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Prior Bad Acts (Kovac and Liska #3)

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  9,459 ratings  ·  335 reviews
It was a crime so brutal, it changed the lives of even the most hardened homicide cops. The Haas family murders left a scar on the community nothing can erase, but everyone agrees that convicting the killer, Karl Dahl, is a start. Only Judge Carey Moore seems to be standing in the way. Her ruling that Dahl's prior criminal record is inadmissible raises a public outcry--and ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by Bantam Dell (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
do you know how long it takes to listen to audio books?? this one is eleven hours and thirty-nine minutes! and i am not one of you cyborg kids who have all manner of machines strapped to you and dangling off of your tool belts like a williamsburg batman. i can only listen to this in my house, doing the dishes or cooking etc. but - jesus - eleven hours!! of this guy's voice!! as he raises the pitch to make lady-voices or baby-talks through a five-year-old character or slaps this comical minnesota ...more
Janie Johnson
So far out of the Kovak and Liska series, this has been my favorite. Tami Hoag is fast becoming one of my favorite authors for this year. Her skills with writing mystery are phenomenal along with her characters. She makes them so realistic and believable. There were so many great elements included in this book. Those that I always look for in a good suspense/mystery. I found it hard to put it down. It was such a fluid read and easy to follow even with multiple mysteries running simultaneously. A ...more
LJ
PRIOR BAD ACTS (Police Proc-Minneapolis, MN-Cont) – VG
Hoag, Tami – 3rd in series
Bantam, 2006- Amer Hardcover
*** When Judge Carey Moore refuses to allow the prior bad acts of Karl Dahl, accused of committing the brutal murder of a mother and two young children, she is vilified by the police and newspapers as being soft on killers. But someone is even more angry and severely beats her and later threatens her. Detective Sam Kovac is assigned to the case along with his partner Nikki Liska. They, too
...more
Alex is The Romance Fox
PRIOR BAD ACTS, the 3rd book in the Sam Kovak & Nikki Liska series and opens with the horrific murder of a mother and her two foster children.
Detective Sam Kovac, and his partner Nikki Liska are pulled into a case where nothing seems to be what you think.

A cast of interesting and realistic characters that you engage with, in particular Kovak & Liska. I enjoy the connection between the two.

A well written, fast paced plot that includes kidnapping, murder, torture, secrets, rogue cops, por
...more
Marleen
Five years ago I read this book for the first time, and since I was in a Kovac & Liska mood, a team of detectives I really like, I decided to re-read Prior Bad Acts. Well, it didn’t impress as much this time around, which in itself is a normal phenomenon re-reading an action-packed thriller. I’ve come to the conclusion that what I mostly dislike in murder mysteries these days is the abundance of violent acts, and the long pages of being inside a killer’s mind. I’m so NOT interested in being ...more
Maureen Casey
I really liked this book, and it was a good ending for the Kovac/Liska series. As with the previous books, I like the multiple character narration, and it lends itself naturally to good suspense building as it cuts away from a suspenseful point in one character's storyline to the simultaneous (I assume) story of someone else in the book.

There were a few loose threads that made me give this a 3-star rating:
1. Who was the very first character in the book that found the bodies? I would have liked
...more
Michelle Randall
I picked up this book at a library sale. Now when I added it to do my review, I find out that it is the third in a series, and I hate to read books out of order, but I think I can manage this one.

I have read a few Tami Hoag books before and I have always enjoyed the way she writes and how she spins a story.

This was amazing, it was a well written story with lots of twists and turns that kept you guessing the whole time. The murders were intense and might be hard to handle for some, but the detail
...more
Angela
Last time I read a Tami Hoag novel, I remember feeling a bit flat; the book in question, Kill the Messenger, hadn't done much for me. Now, though, I've finally gotten around to reading her paperback from last year--Prior Bad Acts--and I'm pleased to report that Ms. Hoag definitely still has it in her.

This book goes back to revisit a couple of characters she's written about before: Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska, the cops previously appearing in Dust to Dust. I've seen the formula of a pair of mixed-g
...more
Susan
Sexy as hell. Just before Tami Hoag left romantic suspense behind and started writing mainstream thrillers, I read Prior Bad Acts and thought YES, FIST PUMP, MORE LIKE THIS PLEASE! The romance isn't precisely the centerpiece of the story, but it's easily the most memorable aspect of the book. Heroine is a judge who has let a killer go on a technicality, because unfortunately that's her job. Hero is one of several cops who hate her for it. When the sexy (and married) judge is attacked, and the se ...more
Doreen
Oh my gosh!!! Talk about a fast paced, well written novel!! I am not a murder mystery kinda girl (my neighbor brought a stack of books over for me to devour) but this one was fabulous - if you can look past some of the more depraved parts. The characters are well developed and have such personality that if I could, I'd hang out with them.
Kristen
In the 3rd installment of Tami Hoag's Kovac/Liska thriller series, Prior Bad Acts, this duo went out to solve another disturbing case. Everyone agreed that convincting Carl Dahl was a start, when he committed the crime of killing the Haas family. Only Judge Carey Moore stood in the way and put her in grave danger. When someone attacked her in a parking lot, that's when Kovac and Liska were on the scene to protect her from further harm, when no one wanted to be on this disturbing case. But when D ...more
Jen
The brutal murder of a mother and her two young foster children leads to the arrest of Karl Dahl. When Judge Carey Moore rules against the inclusion of Dahl's prior criminal record, prosecutors and police are enraged. Then Dahl escapes, and Judge Moore finds her life in danger, even as she must deal with the scathing comments and threats from everyone who believes Dahl is guilty. Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska, assigned to protect the judge, now need to apprehend Dahl.

In the meantime, Judge Moore is
...more
Kai Palchikoff
New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag returns with a thriller that begins with a shocking crime scene you__ll never forget and follows two relentless detectives on a manhunt that ends in a chilling confrontation with the essence of human evil.It was a crime so brutal, it changed the lives of even the most hardened homicide cops. The Haas family murders left a scar on the community nothing can erase, but everyone agrees that convicting the killer, Karl Dahl, is a start. Only Judge Carey Moo ...more
Robin
Judge Carey Moore makes an unpopular decision when she rules that Karl Dahl's prior criminal record is inadmissible during his current trial. Dahl is accused of torturing and murdering Marlene Haas and her two foster children. Everyone believes Dahl is guilty and they are not happy with Judge Moore's decision. Soon after the ruling, the Judge is beaten in a parking garage. Detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are assigned to her case. As they hunt for the attacker, they hear that Karl Dahl has e ...more
Julie Masterton
Unlike many buddy-cop books, where the two partners work together on every case, exchanging lovably bawdy quips while tracking down yet another serial killer, every one of Tami Hoag's Kovac/Liska books is unique.

I only wish now that I had read them in order (although I admit the first two, Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust, are a bit more similar to each other than to any of the others) because there is genuine character development over the series. Things that annoyed me about the characters in
...more
Judy Collins
Prior Bad Acts (Kovac and Liska #3), another page-turner of suspense, mystery and intrigue by one of my favorite crime thriller writer - Tami Hoag.

Love this series --enjoy the banter between Minneapolis’s colorful, witty, sassy, and edgy Kovac and Liska. Have read all the newer books, and playing catch up with some of the earlier books in the series.

Kovac and Liska, the dynamic duo, keeping you laughing out loud – these two are hot on the trail and Judge Carey Moore is in danger--Kovac is dra
...more
Joanna
I am a huge fan of the Thriller genre and this book did not disappoint. This is my book by Tami Hoag and I found it to be a well-written, fast-paced page turner.

Usually with Thrillers, when not well written, you know already half-way through who's guilty and who's not, which of course deflates your enthusiasm for the book. But this book kept me guessing right until the end, which even then had a twist. When I thought it was all done and dusted, it turned out there was one more surprise left in
...more
Inge (Inge1990)
Absolutely a must read if you like detectives. It is well written and you get a bond with the personages and you really feel sorry for them. The plot twists are incredible and I didn't expect the ending.
In this book a terrible murder is described, the bodies are brutally maimed. Karl Dahl is accused of this murder. The judge Carey decides that his previous crimes cannot be used against him in trail. There isn't much evidence against him otherwise so everybody is angry at Carey for helping a mur
...more
Mackenzie
What a page-turner. If it hadn't been for this pesky thing called work I probably would have finished it in less time. I couldn't get enough of Tami Hoag's thrilling story. Even at work, as soon as it was my break I would rush up to my locker and pull it out to read even if it was just a 15-minute break!

I was in a constant feeling of being on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out what was going to happen next and hoping for the best. There were so many suspects and so many reasons and ways th
...more
Stephanie Tuell
Very good book. Started strong and stayed strong. The ending was both shocking and expected.
Cameron Wiggins
Tami Hoag’s books just seem to get better and better. Her characters even seem to get better and better. Prior Bad Acts is no exception. Liska and Kovac are two of my favorite Hoag characters. They are Minneapolis cops.
A lady has been brutally murdered. There is immediately a suspect who is no stranger to the law. The dragnet begins. The suspect is brought in but is released during the trial by a compassionate judge. The judge is brutally beaten and her dirtbag husband is suspected of hiring the
...more
Kris
4 STARS

"It was a crime so brutal it changed the lives of even the most hardened homicide cops. The Haas family murders left a scar on the community nothing can erase, but convicting the alleged killer - Karl Dahl - is a start. Only Judge Carey Moore seems to be standing in the way. Her ruling that Dahl's prior criminal record is inadmissible as evidence against him raises a public outcry - and puts the judge in grave danger. When an unknown assailant attacks Carey Moore in a parking garage, two
...more
Sherrie
Tami Hoag's writing has improved significantly since her early efforts, which tended to be flat without much character development. The Kovacs and Liska series has improved with every book. My main complaint with this one was--while I don't mind if a plot is semi-transparent in a good book--I figured out every single angle well before the ending. It also seems that Liska doesn't get as much page time as Kovacs, which I'd like to see change. This is an improving series that i will continue to fol ...more
Barbara ★
In typical Tami Hoag fashion, this twists and turns with surprise after surprise. The cops think they have the triple murderer in custody until the unthinkable happens and he escapes. Then it's a race to find him and protect the ones in the most danger from him. I haven't read the first two books in this series (Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust) but I really liked the dynamics between the partners. They use humor and sexual innuendos to get past the horror of their jobs. The banter between all the c ...more
Mrs. Foley
I listened to the abridged version (six hours) of this book on a trip. It is a thrilling murder-mystery.

Review from Publishers Weekly (January 30, 2006)
A simple court hearing explodes into a multifaceted case at the start of this stunning meld of thriller and police procedural from bestseller Hoag. Shortly after Minneapolis judge Carey Moore decides that the many "prior bad acts" of accused serial killer Karl Dahl can't be used in his trial, Dahl escapes from jail and someone attacks Moore. Homi
...more
Bob
Karl Dahl is in court for arraignment and the judge denies the use of any prior convictions by the prosecutor, which makes her hated by most of the town even though she is following the law as written. Dhal’s supposed crime is the brutal murder of a woman and her two foster children and the town is out for blood. One old time detective is now on desk duty because he could not handle the scene of the murder, after the judge’s ruling she is attacked getting into her car and only her car alarm scar ...more
Rebecca
Well, that was...intense.

I am still deciding what I think. Usually the crime thrillers I've read have a moderately plausible plot line, but characters that reveal a real lack of understanding. This one was different--I loved the characters, I loved the way they interacted and spoke to each other. The lawyers, the detectives, the ER nurses, all felt real to me. I thought they were brilliant.

What I had trouble swallowing was the plot. As much fun as it was, at some point it just became ridiculou
...more
Benjamin Thomas
I've completed another audio book, Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag. As usual, I selected this one from the library because it was by an author whose name I had seen time and again and yet had never read. My research indicates Tami Hoag got her start in romance novels but later turned to thriller novels and has since had 13 best sellers. Thriller novels are usually a good choice for my audio book habit because their very nature makes the plot easy to get back into each and every time I start it up ag ...more
Irem
Hic fena bir kitap degildi. Zaten 3'ün altinda vermedigim bir polisiye roman benim icin iyidir, okunabilir, keyiflidir vs vs. Olaylar hizli ilerliyor sıkmıyor. Yine de ortada Kovac ile Liska'nin kesfettigi sarsici ayrintilar yok, ki bu da biraz hevesimi kursagimda birakti. Suphelilerin perspektifiyle yazilan bolumler nedeniyle zaten okuyucu neyin ne oldugunu biliyor. Sadece Kovac ve Liska kesfetmesini bekliyorsunuz. Bu yuzden heyecan biraz ölmüş gibi. 3,5 tan 4.
--
Not bad, not at all. To me, as l
...more
Linda
Took a break from serious reading for a couple fluff paperbacks I picked up at the local thrift store. Over the years I've read almost all Tami Hoag's books. They are formulaic but page-turners, all similar to each other, but significantly elevated by the fact that they all manage to keep you guessing until the end. She is not beyond killing off major characters, or making someone good turn bad, which heightens the suspense and keeps you from getting too comfortable in your expectations. Tempora ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Tami Hoag Novel Misplaced 3 23 Feb 28, 2014 01:30PM  
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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
More about Tami Hoag...

Other Books in the Series

Kovac and Liska (4 books)
  • Ashes to Ashes (Kovac/Liska, #1)
  • Dust to Dust (Kovac/Liska, #2)
  • The 9th Girl (Kovac and Liska #4)
Ashes to Ashes (Kovac/Liska, #1) Secrets to the Grave (Oak Knoll, #2) Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) Guilty as Sin  (Deer Lake #2) Down the Darkest Road (Oak Knoll, #3)

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