a strong woman, but much of what she does contradicts this. Anne lives with an ailing father she despises, because it was her late mother's wish. Apart from making snide comments about him and being bitchy to him, she never has a showdown with her father. Anne is unattractively submissive to her father and Vince, the FBI agent, which does not make her a particularly appealing character. I am not sure whether this aspect of her character was included to instill a feeling of sisterhood in readers who believe they are being manipulated or are victims in their relationships, but personally I found it distasteful. Simmering resentment and a martyr complex is not an attractive trait in, what is supposed to be, the heroine. Vince, is on sick leave for a bullet in his brain, and is quite predatory and a little creepy in his pursuit of Anne. Hoag's other books involving strong women, even vulnerable strong women, are much better than this.

There were echoes of Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust in the violent deaths, each preceded by torture to fulfill the fantasties of the murderer. I could have done without some the detail on these.

I knew from the first chapter who the murderer would be, basically look for someone squeaky clean, with a facade of the perfect life.

There were a few red herrings, and the outcome to one partial skeleton found was never resolved, but maybe that is realistic in the real world of crime.

We were told it was 1985 in the foreword, and again, and again. They kept saying how DNA databases and such would change everything. I found it tiresome to keep hearing it, especially as I know databases and technical advances were treated with a lot of scepticism back then, nor could they have possibly foreseen all the advances we have made in the intervening 25 years.

The romance between Anne and Vince was distracting and did not ring true. Here we had a woman in her late twenties who had not dated for several years, lived a very quiet life, but within two days of meeting the much older Vince she was sleeping with him. In 1985 safe sex messages were everywhere, but this very cautious woman had unprotected sex with a man she barely knew. Whereas the implied future relationships in Dark Horse and Dark Sky drew the reader in so we were totally invested in something developing between the two main characters in the future, the romance between Anne and Vince was was unconvincing.

Not Hoag's best work; Dark Horse, The Alibi Man and Dead Sky (known in the US as Prior Bad Acts) are all much better, and more mature works, but Deeper than the Dead is still better than many books currently on release.
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