Book Review: 'The Bitter Season'

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tami Hoag. Dutton, 416 pp. $28

New York Times-bestselling author Tami Hoag returns with the fifth novel in her series featuring Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska.

Liska has transitioned into the cold case squad for the Minneapolis Police Department, and she's been assigned an unsolved murder for a former sex crimes detective for the Minneapolis PD. Her partner, still in the homicide department, is faced with a brutal double homicide. In a different plot thread, Evi Burke is haunted by danger from her past.

Because this is the fifth book in a series, I did feel a little disadvantaged not having read the first four books. I would have liked to know the history between Kovac and Liska, because they were partners and, as such, had a bond that is a little tested at the beginning of this novel. It would definitely have made more of an impact on me if I had known their past relationship.

But, even with that in mind, I like Hoag's writing style. She's bold, descriptive and she doesn't hold back. On the one hand, a descriptive writing style in a police thriller can get pretty graphic. But on the other hand, she paints the story very well and, because of that, creates a very readable story.

Police procedurals are popular in part because they're very easy to read and they're intense. "The Bitter Season" fits right in here, and would make a great read for someone who likes a good story, compelling characters and tight writing.

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