3.5 stars for this uneven thriller...,
This review is from: Deeper Than the Dead (Hardcover)I don't expect to read about 1980s police procedures when buying a new book so the fact that Deeper Than the Dead was set in this time frame was a bit disconcerting. In the end, however, the time setting didn't make that much difference in my overall impression of the book.
The story moves at a fairly fast pace and the red herrings thrown out to make the reader think that first one, and then another man is the murderer are planted fairly well and kept me wondering throughout the novel. The story involves 3 major families (one reviewer says 4 but the Cody Roache family isn't really a contender)whose patriarch might possibly be the heinous killer. In addition, the narrative introduces us to an embattled FBI agent working off the clock, Vince Leone, who was shot in the head with a 22-caliber pistol and survived as the male romantic interest, and the teacher of the fifth grade students who are at the center of the drama, Anne Navarre. I found this 28-year-old teacher to be somewhat annoying and a little too perfect and interfering in the investigation. The romance that evolves is entirely predictable and again, irritating but I understand that the author is writing romantic suspense so had to deal with this aspect to please fans of that genre.
Things that annoyed me: many loose ends in the story. There are several pieces that aren't explained and are just dangling. We don't find out the outcome or identify of one major dead person and I don't like it when authors don't provide details for certain threads. We have no idea of why the killer became the way he did or why he selected the victims he chose. I like a lot more psychological probing than Tami Hoag did with this novel. I have read all her other books, some are better than others, but this one was a bit on the lite side in terms of delving into the mind of a serial killer. If the main character was supposed to be an FBI profiler, I expected more detail about background and motive.
Things I liked: fast, interesting and definitely a new twist with part of the focus being on how bad parents affect children! They are definitely able to see and hear what goes on in their homes and often are much wiser about the way things stand than parents ever suspect.
Recommend if you're looking for a quick read and don't expect too much science or pathology-psychology!