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BOOK REVIEW: THE ALIBI MAN
BY TAMI HOAG
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As a prologue Tami Hoag opens with a man staring down at a dead woman floating in a creek. The man dials his cell phone and tells the listener, “I need an alibi”. That in itself is a great way to start a mystery but then in the next chapter a horseback rider has her horse spooked by that body. And to really ramp up the story it turns out the dead woman is a friend of the rider, who happens to be an ex-detective. If you have read any of Hoag’s books you know that the story will be a really good mystery with many suspects, horses, elite folks, and murders. And often there will be language and sexual happenings that are probably in tune with today’s society but can be rather harsh if you are not into that scene.
Elena Estes was now an ex-detective because of an accident that occurred on a drug bust that seriously injured her and killed another detective. Because she had disobeyed a directive she was forced from the force and ostracized by most of the detectives with whom she had served.
One of them, James Landry, is summoned by Estes to the scene of the murder. He is called because he not only is a top-notch investigator but also was Estes’ former boyfriend. They find that not only was the victim dead but after her death her body has been savagely chewed upon by a gator who then comes after the crime scene members. After the gator is shot they discover more parts of the victim in the gator’s throat.
The victim is, in fact, Irina Markova who had been working as a groom for the stables on the ranch where Estes was living as she worked her way back from her drug bust nightmare. Because of the coincidence Estes not only takes the death to heart but she also vows to become part of the investigation to find the killer.
Needless to say Landry and the police department are not at all happy with her intrusion until she begins uncovering some interesting evidence. Even then they try to keep her out of the investigation but they do use her knowledge.
Irina Markova was fairly young Russian immigrant who loved and lived the high life in the Palm Beach area. She was able to live it not because she could afford it but because she was beautiful and would provide those who were so inclined with not only a beautiful partner but one who was willing to do them many sexual favors.
She happened to become involved with a group of polo loving horsemen who had formed a club which was referred to as the Alibi Gang. If one got into some mischief that he didn’t want his wife or others to know of another member of the club would provide him with a perfectly good alibi.
Involvement is a staunch part of Hoag’s books so when it turns out that her ex-fiancée is a member of the club it only tends to make for more plot mixing. She has not seen him in 20 years but still carries a lot of hatred for good reasons.
Even more involvement is introduced when Irina’s uncle who is a Russian mobster gets into the storyline!
Overall a well-written book by a great storyteller! Give it a try.
REVIEWED BY ALLEN HOTT
DO NOT REPRINT
WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, ALLEN HOTT
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