The dynamic detective team of Kovac and Liska are back and up to their ears in death and danger. Escalating tension and terrifying suspense are Hoag hallmarks, and her outstanding storytelling expertise and ability to deftly layer character and plot make this another surefire hit.

Minnesota judge Carey Moore isn't popular after she makes an evidence ruling that favors suspected killer Karl Dahl. In fact, someone is so incensed that Carey is nearly beaten to death in the courthouse parking garage.

Given the police department and the public's feelings about the Dahl case, homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska aren't too thrilled to be assigned to investigate Carey's assault. But soon Sam is sympathizing with Carey and the tough situation she's in. Then all hell breaks loose when, shortly thereafter, Dahl escapes custody. Now Kovac and Liska are looking at two parallel cases: recapturing Dahl and uncovering the person threatening the judge. As they dig deeper, Kovac and Liska are awash in suspects, and no one is as innocent as he or she seems.

(Apr., 384 pp., $26.00)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith