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The Bitter Season

(Kovac and Liska #5)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  11,435 ratings  ·  1,020 reviews

#1  New York Times Bestselling author Tami Hoag returns to the bestselling series of her career with a Kovac and Liska case that will delight fans and new readers alike.

A murder from the past. A murder from the present. And a life that was never meant to be... As the dreary, bitter weather of late fall descends
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published January 12th 2016 by Dutton
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Debbie Cooke No. It stands alone, but the entire series is quite good. Why not read them all?

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  11,435 ratings  ·  1,020 reviews

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Start your review of The Bitter Season (Kovac and Liska, #5)
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
3.5-4 Stars

The Bitter Season
is book five in the Kovac and Liska series, but you don’t need to read the previous books to enjoy this crime procedural type mystery. The story kept my rapt attention as Nikki Liska and Sam Kovac questioned suspects, walked in the shoes of the victims, and dug deep down for clues.

Detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska have been partners in the Homicide division for many years, but Nikki has just transferred to Cold Cases to get away from the long hours required for f
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Bitter Season by Tami Hoag is a 2016 Dutton Books publication.

Back before everyone was trying to write the next “Gone Girl”, Tami Hoag was pumping out solid romantic suspense novels and edge of your seat thrillers. She has found a nice solid niche with her own brand of psychological thriller, in the Kovac and Liska series, this being the fifth installment.

Tami Hoag has always been one my ‘go to’ authors and I do make every effort possible to read every single one of her novels. This book,
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
I listened to this book on audio, and I liked it.

Although I’ve not read the previous books in this series (which I advise you to do) the plot was very very intriguing and mind blowing which more than made up for my lack of back story on the characters.

I think this is a series I’d go back on once I’ve caught up on some books I need to read.
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I really liked this one. When I saw that I had the chance to read an early copy of this book, I jumped at the opportunity. Tami Hoag is an author that I have wanted to read for quite some time but just haven't actually sat down with one of her books until now. I really don't know what I was waiting for because this book was really very good. I predict that there will be a lot more of Tami Hoag's work in my reading future.

This book is the fift
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
While I always enjoy Tami Hoag’s books, the Kovak and Liska books are my favorites. Their sarcastic and witty banter overlays the deep affection and respect they have for each other, and their investigative styles mesh perfectly. In “The Bitter Season,” Liska has just moved to the cold case squad so that she can have more time at home with her teenage sons. Although she and Kovak are no longer partners, their paths still cross when it seems their separate cases may have a common link. This was a ...more
Retired Reader
Suspenseful and well-written. Straightforward story of murder, one a double homicide in the present and one a cold case from 25 years ago. As the book progresses, we begin to see possible connections between the two that no one has investigated. I couldn't really connect with any of the characters, so just 3 stars from me. I haven't read any other books in this series, so maybe that's why. Still an enjoyable read! ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. One of my favorite parts of being a book conisseur is that feeling when I'm reunited with an author from my reading past. Back in the early 2000's Tami Hoag crime thrillers were a refreshing break from the Canadian history, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, and women studies readings of my Arts degree. But eventually I was distracted by authors like Lisa Gardner and Iris Johansen and poor TH was abandoned. So, it was with great pleasure that I discovered the latest in the Kovac and ...more
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to Penguin/Dutton and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Tami Hoag returns following Cold Cold Heart (2015) with THE BITTER SEASON (Kovac & Liska #5) –A clever, twisted chilling haunting suspense of family secrets, lies, and revenge.

Two separate twisted cases. A cold case. A murder from the past. A murder from the present. And a life that was never meant to be. Both cases will collide, in this heart-pounding psycho-crime mystery thriller, leaving your
I love the Kovac and Liska partnership, and while they start out with minimal contact as Liska has moved to Cold Cases to spend more time with her boys, they still have time together. I am still waiting for the judge from Prior Bad Acts to come back to Kovac. Yes, he's a stereotypical gruff, cigarette smoking detective with a heart of gold, but that's why we love him. Think Law & Order's Lenny Briscoe but sexier. And Liska is a dynamo.

However, I just could not stomach this one. Tami Hoag has str
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Before I begin my review, I must make a confession. The Bitter Season is the first book that I have read from Tami Hoag and I am shaking my head as to why I haven't read her books before because Ms. Hoag has completely spellbind and bewitched me with The Bitter Season.

The Bitter Season was riveting, enthralling, suspenseful and fast paced. Ms. Hoag delivers a story that is bold and edgy that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. With her lyrical and gorgeous prose, Ms. Hoag consumes rea
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Bitter Season is a novel filled with suspense from beginning to end. The reader will be hooked from the first chapter! Tami Hoag has written a novel with a complex plot, very complex characters and intense intrigue. The cold case and a vicious double homicide all come to a " complete circle". ...more
Bruce Hatton
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fifth novel in a series of which, I believe, I read the first two many years ago, featuring Minneapolis police detectives, Nikki Liska and Sam Kovac. They are not in partnership here, as Nikki has transferred to the Cold Case Unit where she is assigned to investigate the murder of a Sex Crimes detective 25 years previously. Understandably, the murder of a police officer has already been investigated several times before, but without any results.
Meanwhile, Sam and his new partner, Mic
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Detective Nikki Liska has moved to the cold-case division in hopes she'll have more time at home with her boys. Her first case is a 25-year-old homicide of a cop. He was killed in his yard while chopping wood. Many detectives have tried to solve this crime, but they keep running into a dead end. Detective Sam Kovac is breaking in a new partner when they are assigned a double-murder. A university professor and his wife were killed with a Japanese ceremonial sword. The professor was in line for a ...more
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
There was a time when I would grab every book written by Tami Hoag as soon as it was released (once she started writing thrillers instead of romance novels). While her suspense books always contained quite graphic violence, I found her storylines to be riveting. But at some point, it began to seem that the violence was taking over with less and less compelling stories so I started skipping some of her books. This one sounded interesting and I’m very glad that I gave her work another try.

There ar
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just realized that I have been reading Tami Hoag's Kovac/Liska series since I was around 14 or so. I found Dust to Dust in my mom's bedroom one day and promptly snuck it away once I read the back of the book jacket. I didn't realize it was second in the series (and I hate reading stories out of order, more on that in my next review) and so when I finished it I remember being bent out of sorts because there were references to something else that happened and I realized then this had to be the s ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I want more Kovac and Liska!!!
Kara Hansen
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was the fifth book in the Kovac/Liska series. I went into this book under the assumption it was the last of this series, but by the time I finished I was not so sure. Have loved all of these books, and this one did not disappoint.
Detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska, former partners, are now working in separate departments for the police force. Nikki has moved over to Cold Case files in order to have more sanity and order in her life, while Kovac has acquired a new partner, Michael Taylor.
RoseMary Achey
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
You are going to wish you are snowed in when you pick up this won't want to leave it to go to work, the grocery or to run errands. A cold case from 25 years ago is reopened and at the same time a gruesome double homicide takes place....are thinking what I am thinking? Rarely does an author present material in this fashion unless the two cases are somehow related.

This was an satisfying book that I truly enjoyed.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My second time around reading and listening to this book - and the simplest explanation is that I immensely enjoy the very specific banter between detectives Liska, Kovac, Tippen and Knutson - and now the younger, handsome and more serious Taylor has joined them, while Liska has moved to the cold case unit (the broom closet, as they so lovingly refer to it). Young, handsome det. Taylor holds promise as a dedicated and smart investigator, and Kovac is starting to realize it.
From her side, Liska
Jennifer McLean
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: thriller, mystery fans
Shelves: favorites
"The Bitter Season" By Tami Hoag comes out January 12, 2016. This is a complex, mesmerizing psychological thriller that continues Hoag's Kovac/Liska series.

I am not going to do what I usually do when I review a book. I'm not going to outline what this one is about. The plot is just too complicated (in a good way) and if I try, I might inadvertently give away a detail that will lesson your enjoyment of this spectacular read. I'll spell out the very basics. Detective Nikki Liska has a twenty-five
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
So enjoy Nicki Liska stories. This one being no exception. First one I've read where she has transferred out of violent crime to solve cold cases so she can be at home with her sons. This aspect detracted a little from the usual excitement of her story although it was a little interwoven with one of Kovac's crime stories. That helped to save it. ...more
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fast read.

So let me start by saying that I have enjoyed Tami Hoag and she has never let me down. This novel too was perfect. I will have to warn the readers that it has some graphic gory scenes which could have been toned down but other than that all of the book, the characters,the plot,the pace , everything is a perfect harmony.

The premise:

A murder from the past. A murder from the present. And a life that was never meant to be... As the dreary, bitter weather of late fall descends on Minneapoli
Colleen Thompson
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding mystery with Liska working in her new role on a cold case that no one seems to want solved and Kovac working on the brutal murder of a university professor of Far Eastern studies and his wife--with samurai weapons. I couldn't figure out for the life of my how it would all come together in the end. Well done! ...more
Michelle (Michelle's Book Ends) Shealy
"He was dog tired. Not for the first time-or the hundred and first time-he thought. I'm getting too old for this. In the next thought, he wondered what Liska was doing. He wondered how bored she was. He thought of cold case squads as the place old Homicide dicks went when they couldn't keep up anymore. Then he remembered with no small amount of depression that he was an old Homicide dick. ..."

The Bitter Season returns as the fifth book in the Detectives Kovac and Liska series. Its November, 25
Elaine Tomasso
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been looking forward to reading The Bitter Season for a while and it really didn't disappoint me.

Nikki "Tinks" Liska has left active homicide investigation to work in the newly established, experimental cold case unit. She thinks it will be a more 9-5 job, giving her time to spend with her son's in the crucial teenage years. Sam Kovac is left to break in a new partner, Michael Taylor, unwillingly of course because he wants Liska back. The novel opens with them both getting difficult cases
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Tangled Web of Murder Confronts Liska and Kovac

Detective Nikki Liska misses her partner Kovac. With her sons growing up, she feels the need to be at home more so she transferred to the cold case unit. Here she catches a case she doesn't want. Thomas Duffy, a decorated sex crimes detective, was killed 25 years ago. In spite of the best efforts of the police, his case remains unsolved, and Nikki fears it may stay that way.

Kovac has a new partner. Taylor is green and Kovac resents the time it ta
Kat Valentine
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
what a hell of a ride!!!! this new book by tami hoag was full of more twists and turns then a backwoods road!!!! in this new book she has two of the most awesome characters she ever created. we have detectives nikki liska(tink) and sam kovac, even though these two arent partners anymore . nikki's with the new cold case unit and kovac has a new partner taylor who is a promising young fledgling detective, these two old partners are still thick as thieves and they about to find out that the case ni ...more
Agnes (BookBubbe)
I love Tami Hoag and all her books, but this one was a bit draggy. On one hand I wanted to know the ending - which was a total surprise - on the other hand, the story was dragging to the point of me putting the book down and not picking it up until a day or two later. (I usually read every night.) But the story was a good one - showing what we say and do can damage our children, whether they are foster or our own. Kovac and Liska were put on two different cases - one a recent one where they slau ...more
Patti Barber
Mar 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
I turn to mystery books like the ones Tami Hoag writes when I want to slip into another world for a day or two. Normally I only take two days to read such a book. The Bitter Season took me almost two weeks to finish. I can't tell you why. Is the writing style different? Is this story not as captivating as her prior stories? I can not tell you .... all I can say is that I did not enjoy this particular book. ...more
Barbara ★
Tami Hoag really knows how to twist a story. This one is surprising until the very last chapter (well second to last really). There were a few things that totally surprised me and a few that I caught onto early. WOW what a book!

I love Liska and Kovak but I'm not sure I like them working separately. Maybe Kovac will consent to work cold cases with Liska and they can be a team again. Hmmm.
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Charley and Diana (spoiler) 1 6 Jul 17, 2018 09:15AM  

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Tami Hoag is the #1 internationally bestselling author of more than thirty books published in more than thirty languages worldwide, including her latest thrillers—BITTER SEASON, COLD COLD HEART and THE 9TH GIRL. Renowned for combining thrilling plots with character-driven suspense, Hoag first hit the New York Times Bestseller list with NIGHT SINS, and each of her books since has been a bestseller. ...more

Other books in the series

Kovac and Liska (5 books)
  • Ashes to Ashes (Kovac and Liska, #1)
  • Dust to Dust (Kovac and Liska, #2)
  • Prior Bad Acts (Kovac and Liska, #3)
  • The 9th Girl (Kovac and Liska, #4)

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