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Prior Bad Acts (Kovac and Liska, #3)
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Prior Bad Acts

(Kovac and Liska #3)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  14,356 ratings  ·  541 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, 525 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Bantam (first published 2006)
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Susan Wallis
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Gazania Not necessarily. Reading the two previous just makes you more comfortable with the characters

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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,356 ratings  ·  541 reviews

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Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: it-is-for-class
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
CD {Boulder Blvd}
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: s-bv-library
Making my way through the Kovac and Liska series. I like the series and I like the characters of Kovac and Liska and their immediate team. I really enjoyed this suspense murder - maybe one of my favorites in the series.

When a judge makes an unpopular decision on the admission of prior bad acts, she is attacked and her life is endangered. A little digging into who may have attacked her leads to multiple options. Some people don't look as innocent as they should.

I think I would have liked it more
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the third book in the Kovac and Liska series. We have Kovac and Liska involved in a case that involves a judge (Judge Carey Moore) that is attacked after giving out a controversial ruling related to a defendant's prior bad acts not being allowed to be introduced to a jury when he goes on trial for the murder of woman and her two foster kids.

Kovac is at first not looking forward to the assignment. He doesn't care for Judge Moore now that she is a judge. When she was a prosecutor
Janie Johnson
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-challenge
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
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stayed up way too late to finish, because I never found a spot where I could’ve stopped and gone to sleep without actually knowing immediately what happened next. Really well done cop/crime thriller. The two main characters are interesting, believable, and likable; the bad guys are really horrible guys, just awful; and the writing gets better with each successive book. There were lots of twists and turns, and a satisfying ending, with enough unresolved storylines to keep you coming back for more ...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Rating: 4.5

This book was not perfect, but I think this was Hoag's best book that I've read so far. I enjoyed it enough to keep it.

I even liked the endgame romance at the end. (view spoiler)

I spent most of the book wondering who was the Big Baddie™, and it was a lot more complicated than just one. I was actually surprised one of them was not as involved as I thought. (view spoiler)
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This series just keeps getting better and better!!! Loved it.
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
Lyeesh's Little Getaway❤
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Easily one of the best books I have ever read. Each page had me reading faster and flipping the page harder. The suspense was so intense that you could not possibly just read one chapter, I finished this book in two days and will definitely read it again. The twists and turns that Hoag brings through the chapters had so many different emotions going through me for those characters. Highly recommend!!!!
Kara Hansen
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a great book! The third installment of the Kovac/Liska series, this has been the best one so far. A gripping storyline, the continued friendship/work partners of Kovac and Liska, and a few new characters to add to the mix. I'm looking forward the next one in the series. A fine thriller and I definitely recommend this series.
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
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: tami-hoag
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
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
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tami Hoag is one of those authors who, every time I read one of her books, I wonder why I don't read her more often. And I'm still wondering that. Prior Bad Acts is probably, by a hair, my least favorite of the Hoag novels I've read, yet it's still pretty damn' fine. In particular, I liked the way that she turned the tables on my false preconceptions as to the point she was trying to make.

All the evidence points toward Karl Dahl as the perpetrator of the horrific torture-murder of a mother and h
Gloria ~ mzglorybe
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars -

Of all the Kovac/Liska series this has been my favorite. It has all the elements of a good mystery/suspense/thriller. The opening scene is gruesome, a triple homicide of a foster mother and 2 small children, who died horrible deaths. Not overly detailed in graphics, but you get it. The presumed killer had been seen at their house the day of the murders with a necklace belonging to the woman and has been taken into custody. The presiding Judge Carey Moore, a mother herself, rules that
Laurie Sachs
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
I really enjoyed this book......Tami Hoag is fast becoming one of my favorite authors! The story moved along quickly, keeping the reader guessing until the end. If you like the crime genre, this is for you!
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 for the story itself but the audio version was distracting.
Maureen Casey
Mar 11, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Susan (the other 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
Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got into this book quickly and a day later it was finished and the rest of her books are added to my 'to read' list.
A judge (rightly) rules that a criminals past behaviour can't have any bearing on his current case but others disagree and she is attacked as she leaves the court. At the same time, the man she was ruling on, escapes and a police officer goes rogue. Nothing is as it appears and then under police noses, the judge vanishes.
I enjoyed seeing the loose ends coming together at the end
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge-2014
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.
Paris        (kerbytejas)
Dec 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Long drawn out story, not suspenseful, and a bit repetitive. Sam Kovac shows an emotional side of his character - at times I felt he was out of control.
Penny Post
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book I missed reading in order and oh wow, I loved the subplots. Even though I figured one out early on, the way it played out was amazing. Terrific read.
Stephanie Tuell
Oct 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
Very good book. Started strong and stayed strong. The ending was both shocking and expected.
Serene Costello
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Nail biter.... did not want to put it down.
Beth Pearson
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
This was an audio version that I listened to while driving by myself and it took a few weeks to get through almost 12 hours of story listening in small increments of time. While I give this book 4 stars because it really pulled me in and I thought about the plot plenty while not listening, it isn't a book I can recommend to anyone I know. The murder scene was gruesome and Hoag spends plenty of time revisiting the horror of it all. I understand why she we as the readers can completely u ...more
Kathy Martin
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The horrible, brutal murder of a mother and her two foster children is the centerpiece of this thriller. Drifter and petty criminal Karl Dahl is assumed to be the perpetrator. After all, he has a history of smaller sexual crimes from peeping to exposing himself in public. But Judge Cary Moore isn't going to let those past Prior Bad Acts be presented in the current case.

This decision infuriates Detective Stan Dempsey who found his life changed by the crime. He's a loner who lived for the job but
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska will never forget the horrendous murder scene at the Haas home. A drifter named Karl Dahl has been arrested for the crime and Judge Carey Moore rules that his prior record of petty crimes is inadmissible as it might unduly influence the jury. People are angry with the judge over this and she is attacked and beaten in the parking garage. At the jail, a riot breaks out and Dahl is taken to the hospital where he escapes. Now police are looking for him as well as ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Tami Hoag Novel Misplaced 3 24 Feb 28, 2014 01:30PM  

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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)
  • The 9th Girl (Kovac and Liska, #4)
  • The Bitter Season (Kovac and Liska, #5)
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