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Prior Bad Acts (Kovac and Liska #3)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  8,824 ratings  ·  312 reviews
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
Paperback, Large Print, 592 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Random House Large Print (first published 2006)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 ...more
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
This is a great suspense/thriller with plenty of chills and thrills to keep you guessing. This gave me a bit of an adrenalin rush.
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
Stephanie Tuell
Very good book. Started strong and stayed strong. The ending was both shocking and expected.

"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Carey Moore, former prosecuting attorney, has achieved her goal and is now a judge, like her father before her. As a judge, objectivity is essential, and Judge Moore is able, with effort, to abandon her former biases and consider each case on its merits. Now she bites the bullet to make a highly unpopular ruling in the case of an accused mass murderer, deciding that his record of "prior bad acts" is not admissible, on the grounds that they have no bearing on the current matter. And all hell brea ...more
Dec 20, 2011 Angela~twistedmind~ rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys suspense, mystery, psychological terror
Even though I rarely read Hoag........for what reason, I do not know.........she never fails to deliver when I do pick something of hers up. Prior Bad Acts is a fast paced story. I read it relatively quickly (for me, anyway), because I was always anxious to turn each page to find out what happens next. The anger, the helplessness, the unstoppable feelings of guilt and anxiousness the characters go through are all very believable. The story just draws you in. I would recommend this book to anyone ...more
Marilyn Groves
I don't give many books five stars, but after closing out the world and reading this story in about a day, I have to say it deserves it.

Main characters Sam Novak & Nikki Liska are after a serial killer. And the guy who attacked the judge. And, and... this novel has enough bad guys to fill, well, a book. And enough twists and turns to keep your interest.

Sometimes I forget just how good Tami Hoag is. Luckily I am reminded on a regular basis :)
This book was sooooo good.I have had the good luck of reading a lot of great books recently and this is another five star read. The story begins with the death of a mother and her two foster children in a very grisly manner, and the result of the murder trial of the person who did it. The case became controversial due to a decision made by the Judge at the trial.Carey Moore is the Judge and her decision will now effect the safety of her small family . This is a tense and tragic story with distur ...more
Crud, I forgot that Tami Hoag weaves romance into her mysteries – not my thing. However, the mystery was good and I wanted to see how the book ended so I kept reading. The good: good mystery, generally good writing and characters. The bleh: unrealistic romance (grizzled detective lusting after young, beautiful judge); a weird 1940’s gangster dialog with said grizzled detective – I began to envision James Cagney in a fedora; and a police force that goes up in flames, enraged by a judicial ruling ...more
Oct 17, 2008 Ellen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Kellerman, Deaver, Cornwall
This is the first Tami Hoag book I've read. I previously associated this author with the romance genre as opposed to mysteries.

I took Prior Bad Acts on a recent trip. For any book to hold my attention when I am reading it sporadically is a challenge, and this rose to the occasion. Though it didn't deviate from the standard mystery format, it was well paced and, well, mysterious.

As a fan of Linda Fairstein, Jonathan Kellerman and Jeffrey Deaver, I was delighted to discover a "new" novelist that
Laurie D'ghent
I chose to stop reading this book halfway through because there is so much swearing in it. It has a very enthralling plot line, and the author does a commendable job of approaching child predation without going into disgusting detail, but I decided there is enough that is dark and depressing in the world, and I should be filling my mind with better thoughts.
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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...
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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