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Prior Bad Acts, by Tami Hoag

Prior Bad Acts

Judge Carey Moore knew her ruling of disallowing the admission into court records of Karl Dahl's "prior bad acts" would be an unpopular decision, but she could not have predicted the impact her decision would have. Although the evidence was circumstantial in Karl Dahl's arrest for the brutal murder of a mother and two children, the police felt that Dahl's criminal past would seal his fate and lead to his conviction. When Carey refuses to allow it, and she is attacked in a parking garage, cynical, unsympathetic police detective Sam Kovac is assigned to protect her and to hunt down her assailant. The more he learns about Carey, the more possible suspects he finds, including her deceitful husband. Karl Dahl's escape leads to more murder and terror in this nail-biter of a thriller.

Tami Hoag has written a book with complex characters who speak with a realism that reads more like journalism than fiction. She has given her characters authenticity that includes cop humor, courtroom language, and knowledge of police procedures. Her dialogue is crisp and spare while being exceptionally descriptive. She introduces sub-plots that alternately add humanity and depravity to life in this Minneapolis locale.

Holter Graham is a very capable narrator who is able to maintain the voices of the dozen or more characters throughout the 11 ½ hours of the reading. He is particularly impressive in his ability to paint a vivid picture of slight but sinister Karl Dahl.

I give this audio book an unrestrained two thumbs up-for plot, for characterization, for suspense, for narration, and for production of the audio book packaging. The discs are easy to identify, remove and re-file in the well-labeled folders, making audio book "page-turning" in traffic less dangerous. I loved this book and hope that Tami Hoag continues writing crime thrillers like this.

Ruth Mormon

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