Saturday, February 6, 2010

Prior Bad Acts

I've completed another audio book, Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag.  As usual, I selected this one from the library because it was by an author whose name I had seen time and again and yet had never read.  My research indicates Tami Hoag got her start in romance novels but later turned to thriller novels and has since had 13 best sellers.  Thriller novels are usually a good choice for my audio book habit because their very nature makes the plot easy to get back into each and every time I start it up again.  Since I only listen to these when I travel to and from work, that's a key element.

The plot surrounds a Minneapolis judge, Carey Moore, who hands down a decision that prohibits the introduction of evidence about a murder committed by an accused serial killer with numerous prior crimes.  She feels the suspect's prior bad acts are not relevant to the murder of the moment.  But then the accused escapes from custody and shortly thereafter the judge is assaulted and then later, kidnapped.  All evidence points to the escaped serial killer but of course that would be too simple and thus the real mystery of whodunnit.  The novel is a "police procedural" style mystery with lots of methodical detective work by the main character, detective Sam Kovac.  There are also several subplots which serve to drive the story forward.

Unfortunately, I have a tendancy to pick audio books that are part of a series and I hate not starting at the beginning.  I wish the audio book makers would disclose such information on the outside cover; it would sure come in handy.  This one turns out to be the third featuring the two main characters and it was evident throughout the story that I had missed out on some important backstory.  As a result the novel fell a little flat for me, especially in the beginning when I was trying to get a handle on who was who.  The characters just didn't come fully to life the way I prefer.  I don't blame the author for that so much as the audio book people.  As such I don't really consider this a fair test of Tami Hoag novels so will probably have to try another in the future.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire