Deeper Than the Dead
Booklist Reviews 2009 October #2
There's a truly terrifying serial killer at the heart of Hoag's new page-turner: a man who abducts women, glues their eyes and mouths shut, and pierces their ear drums, essentially locking them in their own minds while he tortures and kills them. Set in the peaceful California town of Oak Knoll in 1985, the story opens with four fifth-graders discovering the body of a woman buried in the woods. Their teacher, Anne, is horrified and tries to shield shy Tommy, spitfire Wendy, bully Dennis, and nerdy Cody from the ensuing media and law-enforcement attention. Though many of the local cops are reluctant to bring in outside help, FBI profiler Vince Leone, who is recovering from a gunshot wound to the head, is summoned. He turns to Anne for help, in part because of her knowledge of the children and their parents and in part because of his immediate attraction to her. As Vince and Anne grow closer, it becomes increasingly clear that the killer is a pillar of the community. The chilling premise and exciting twists make Hoag's latest a thriller in every sense of the word. Guaranteed to be in high demand. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2009 September #1
Three children and their teacher come upon a corpse with its eyes and mouth glued shut-and then new victims keep appearing. Clearly, there's a psycho in town. Sounds suitably scary; with an eight-city tour. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
LJ Reviews 2009 December #1
In Hoag's newest thriller (after The Alibi Man), the year is 1985; DNA evidence and the Internet are distant glimmers on the horizon. In a sleepy California suburb, four children stumble across the body of a dead woman in the park. Young hotshot detective Tony Mendez is convinced the woman is the third victim of a serial killer and solicits the FBI. His call reaches the ears of Vince Leone, a pioneer in profiling, just returning from medical leave. The children's discovery also draws teacher Anne Navarre into the mystery. Once the team is in place, the race is on to find the killer before he strikes again. VERDICT Though it has all the elements of a serial killer thriller, Hoag's latest is really a "family thriller." Intertwining the effects of the crime on her characters, the attempt is satisfactory. Also recommended for those who enjoyed Tana French's In the Woods.—Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI[Page 97]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
PW Reviews 2009 October #3
Bestseller Hoag (Kill the Messenger) ventures into serial killer territory with results sure to please her many fans, though unresolved plot threads, both intentional and inadvertent, may put off veteran readers of the genre. One fall day in 1985 in Oak Knoll, Calif., fifth-grader Tommy Crane and his sidekick, Wendy Morgan, are fleeing the class bully, Dennis Farman, through a local park when Tommy stumbles over the head of a dead woman buried up to her neck. Two hours from Los Angeles, Oak Knoll is not the sort of town where major crime is a problem, but a serial killer is on the loose who's already murdered and tortured several women and has another on deck in his secret lair. Fifth-grade teacher Anne Navarre, who counsels Tommy and Wendy, is soon at the center of the investigation being led by a hunky FBI agent, Vince Leone. This is serial killer lite with Hoag's romance roots dictating both the prose style and the unveiling of the killer. 8-city author tour. (Dec.)[Page 36]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.