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BOOK REVIEW: PRIOR BAD ACTS
BY TAMI HOAG

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Judge Carey Moore is a stickler for fairness, sometimes going beyond the point where she should. When a drifter, Karl Dahl, goes on trial for a heinous triple murder, Judge Moore makes a very un-popular decision. A decision that would change and shape the future of Judge Moore, Karl Dahl, the prosecuting attorney Chris Logan, and the defense attorney Kenny Scott. Judge Moore’s husband David did not help much either since he always had a case of what I call “me-ite-us!” when everything is turned around for him to be in the forefront.

Detective Sam Kovac got into the act when Judge Moore was attacked in the parking garage where she was knocked down, battered, and finally lost consciousness when her head was banged into the concrete. Regardless of how Sam felt about the judicial decision the judge had made, this attack was not right. Kovac’s partner, Nikki Liska, is a rough, tough woman who will tackle anyone or anything. They got along very well, but had their disagreements as any normal people do. But they worked terrifically together, sometimes thinking as one. Kovac took Judge Moore home from the hospital knowing that she was in danger and needed protection, even if she would not give in to that thought. The judge’s husband was useless; this was not about HIM!

Any of the authorities and attorneys that visited the scene of the original murders felt so strange knowing what had occurred where they now stood. Two small children and their mother were brutally killed in this house. How could anyone do this? This Karl Dahl must be a terribly brutal man who is not human. Naturally everyone made him guilty before a trial. In prison Dahl had to be kept separate from other inmates since they all knew what he was charged with.

As time went on, Detective Kovac was never very far from Judge Moore. She was supposed to stay home due to her injuries and the threat against her but she sometimes snuck out, driving the police crazy. Another cop, Stan Dempsey was a sort of a rogue cop whose actions were not always trusted by his fellow officers. But he had to delve into the murders also despite Kovac and Liska’s concern. When Karl Dahl escaped things got even dicier. Kovac kept a closer eye on the judge, and the reader can sense he is becoming closer to her in other ways too.

Prior Bad Acts continues to pick up steam and roars along at a fast and furious pace. Naturally the reader guesses what will occur next and usually is wrong. Tami Hoag does not disappoint her faithful readers with this book. I enjoyed it thoroughly from cover to cover. It is a “do not put down” book that I loved. Tami Hoag can bring these detectives back easily in any future books. She has bred a good duo.

REVIEWED BY CY HILTERMAN

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