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Historical Group Reads > Oct/Nov 2010: Ashes to Ashes - Tami Hoag

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message 1: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments Ok, gang. I'll be your substitute discussion leader. I haven't received my copy of the book yet, but go ahead and start chatting if you've already read it. As a courtesy to anyone who might be behind you in the reading, please use the SPOILER tag if you are discussing a specific event in the book.

message 2: by Gatorman (new)

Gatorman | 7679 comments I read it years ago and thought it was good, not great. A three-star read. Read the follow up, Dust to Dust, too and did not like it as much. Have not read another Tami Hoag book since as there are better mysteries out there with more interesting and complex characters and storylines.

message 3: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments How's it going, Gang? I'm in ch. 9 and so far the only characters that really come alive for me are Kovac and Quinn. And that's really only when they are together.

message 4: by Dalene (new)

Dalene | 37 comments I'm just a little further ahead (Ch. 12) and I've really come to like Kate. I'm interested to learn a little more about the Kate and Quinn prior relationship. Have you met the shrink yet?

message 5: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments Nope, no shrink yet.

message 6: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments I'm a little past the half-way point now. The characters have been fleshed out quite a bit now, and I'm liking the book better. I thought it was kind of dull at the beginning.

At this point, I'm fairly sure that the third victim wasn't killed by the same person as the first two, and that the third victim is not Jillian.

message 7: by Dalene (new)

Dalene | 37 comments Just finished the book. Like you K.B. I really enjoyed the book once I got halfway and then it ends intensely. There was so much going on at the end and wrapping up with several stories going on. It was just great.

I want to go pick up Dust to Dust just to see if Kate and Quinn really do get together.

message 8: by Joe (new)

Joe Ruhaak | 4 comments I want to apologize for not leading the discussion. I lost internet connection for a short time. I now have a new service, so the issue has been addressed.

I originally read the book about six years ago or so. I wanted to start the discussion with the fact that the crime was being ignored until Peter Bondurant's daughter is killed. Why does it take a high profile case for the police to get involved in a case? The saying is not protect and serve if you are important enough to warrant our attention.

The previous victims were murdered in a brutal fashion. You would assume that fact alone would get the police to pursue the potential criminals. How does everyone else feel about this issue?

message 9: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments Welcome back, Joe.

I finished last night. I would have preferred there to be less emphasis on the Kate-Quinn storyline. I feel that it overshadowed the murder investigation storyline.

Joe, are you suggesting that this work of fiction is gospel for how investigations are handled in the real world? It isn't the police who wait for a high profile victim, it's the media. If it isn't a sensational enough crime to boost ratings, the media isn't going to waste a lot of time reporting it. But sensational crimes happen to people from all walks of life. Hoag touched on this. She also touched on people who manipulate a tradegy to further their own causes and thereby inflame the community. (I thought the Urskines were slimy.)

In math classes we were taught that you need three or more elements to establish a pattern. I can't think of any situation in which that isn't true. And Kovac did investigate the first two murders, but he was pressured into moving on because there were other murders to investigate. Sadly, I suspect that part of the book was very accurate.

message 10: by Joe (new)

Joe Ruhaak | 4 comments K.B.

You are right when you say that the media plays a large role in whether not a case gets the manpower needed in order for it to get solved. I am sure you are aware of the old saying if it bleeds it leads. However, I feel it would be naive to say that the money behind the person who was killed does not also play a role in the investigation.

message 11: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments Joe,

Certainly someone's wealth (or lack thereof) and reputation will influence perception, which will in turn influence action. But to suggest that "it take[s] a high profile case for the police to get involved in a case" reflects a narrow perspective and is insulting to law enforcement professionals (the real ones, not the fictional ones). It may happen from to time to time, but looking back at major newsworthy crimes that warranted lengthy investigations, sometimes involving task forces, in my area, very few involved obscenely wealthy folks as victims. But we have seen the kid-glove approach for wealthy suspects.

message 12: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments Looking back to the book, what did you all think when you discovered who the killer was? Did you feel Hoad set up all the clues? Or did you feel she pulled a rabbit out of a hat?

message 13: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments Hi, Gang. Just checking to see if folks are still reading or if you just have nothing to say.

message 14: by Carol (new)

Carol | 152 comments I finished the book last night. This was my first book by Hoag, and I had been wanting to read one of her books. I had a difficult time getting through the first half of the book, and it really dragged for me in the middle. The last quarter of the book was great. I slowly grew to become involved with the characters, a bit too slowly I thought.
I agree with the discussion on the blame that the media deserves for caring more about the death in a prominent family as opposed to the death of a prostitute.
I do think that Hoag "pulled a rabbit out of a hat". I enjoy getting clues from the author and putting them together as I read. The middle of the story may have been a better read if there had been a few clues to think about. Rob, Michelle and Angie were all ripe for giving the reader a few clues to the outcome of the story and I think Hoag didn't do that effectively.
This made the final part of the plot very exciting, but I would have preferred a more evenly paced tale.

message 15: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments Carol, I'm like you. I want to be intrigued enough to try to solve the puzzle. I always feel a bit cheated if an author doesn't supply enough information for me to do that.

message 16: by Alex (new)

Alex | 18 comments I finished the book today during class. I couldn't drop the book lol. My Spanish teacher was like Alex wat are you looking for in the dictionary. It was soo funny, but I would like to learn more about Quinn and Kate's relationship. I always love a romance and if there's a mystery even better lol.

message 17: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments I can remember doing that in school as well! Well, you should be very happy with Hoag then because her bio says she also writes a romance series. So you can get your fix for romance and mystery often with her.

message 18: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (hayes13) | 2060 comments Mod
I'd like to thank K.B. for doing such a good job leading the discussion this month. The thread will remain open for anyone else who wants to join in.

message 19: by K.B. (new)

K.B. Hallman (kbhallman) | 302 comments Aw, shucks, Hayes.

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