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Tuesday, December 04, 2018

The Boy by Tami Hoag and Broken Ground by Val McDermid

Tami Hoag's The Boy is the second in a series featuring Nick Fourcade and Annie Broussard.  I haven't read the first in the series, but it wasn't necessary as the book works as a standalone. 

A murdered child, a severely injured and grieving mother, a missing twelve-year-old.  Complicating the investigation(s) is a dubious crime scene team and a sheriff whose image is more important than anything else.

Fourcade and Broussard try to resolve the conflicting elements in the murder, but complications continue to pop up.  Kelvin Dutrow, the new sheriff, overrides Fourcade's attempt at a crime scene perimeter, exacerbating a personality conflict that already was detrimental to the sheriff's department and only gets worse and more personal.

At the heart of the case, when all is said and done, is the damage, psychological and physical, that results in a ripple effect from a destructive and controlling personality.  Hoag cleverly weaves the strands together to what initially would seem a surprising outcome.

Nick Fourcade doesn't really resonate with me, but the byways the novel takes concerning cheating, spousal abuse, and bullying provide food for thought, and the plot is intricate and well written.

I really want another Sam Kovacs and Nikki Liska novel, which is my favorite Hoag series.  

NetGalley/Penguin Group

Mystery/Crime.  Dec. 31, 2018.  Print length:  496 pages.  

Broken Ground by Val McDermid returns to cold case detective Karen Pirie.   It is hard to pick a favorite among McDermid's series, but I do like Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie, Jason, and the Historic Cases Unit.  

Karen Pirie is sarcastic and often brash, and her dislike for her boss creates a problematic atmosphere--especially when her boss assigns a snitch to her unit.

When a young woman searching for the WWII motorcycles her grandfather buried in a peat bog after the war discovers the body of a man who has been missing for years, Karen's investigation into the cold case of a rape victim is interrupted.  In addition to these two cases, Karen overhears a conversation in which a woman tells her friend that she intends to confront her abusive husband.  Stepping in to warn the woman that she might be putting herself in danger, Karen hopes she has kept the woman safe.  Uh oh.  Best laid plans and all that.

McDermid never disappoints.  Her characters feel genuine and her knowledge of forensics goes a long way to giving her plots a sense of realism.

Read in August.

NetGalley/Grove Atlantic

British Detectives/Cold Cases.  Dec. 4, 2018.  Print length:  432 pages.  

The garden has been put to bed, the Christmas crafting has begun.  Last year, I was all about making snow folks and a Christmas cat, this year mice are in progress.

Two were gifts for our daughters last Christmas,
one was for me.

The cat was for granddaughter Bryce Eleanor,
the latest incarnation of the "cat lady." 

I intended to get started on Christmas crafting early.  Of course, I say that every year, but don't feel like making for a holiday until close to the actual month.  


  1. I still need to read a book by McDermid. You don't happen to have a favorite, do you?

    1. I can't really think of a favorite book, but I've enjoyed the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series (the books were the basis of the Wire in the Blood television series) and the Karen Pirie series. :)

    2. If I may interject, Lark I recommend A Place of Execution by McDermid. It is one of the best mysteries I have ever read and it is also a stand alone. :)

    3. Thanks! I'll try those first. :D

  2. Val McDermid really is an amazing writer. I need to pick up this series! Also your Christmas crafting is wonderful!

    1. I keep saying that I'll try one of her nonfiction books, but so far that has happened. My favorite eccentric characters are Halloween witches and monsters, but last year I had such fun with the snow folk and the cat. :)

  3. I've read books from both Hoag and McDermid but I definitely favor McDermid. As you say, she never disappoints! She seems like she is a nice person as well (which is always odd to contemplate...these nice people who write about gruesome crimes!).

    Your crafts are ADORABLE.

    1. McDermid writes great crime, doesn't she? I need to read one of her nonfiction books about forensics. She is definitely knowledgeable about all the details and it shows. :)

  4. Your creations are awesome! Love the cat.
    I didn't realize Val McDermid had a new series. I have only read a couple of her books and was very impressed. I need to recommend this one for our mystery book group. And, Tami Hoag is a writer I've read before when she was writing more romantic suspense. Enjoyed her books so I'll have to look for this one.

    1. My favorite Hoag series is her Kovacs and Liska crime series! I've enjoyed every book I've read by McDermid--with one exception. I didn't not care for The Grave Tattoo, one of her stand-alones. Both the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series and the Karen Pirie series are always look forward to reading.

  5. Haven't read any by these authors so I'll have to check them out. As always, your craft creations look amazing. :)

    1. Try the Kovacs and Liska series by Tami Hoag. I really like the characters in that series. Val McDermid is a Scottish writer and has won all kinds of awards. Her Tony Hill series is best known because of the Wire in the Blood television series based on her novels. :) Thanks for the nice comment on my crafty creations.