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Secrets to the Grave (Oak Knoll #2)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  13,443 ratings  ·  755 reviews
Marissa Fordham is dead, but her daughter is found at the crime scene, injured but alive. Now sheriff's detective Tony Mendez and child advocate Anne Leone begin to peel back the layers of Marissa's life. And the shocking truth they discover puts them directly in the sights of a killer with a stunning secret to keep; because Marissa Fordham never existed...
Kindle Edition, 592 pages
Published January 2011 by Dutton (first published November 23rd 2010)
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Secrets to the Grave

This is a sequel to Deeper than the Dead set a few months later in 1986. Vince Leone is living in Oak Knoll, having retired from the FBI & married to Anne Navarre. He still offers his services as a consultant around the USA while Anne Navarre has quit teaching to pursue a degree in child psychology.

A local artist, a single mother, slaughtered with her four-year-old child near death herself. Marissa was stabbed dozens of time while Haley, the child, was smothered & lef
This book got lucky. It was lucky that it was an audiobook, and it was lucky that I didn't have another to switch to. First of all, I found out on goodreads that this was actually a second book (The audiobook case says nothing about Oak Knoll #2)!

I do think it could stand alone, however, I spent the opening bit wondering more about the extensive backstory (which, as it turns out, was the first book) and trying to put the pieces together. Maybe it would have been easier had I read the first one,
I really enjoyed reading Deeper Than the Dead so I was anxious to read this next one that followed. I was a little disappointed. I thought this book would pick up right where the other one left off, since there was sort of a cliffhanger with Tommy and his mother leaving town. The only thing that was said about that subject was that nobody knew what happened to them. Secrets to the Grave has many of the same characters as the one before and takes place a year or so later. The story was good but a ...more
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway and I feel very lucky to have gotten it! It is a terrific book.

This is the first book I have read by Tami Hoag, but I now consider myself a fan. The book never has a slow spot and for its over 400 pages is a very quick read.

I highly recommend "Secrets to the Grave." If you like Harlan Coben and Tana French, this is definitely a book for you!
Georgiann Hennelly
Secrets to the Grave is the latest book in Tami Hoags deeper than the dead micro series, It picks up one year after the events of Deeper than the Dead. As the story opens residents of Oak Knoll, California find themselves once again dealing with murder. Anne , Vince, Tony and the rest of the characters are back on the scene to solve the new murder and finish wrapping up the loose ends in the See- No -Evil case from the previous boo. Tami Hoag draws her readers into the story in such a way that t ...more

Just like the first one, Deeper Than the Dead, I had already read this one, but decided to read it again and judge it in the light of my brand-new development as raging feminist.

Synopsis: Marissa, a single mother (which, as I'm given to understand by the introduction, was a VERY scandalous thing during the 80s in America), is found brutally murdered and mutilated, creating an upheaval in the idyllic small town of Oak Knoll. Still recoverin
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
One thing became quite clear to me after reading Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag, the second book in the Deeper Than the Dead series: I don't want to move to Oak Knoll, California, no matter how idyllic the setting seems. This time young artist Marissa Fordham is found brutally murdered with her barely-alive four year old daughter, Haley, resting her head on her dead mother's shoulder.

Tony Mendez is back on the case with assistance from, among others, Vince Leone, former FBI profiler. Vince ha
Joan Swan
As a writer, I thought SECRETS FROM THE GRAVE had wonderful craft lessons to offer. As a reader, it felt a little too slow for me and I shelved it about 2/3 of the way through, while many, many of her other books have been unputdownable for me.


I discovered Tami Hoag's work somewhere in the middle of her career with the romantic suspense thrillers Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust.

Her stories are vivid and fast paced and I've always found her ability to craft deeply difficult, violent, even gr
This was a sequel to Hoag's "Deeper Than The Dead" which I read a year ago. The core characters were the same, and the "see-no-evil" murderer still hasn't been tried. Once again, I find it distracting that the author deliberately sets the mystery in the mid-eighties before DNA evidence and other forensic advances. Oddly, though it is before these things, the detectives all seemed to have knowledge of what these things were and what they would do - can't have it both ways, unless her detectives a ...more
Obviously, from my book lists, my dirty little secret is out. I like these kinds of books even though they're basically a lifetime movie in book form. I liked Deeper than Dead because of the characters but this time around feels forced. Oak Knoll is kind of a small town to be constantly beset by homicidal maniacs. That's their official name btw. Even the cops in this book call them homicidal maniacs so you know it's true.

I like stereotypes in my books they make it easy to know who the bad guys
Karen Bonilla
The premise of this book sounded fabulous and i couldn't wait to read it. A young, single mother is brutally murdered and her child is almost killed. The little girl manages to call 9-1-1 and gasp "daddy hurt my mother" but the story takes place before they had the ability to trace those calls and it takes two days before they are discovered. No one seems to know anything about the woman's past or the child's father. Then they discover that there is no record of the mother ever existing before s ...more
Goodreads Description- Marissa Fordham had a past full of secrets, a present full of lies. Everyone knew of her, but no one knew her.

When Marissa is found brutally murdered, with her young daughter, Haley, resting her head on her mother's bloody breast, she sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See- No-Evil killer, residents are shocked by reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days had it not
Kathy Davie
Second in the Oak Knoll suspense series revolving around Vince and Anne Leone in the town of Oak Knoll in California.

My Take
Oh, boy, talk about suspenseful. I actually started to suspect whodunnit, but I wouldn't have guessed the whydunnit. It was certainly an interesting look inside the head of behaviorists! And a very sad look at the difficulties involved in telling a four-year-old that her mother has died.

I just loved this quote. For such a "misfit", Zander is amazingly perceptive:
Her percep

Tami Hoag kesinlikle vazgeçilmez yazarlarım arasında şimdiye kadar beğenmediğim bir kitabı yok bu kitapla da değişmedi bu durum.

Yine çok akıcı merak uyandırıcı sizi içine çeken bir kitap.

İlk kitaptaki olayların üstünden bir yıl geçmiş durumda kendimizi buluyoruz ve yeni bir cinayet davasıyla karşılaşıyoruz. Bir kadın defalarca bıcaklanılmış göğüsleri kesilip çıkartılmış vajinası bıçak sokulmuş şekilde bulunuyor bayağı canice işlenmiş bir cinayet yani olaya şahit olan 4 yaşındaki küçük kızda
Terri Powers
Another Review of a Tami Hoag Novel, Secrets To The Grave:

I love this series! The second in the Oak Knoll series has all the elements I enjoy in a police procedural: painstaking and plodding detectives sifting through the evidence, half-truths from witnesses and family, and there there’s me, reading and trying to help put the pieces together. Tami Hoag is great at describing the mundane yet meticulous routine of police work in a way that moves the story along and has the reader guessing to the e
Laura de Leon
OK, calling this book a fun read, or an entertaining one doesn't quite send the right message. It's a compelling mystery, with some great characters. It's also quite disturbing, deliberately so.

Secrets to the Grave looks at several aspects of violence, starting with an extremely brutal murder of a young mother, and the attempted murder of her 4 year old child. Several other characters are brutally attacked, some characters are living with the results of previous violence-- some recent, some from
Secrets to the Grave is an able follow-up to Deeper than the Dead, suspenseful and plenty engrossing, though it comes up a little bit short of its predecessor. I'm an unabashed Tami Hoag fan, and Secrets to the Grave is a perfectly good offering, but at the same time, she's done better.

I was happy to revisit the key characters of Deeper than the Dead, and so soon after the events of that book that some many, many details carry over. I still enjoy the relationship between Anne Navarre and Vince L
Jen A.
A brutal murder and a 4-year-old witness left (barely) alive start off this fantastic, yet often gruesome, mystery/thriller. Hoag is accomplished at drafting a story that covers all bases and works hard to hold onto its surprises until the end; this book is no exception.

As I read along with murder mysteries, I always try to guess "whodunit." This book had me barking up all the wrong trees until just before the final reveal, when the situation turned down an unexpected street. A good mystery wit
Jennifer Mclean
This is book 2 in the Oak Knoll series and while I really enjoyed being back in the characters' lives, I was disappointed in the wrap-up of the mystery. Again, Ms. Hoag managed to keep the reader on edge about who was actually the killer but the motivation just wasn't strong enough for me. A lot of the actions the killer exhibited did not fit with the way the eventual end scene played out. No spoilers in this review, but I thought other characters would have been better suited to be the killer w ...more
Awilk -never sleeps-
My first Tami Hoag book, but definitely not my last. Unfortunately this was not the first book in this connected set of books, but it didn't stop me from enjoying this story. I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the first book, but that seems useless not as I know who the villan was.
I enjoyed this books pacing, and enjoyed reading how things were done before computers and things took over the world. Police work was much harder then, in many ways, and I liked seeing the steps the detectives
It was okay. That's the best I can do. A lot of it was just SO over the top and unrealistic. I'm not saying I don't read books to escape reality...sometimes I do. But this was just...kind of ridiculous. It was hard to get fully "taken-in" by the story. I didn't even like any of the characters, except little Haley, and my heart broke a little for Dennis. Anne was obnoxious and the men were just too much. Too "chivalrous", too over-powering, too....just too. I only gave it 2 stars because I did ke ...more
Stacy Green
Really enjoyed this book. It's the follow up to Deeper Than The Dead, so I already knew the characters. The first page hooks me: a horrific murder is committed with the woman's four-year-old child left behind. Set in the mid-eighties in the early days of modern profiling, Hoag's research is evident and her characterization is very strong.

As usual, Hoag gives you several red herrings, but the villan is ferreted out by well characterized cops. Lots of sub-plots going on in the book - a new marria
Ok Tracy this one's for u...
Not the worst book I ever read so I reviewed it and have it two stars- liked the story line but WAY too long!
Paris        (kerbytejas)
The book could have easily been shortened by 100 pages or more. Not very suspenseful, but the book did have some quirky characters, and good one liners.
Deirdre O'Flynn
Tami Hoag is a novelist I haven’t given a whole lot of attention to, and it seems that this book may not have been the best one to revisit her work. I had read Dark Paradise (1994) previously and kept it on my bookshelves, but this book won’t be joining it, I’m afraid.

In her author’s note, Hoag outlines why she set this series of Oak Knoll novels in the mid-1980s. It was before DNA evidence, and an era when HIV/AIDS was an issue and single pregnant women were considered scandalous, according to
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shonna Froebel
This mystery novel is set in the town of Oak Knoll, California in 1986. A local artist, Marissa Fordham has been found brutally murdered,stabbed dozens of times, with her 4-year-old daughter strangled and left for dead. Except that young Haley survived.
In this time before many of the scientific tools available now, the police have less to go on in terms of evidence. Young Haley is severely traumatized and when led to her memories of the attack refers to the murderer as "bad daddy". But no one se
Secrets to the Grave is the second in a trilogy about the town of Oak Knoll, not a place to live if you’re squeamish about grizzly murder. The story centers on the particularly gruesome murder of a young single mother. Her four year old little girl witnesses the murder. Sad premise to start. Ann Leone, the main character of this trilogy, is a lover of children, studying child psychology, and comes to the aide of the girl. The ultimate villain came to me much sooner than Tami Hoag would have like ...more
As was its predecessor, Secrets to the Grave is set in the mid-80's, which adds an interesting twist to the reader's experience. We have all become so accustomed to crime shows on TV showing off the marvels of how modern science assists in solving crimes, we forget that it wasn't too long ago that concepts such as psychological profiling and DNA identification were either still in their infancy (profiling) or pretty much weren't on police radar at all (DNA). Nor were computers commonplace in pol ...more
This was a horrible book. I think author Hoeg has a formula, you have to have a really long book, 500 pages, and you have to have a couple of meaningless psychopaths as subplots, in this case a young teenage boy who likes to kill and light fires and is obsessed with the main character Anne a former school teacher who has been victimized before, and then the victim, Marissa, has an Asberger genius mathematician friend whose obsessed with breasts. The detectives have to go around and make meaningl ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag 1 6 Apr 08, 2015 01:33PM  
Fiction book club: Review 2 3 Apr 17, 2014 02:03AM  
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag began her professional career writing for Bantam’s Loveswept line of romance novels. In 1988 her first novel, The Trouble With J.J. was published.

With fifteen consecutive New York Times bestsellers to her credit, Hoag has more than 35 million books in print, published in more than twenty languages worldwide. Her first thriller, Night Sins, was made i
More about Tami Hoag...

Other Books in the Series

Oak Knoll (3 books)
  • Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1)
  • Down the Darkest Road (Oak Knoll, #3)
Ashes to Ashes (Kovac/Liska, #1) Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) Guilty as Sin  (Deer Lake, #2) Prior Bad Acts (Kovac/Liska, #3) Down the Darkest Road (Oak Knoll, #3)

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“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. May you grow strong at the broken places.” 12 likes
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