Sorry. The single word was written on a mirror. In front of it hung the Minneapolis Internal Affairs cop. Was it suicide Or a kinky act turned tragic Either way, it wasn't murder. At least not according to the powers that be. But veteran homicide detective Sam Kovac and his wisecracking, ambitious partner Nikki Liska think differently. Together they begin to dig at the too-neat edges of the young cop's death, uncovering one motive and one suspect after another. The shadows of suspicion fall not only on the city's elite, but into the very heart of the police department. Someone wants the case closed-quickly and forever. But neither Kovac nor Liska will give up. Now both their careers and their lives are on the line. From a murder case two months old to another case closed for twenty years, Kovac and Liska must unearth a connection the killer wants dead and buried. A killer who will stop at absolutely nothing to keep a dark and shattering secret . . . From the Paperback edition.
Andy Fallon, a gay Minneapolis police officer, hangs dead in his bedroom. A week later Iron Mike Fallon, a former cop and Andy's father, shoots himself with his service revolver. Detectives Nikki Liska and Sam Kovac are not happy with the suspicious circumstances and the too-swift closing of both cases. They continue to nose around, causing unexpected people to react to their search with panic, threats, and attempted murder. What is the secret behind these deaths, and how are all the people connected Hoag's story is well told; revelations come slowly and tantalizingly, and the characters are well drawn. Toward the end of the tale, explanation and detail are ignored to some extent in favor of suspense and action, but this does not detract from the overall quality of the book. Nick Sullivan reads with versatility and feeling. Recommended for all collections. Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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March 25, 2002
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Excerpt from Dust to Dust by Tami Hoag
"THEY OUGHTA HANG the son of a bitch came up with this shit," Sam Kovac groused, digging a piece of nicotine gum out of a crumpled foil pack.
"The gum or the wrapper?"
"Both. I can't open the damn package and I'd rather chew on a cat turd."
"And that would taste different from a cigarette how?" Nikki Liska asked.
They moved through a small throng of people in the wide white hall. Cops heading out onto the steps of the Minneapolis city hall for a cigarette, cops coming back in from having a cigarette, and the odd citizen looking for something for their tax dollar.
Kovac scowled down at her from the corner of one eye. Liska made five-five by sheer dint of will. He always figured God made her short because if she had the size of Janet Reno she'd take over the world. She had that kind of energy -- and attitude out the wazoo.
"What do you know about it?" he challenged.
"My ex smoked. Lick an ashtray sometime. That's why we got divorced, you know. I wouldn't stick my tongue in his mouth."
"Jesus, Tinks, like I wanted to know that."
He'd given her the nickname -- Tinker Bell on Steroids. Nordic blond hair cut in a shaggy Peter Pan style, eyes as blue as a lake on a sunny day. Feminine but unmistakably athletic. She'd kicked more ass in her years on the force than half the guys he knew. She'd come onto homicide -- Christ, what was it now? -- five or six years ago? He lost track. He'd been there himself almost longer than he could remember. All of his forty-four years, it seemed. The better part of a twenty-three-year career, for certain. Seven to go. He'd get his thirty and take the pension. Catch up on his sleep for the next ten years. He sometimes wondered why he hadn't taken his twenty and moved on. But he didn't have anything to move on to, so he stayed.
Liska slipped between a pair of nervous-looking uniforms blocking the way in front of the door to Room 126 -- Internal Affairs.
"Hey, that was the least of it," she said. "I was more upset about where he wanted to put his dick."
Kovac made a sound of pain and disgust, his face twisting.
Liska grinned, mischievous and triumphant. "Her name was Brandi."
The Criminal Investigative Division offices had been newly refurbished. The walls were the color of dried blood. Kovac wondered if that had been intentional or just trendy. Probably the latter. Nothing else in the place had been designed with cops in mind. The narrow, gray, two-person cubicles could just as well have housed a bunch of accountants.