Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Alibi Man
by Tami Hoag

Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Bantam Books
ISBN-13: 978-0553583601

A little off genre, "The Alibi Man" is a terrific story by Tami Hoag. It's the second installment in what I hope to be a long series featuring Elena Estes, a tough as horseshoes and rawhide heroine-to-die-for (if you're a suspense writer) who now rides horses on the ranch of a friend who lives in a well-to-do area of Palm Beach, a place for millionaires and professional polo players.

Elena Estes is a former Narcotics detective who lost her job, and nearly her life, in a drug raid gone bad. She blames herself for the death of a fellow officer in the raid and the memories torment her. In the first book, "Dark Horse," a young girl asks Elena to help find her missing sister. Though Elena insists she is not a private detective, she takes the case.

Elena is still insisting she is not a private detective in "The Alibi Man," when she discovers the body of her friend's groom floating in the river, half-eaten by alligators, and determines to find the killer.

Hoag weaves an intricate back-story of parental neglect and an engagement gone very sour into an intriguing mystery. I grieved for Elena as well as the murder victim throughout the book.

Not only brilliant characterization, but one of the best mystery plots I've read. The ending was a shocking surprise, yet believable and full of pathos.

Tami Hoag is a master at toying with the reader's emotions. She's one to learn from.

Reviewed by Linsey Lanier
Rating: 5 Petit Fours & 1 Hot Tamale


Sandy Elzie said...


Girl, you have me wanting to get the first and second book. Although I write family friendly, I enjoy a good suspense/detective book and even hubby has read a few of the more romance-type suspense.

Thanks for the review.


Tami Brothers said...

Okay, okay. I need to get back to reading Tami Hoag. Have I ever mentioned that Tami Hoag was the first romance writer I read? As soon as I read her book, Lucky's Lady, I was caught, hook, line and sinker. She has always been my very favorite author, even as her books got darker and darker.

I actually stopped reading her books with Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust because of the issue dealing with kids. I had recently had my own and for some reason, that topic just hit me hard. But of course, I have bought (in hardback) all of her books. Now I just need to add this new series to my collection and set aside some time to read them.

Thanks for the review, Linsey. I'm thrilled to be reintroduces to a favorite author!


Linsey Lanier said...

Thanks, ladies. I've been meaning to get something by Tami Hoag for a long time. Donald Maass' description of Elena Estes in "The Fire in Fiction" made me buy these books. Yes, she's dark, but she's also a talented writer, especially with characterization.

I had no idea she was your favorite, Tami. You have good taste. :)