Monday, April 25, 2011

Secrets to the Grave [Hardcover]

I've finished "Secrets to the Grave" the sequel to "Deeper than the Dead" by Tami Hoag.

Product Description

#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag returns with her second thriller in the Deeper than the Dead micro series, exploring the early days of forensic investigation, the characteristics of innocence-and the nature of evil.

Marissa Fordham had a past full of secrets, a present full of lies. Everyone knew of her, but no one knew her.

When Marissa is found brutally murdered, with her young daughter, Haley, resting her head on her mother's bloody breast, she sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See- No-Evil killer, residents are shocked by reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days had it not been for a chilling 911 call: a small child's voice saying, "My daddy hurt my mommy."

Sheriff's detective Tony Mendez faces a puzzle with nothing but pieces that won't fit. To assist with his witness, Haley, he calls teacher-turned-child advocate Anne Leone. Anne's life is hectic enough - she's a newlywed and a part - time student in child psychology and she's the star witness in the See-No-Evil trial. But one look at Haley, alone and terrified, and Anne's heart is stolen.

As Tony and Anne begin to peel back the layers of Marissa Fordham's life, they find a clue fragment here another there. And just when it seems Marissa has taken her secrets to the grave, they uncover a fact that puts Anne and Haley directly in the sights of a killer:  Marissa Fordham never existed.

Product Details
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (December 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780525951926
ISBN-13: 978-0525951926

My Review:

I highly recommend this book if you like a series that uses old methods to solve the crimes and if you like a lot of red herrings and twists and turns.

Storyline:  The book opens with a horrific crime scene depicting the aftermath of the brutal knife murder of single mother Marissa Fordham. Her four-year-old daughter, Haley, was also attacked and left for dead, languishing for two days with her mother's corpse before being discovered.

Detective Tony Mendez is tapped to head up the investigation, and knows from recent experience to make use of a tremendous resource located in town, former FBI Agent Vince Leone, one of the pioneers in the field of behavioral profiling.

Mendez also seeks assistance from child advocate Anne Navarre Leone, herself nearly a victim the previous year of the so-called "See No Evil" killer that plagued Oak Knoll (the case which initially brought her then FBI Agent, now husband Vince Leone to town). Together they must try to help a traumatized child recover and, if possible, provide them with information to help catch her mother's killer.

As with Deeper than the Dead, Secrets to the Grave is set in the mid-80's, which adds an interesting twist to the reader's experience.  Secrets to the Grave takes readers back to a time when detectives still had to slog through reams of paperwork by hand and spend all day on the phone in order to track down information that could be found within minutes today by using computers and the internet.

Romance: Vince and Anne are newly weds and have been for 4 months now.  You can really feel they love and respect each other.  It was so sweet!  Tony has also fallen in love but doesn't want to rush his love interest since she is dealing with a cheating husband.

Killer(s): One killer just wanted to protect their reputation and the other was for revenge!  The killer out for revenge was not a really nice person and liked to control people to suit their needs. The murder scene was quite a sight to read about!


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