Monday, June 10, 2013

The 9th Girl

Minneapolis detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska have seen just about everything there is to see when it comes to human depravity, so much that they no longer expect to be surprised.  But, surprised is what they are about to be, although not nearly as surprised as the limo driver who suddenly crashes into a zombie in the middle of a Minneapolis freeway.

The first question Kovac and Liska have to answer is whether Zombie Doe, as she comes to be called, was already dead when she popped out of the trunk of a car and directly into the path of the speeding limousine.  But that might be the easy part.  The real question is whether the young woman is serial killer Doc Holiday's ninth victim or the victim of some other mad killer stalking the city.  This is not the areas first exposure to Doc Holiday, the killer who has earned his name by killing eight young women already - always on, or around, a national holiday.  He has already dumped some of his victims in Minneapolis and, initially, it looks like Zombie Doe is his kill.  But soon, there are some disturbing indications that the Minneapolis police may be looking for a second killer.

Tami Hoag
The 9th Girl, the fourth of Tami Hoag's Kovac and Liska novels, works just as well as a standalone novel as it does as continuation of the series.  Readers unfamiliar with the series characters are quickly intrigued by the touching, but sometimes complicated, relationship between Kovac (the older, more experienced male detective) and Liska (now a recently divorced mother of two boys she is raising pretty much on her own).  Kovac and Liska are as close off the job as they are on it, but when the investigation becomes eerily personal for one of them, their relationship will be tested.

Bottom Line: Tami Hoag's books are always suspenseful and fast moving thrillers centered on well-crafted plots and believable characters.  The 9th Girl is no exception.  Readers should not be afraid to pick this one up even if it is their first exposure to the series (I have only read two of the four myself) - just be warned that you will probably be putting the three earlier books on your "To Be Read" stack as well.

(Review Copy provided by Publisher)

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