Friday, September 2, 2016

The Bitter Season - Tami Hoag

Summary: EVERY FAMILY HAS A SECRET. THEIRS WILL CHILL YOU TO THE CORE. 

#1  New York Times Bestselling author Tami Hoag returns to the bestselling series of her career with a Kovac and Liska case that will delight fans and new readers alike.

A murder from the past. A murder from the present. And a life that was never meant to be... As the dreary, bitter weather of late fall descends on Minneapolis, Detective Nikki Liska is restless. After moving to the cold case squad in order to spend more time with her sons, she misses the rush of pulling an all-nighter, the sense of urgency of hunting a murderer on the loose. Most of all she misses her old partner, Sam Kovac. 

Sam is having an even harder time adjusting to Nikki's absence, saddled with a green new partner younger than pieces of Sam's wardrobe. Sam is distracted from his troubles by an especially brutal double homicide: a middle-aged husband and wife bludgeoned and hacked to death in their home with a ceremonial Japanese samurai sword. Nikki's case, the unsolved murder of a family man, community leader, and decorated sex crimes detective for the Minneapolis PD, is less of a distraction: Twenty years later, there is little hope for finding the killer who got away.

On the other end of the spectrum, Minneapolis resident Evi Burke has a life she only dreamed of as a kid in and out of foster homes: a beautiful home, a family, people who love her, a fulfilling job. Little does she know that a danger from her past is stalking her perfect present. A danger powerful enough to pull in both Kovac and Liska and destroy the perfect life she was never meant to have. (Summary and pic from goodreads.com)

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: I’ve seen this book everywhere so I wasn’t sure what to expect. One of the first places I noticed it was Costco, and with books there you never know if they’re just mass produced and they have to get rid of the extras or what.  Don’t get me wrong—I’ve purchased and loved many books from Costco, and I especially love shopping for books for Christmas and birthdays there, but you just never know. While this isn’t a serious literary read or one that will probably be shortlisted for the Pulitzer, it was actually a lot of fun and a good mystery with lots of exciting twists.

In some ways this book reminded me of a CSI episode. Don’t judge, here. CSI is my go-to for comfort shows. Ya know, nothing like murder for a nice cuddly nightcap. The book starts with a murder from the past, and then there’s a current murder, and there’s just so much going on. People are intertwined, situations are intertwined, and it just gets really interesting and fun. I don’t want to give away too much here, because I thought that the twists and turns were good ones. I must admit that I’m not one of those people who try to solve the mystery first. I like to just let the book lead me along. If it turns out to be really obvious to me, then that’s pretty lame because I actively try to just enjoy it for what it is and let it go as it is. I was surprised at the end of this. It was a lot of fun.

As with many books from this genre, there was some very grizzly descriptions of murder scenes and also some very salty police officers and detectives. (Yes, I’m apparently a 90-year-old woman). The police officers are crass and crude, and somewhat stereotypical even, but I still found them to be good additions to the story. With books like this, as I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I often expect and even want stereotypical people because I think that’s what’s part of what makes the book fun and part of this genre. They have to have some uniqueness, of course, but it’s a fun comfort to have something that I can rely on when everything else in the story is going wild.

I read this book quite quickly. I think it would be a fun vacation read, especially if you’re like me and watch CSI for a friendly nightcap. It’s not a huge commitment and the writing is accessible and flows easily for a fun and interesting ride into the exciting storyline.

My Rating: 4 Stars

For the sensitive reader: This is a typical murder novel in that there is violence and language. I would rate it PG-13.

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