Robyn's Reviews > Deeper Than the Dead

Deeper Than the Dead by Tami Hoag
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's review
Jan 18, 10

really liked it
Read in January, 2010

** spoiler alert ** A compelling new novel from Tami Hoag. The story is interesting b/c it is set in 1985, before DNA testing and computers aided in police investigations. This was also the advent of criminal profiling, which helps create a backdrop to the story. That said, profiling does not play as significant a role in the story as the reader might original think. The only thing the idea of profiling adds is a male protagonist from the FBI. I think the story could have worked without this character, however, though maybe not as neatly.

Other things that troubled me about this novel:
1. Although set in 1985, it does not really read like it was written in 1985. Hoag adds in a few too many allusions to advancing forensic sciences and computers for the narrative to ring true to the mid-80s.
2. Why do the male protagonist and female protagonist always end up as lovers?!?! Seriously, I would like to read a mystery or thriller where the main characters don't fall into bed or love. I know to expect this from Hoag and other writers of her ilk, but this part of the formula is getting old. In this novel, the male and female leads end up together, even though there is really no chemistry established between them. It's like they were thrown together simply b/c the genre-formula demanded it. Sheesh!
3. I figured out who the bad guy was too early. The identity of the killer was a bit too obvious, partly because the criminal profile was so prevalent in the narrative.

So why did I give this novel four stars? Simply because of the last three pages of the book, after the killer is caught. **SPOILER**The killer ends up being a well-known citizen, with a wife and son. After the guy is arrested, the wife takes the son and flees. Hoag writes about their new lives and identities in such a way to leave the reader wondering how much the wife actually knew about her husband's actions as a murderer. Again, the last three pages were great!
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