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Dust to Dust
by Tami Hoag
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553582526, Mass Market Paperback)Minneapolis has more than its share of interesting cops (Lucas Davenport of the John Sandford thrillers, for one), and Tami Hoag's homicide dicks, Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska, join the club in this thoughtful and surprisingly moving novel of dirty cops and cover-ups. Internal Affairs investigator Andy Fallon is a suicide--or is he? The word around the department is that Andy, son of Iron Mike Fallon, an old hero of Sam's, killed himself because Mike turned his back on him when Andy told him he was gay. Or maybe it was because a lover dumped him, or even (snicker, snicker) a perverted sexual practice gone wrong. That's the gossip, but Sam feels he owes it to Mike to investigate.
Sam is a familiar type in this genre, and his self-awareness is almost painful at times. "You're a stereotype. The tragic hero," he's told by Amanda Savard, the strong-but-vulnerable Internal Affairs lieutenant whose determination to keep the Fallon case closed foreshadows her personal history. "The twice-divorced, smoking, drinking workaholic," Sam agrees. "I don't know what's heroic about that. It reeks of failure to me, but maybe I have unrealistic standards." But Sam's droll sense of humor is matched by his deeply ingrained crap detector. When Iron Mike apparently kills himself too, you can almost feel its needle vibrate. Then Sam and Nikki open another closed case, this one almost two decades old, and find the connections that threaten to unravel past crimes and future promises. Hoag is a writer very much in command of her craft: the pacing excels, the characters are complex and interesting, and the details well worked out. Readers will look forward to another Kovac and Liska adventure. --Jane Adams
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:08 -0400)
Sorry. The single word was written on the mirror. In front of it hung the body of Andy Fallon, a Minneapolis Internal Affairs cop. Was it suicide? Or a kinky act turned tragic accident? Either way, his death wasn't a crime. The investigation will be a formality, a duty that veteran Homicide detective Sam Kovac isn't looking forward to. He doesn't want to spend any more time than he has to in the bleak, empty world of the victim's father, Iron Mike, Kovac's old mentor and a department legend. It's too much like looking into his own future. But Kovac has a sixth sense for crime, and it's burning. Together with his partner, the wisecracking, ambitious Nikki Liska, Kovac begins to dig at the too-neat edges of Fallon's death, uncovering one motive and one suspect after another. The shadows of suspicion fall deeply not only on the city's power elite, but into the very heart of the police department itself. But Fallon's death has been officially ruled an accident, and the department brass want the case to go away. Iron Mike, gunned down in the line of duty twenty years earlier and forced to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, has suffered enough, they say. They would much rather have the publicity spotlight remain on their latest legend, retiring Captain Ace Wyatt, who is headed for the bright lights of Hollywood. Unfortunately, neither Kovac nor Liska believe Fallon died by his own hand--accidentally or otherwise. As the case unfolds, it seems more and more likely that his death is somehow tied to his work. The question is whether he was killed for a case two months old--the murder of a gay patrol officer--or a case twenty years closed--the one that left his father a paraplegic and made Ace Wyatt a hero. As Kovac and Liska dig deeper, they find their careers and lives on the line, because a killer wants the truth left dead and buried.
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