Prior Bad Acts (Kovac and Liska #3) by Tami Hoag

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Prior Bad ActsAnother very interesting book by Tami Hoag. A mother is found murdered in the worst possible way and two children are also found hanging from a ceiling beam in the basement of a home. They were found by a man seeking refuge from a tremendous storm that was inundating the area.

The story then moves to a courtroom fifteen months later where Judge Carey Moore decides that she will not pass sentence on Karl Dahl, a drifter who was apprehended near the scene and arrested primarily because of prior bad acts even though none of them were extremely bad.

When Moore decides that she will not sentence him, many in and out of the courtroom are up in arms. The prosecuting attorney basically condemns her for not doing her duty. One particular police Detective, Stan Dempsey, really gets upset because he feels Moore has done this too often in the past and has not allowed good police work to be rewarded by stiff sentencing of criminals.

The story begins to really get into Hoag style when during the transfer of Dahl in the jail a fight breaks out and somehow or another Dahl gets loose! He is now on the loose and Sam Kovac as well as other police officers gets called in to try to find him.

However, at about the same time Judge Moore is heading to her car after having a heated discussion with the prosecuting attorney, Scott Logan. But while on her way she is visciously attacked by someone and is left lying next to her auto in very critical condition.

Kovac and his partner, Nikki Liska, are now given the task of finding who worked over the judge. There Is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Moore’s horrible beating is a direct result of her decision in the case of Karl Dahl.

Hoag really builds this into a great ongoing story as Kovac, especially, is not happy about having to do anything for Moore since he feels she was wrong in her decision. But as he gets more involved he realizes a lot of things about the judge. She has a young daughter and a husband who appears to be involved in things other than what a judge’s (or any other decent woman) husband should be wrapped up in. Kovac begins to feel differently about Moore.

While Kovac and Liska are trying to protect and find out who did the deed on the judge other things are happening with not only Dahl, the escaped prisoner, but also with the very disgruntled detective, Stan Dempsey.

Prior Bad Acts is one of the best books that I have read in some time even though I do not particularly care for some of Hoag’s vulgar language. She can really write!