George V. Reilly

Review: Prior Bad Acts

Prior Bad Acts
Title: Prior Bad Acts
Author: Tami Hoag
Rating: ★ ★
Publisher: Bantam
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 525
Keywords: crime
Reading period: 16-17 June, 2007

Karl Dahl is about to go on trial for the obscene murders of a woman and her two young children, and everyone wants to lynch him. Judge Carey Moore rules that Dahl’s prior criminal record is in­ad­mis­si­ble. Hours later, she’s beaten up in the courthouse parking garage. Is it (a) an enraged member of the public, (b) the family of the murder victims, (c) a hit man sent by her estranged husband, or (d) the sidelined detective driven out of his mind by the horrors of the case? Then Karl Dahl escapes….

The whole book is like this: one over-the-top plot device laid on top of the next. It is fairly effective at keeping the adrenaline flowing, but otherwise has little to recommend it. Empty literary calories. It would have been a better book if most of the plot had been left out.

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