Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Deeper than the Dead, Tami Hoag
If you haven't read this one and you like exciting mysteries, you absolutely must read it! I was literally out of breath when I finished it yesterday afternoon, tearing through the last chapters as if I were afraid someone would take the book away from me. I had things that needed doing around the house, but they had to wait until I finished and then got my breath back. What a story!
One thing that makes this book so interesting is that it is set in 1985 when the FBI was just beginning to get into profiling. The Behavioral Sciences Unit was at that time housed in a sub-basement of the FBI building in D.C. They were so far underground that, in the gallows humor that keeps them sane, the investigators joked that they were deeper than the dead. One of the major characters in the story is an FBI profiler.
In 1985 people didn't have cell phones, DNA wasn't a part of criminal investigation, nor were computers in most places, and all the CSI techniques we are so accustomed to didn't exist. So in this story we have a serial killer being hunted by old-fashioned hands-on detective work with the assistance of the profiler.
There are three prime candidates for the serial killer and their families are also deeply involved. Four children find one of the bodies half buried in a park. Each family is unique, each has its own secrets and tragedies. Then there is the childrens' teacher, Anne Navarre, the one person who is totally determined to do whatever is in the best interests of the kids. These characters are fascinating.
I picked out the three major suspects and before long I had rejected one as the serial killer, and was leaning toward one of the other two, but I wasn't absolutely certain until just before the end of the book. Meanwhile I was really tense; this killer is a doozy!
I read another review of Deeper than the Dead and intended to put it on my wish list, but it sounded familiar. Turned out it was in my treasure box of books given to me by friends months ago. Lucky me! If you want to buy it, it is of course available from Amazon.com and I am an Amazon Associate. Happy reading!