The 9th Girl (Kovac and Liska #4) by Tami Hoag-a review

THE 9TH GIRL (Kovac and Lisak #4) by Tami Hoag-a review

The 9th Girl

ABOUT THE BOOK: Released June 2013

On a frigid New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis a young woman’s brutalized body falls from the trunk of a car into the path of oncoming traffic. Questions as to whether she was alive or dead when she hit the icy pavement result in her macabre nickname, Zombie Doe.

Unidentified and unidentifiable, she is the ninth nameless female victim of the year, and homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are charged with the task of not only finding out who Zombie Doe is, but who in her life hated her enough to destroy her. Was it personal, or could it just have been a crime of opportunity? Their greatest fear is that not only is she their ninth Jane Doe of the year, but that she may be the ninth victim of a vicious transient serial killer they have come to call Doc Holiday.

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REVIEW: THE 9th GIRL is the fourth installment in Tami Hoag’s contemporary crime series focusing on the high profile murder investigations in and around a fictional police precinct in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Although The 9th Girl is part of a series, each novel is a stand alone story of mystery and crime. The storylines are graphically detailed and the descriptive narration leaves nothing to the imagination. The 9th Girl focuses on a string of murders all pointing to a serial killer but the latest victim’s identity hits too close to home.

Tami Hoag has combined the intrigue of a murder investigation with all the hallmarks of a television episode befitting Law and Order, Dexter and CSI. Add the camaraderie and anxiety of a close knit group of investigators, detectives and police detectives and you have the formula for a story of suspense, mystery and the criminally insane.

The storyline focuses on the recent murder of a young woman and its connections to a series of murders-all with a similar MO. As the investigation moves forward, all clues begin to point to something more personal and familiar.

The storyline also pulls into play the social media and online bullying seen in many recent headline news stories around the world using teen texting, Facebook cyber stalking and the viral propaganda of the powerful and rich. Where once bullying remained in the playgrounds and schoolyards it is brought onto the world stage through social media and shown to be a breeding ground for viral innuendo, discrimination and personal attacks. Even the dead are not protected from abuse and bullies.

The 9th Girl is first and foremost a story of suspense, mystery and criminal intent. Tami Hoag weaves the intricate details of a serial killer with some of today’s headline stories and heartbreaking pain. If you love a mystery with a twist, The 9th Girl delivers.

My only complaint-at times the storyline fell close to YA territory with an inordinate amount of high school bullying; mean girl cliques; and discrimination and defamation of anyone considered on the outside. Even the principal and parents became parodies and caricatures of young adult novel clichés. The bullying and high school drama should best be left to the young adult storylines.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy

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