She was a vision. She was a siren. She was a nightmare. She was dead. Now he needed her to disappear. And he knew just how to make it happen. The Palm Beach elite go to great lengths to protect their own--and their own no longer includes Elena Estes. Once upon a time a child of wealth and privilege, Elena turned her back on that life. Betrayed and disillusioned by those closest to her, she chose the life of an undercover cop, the hunt for justice her own personal passion. Then a tragic, haunting mistake ended her career. Now Elena exists on the fringes of her old life, training horses for a living. But a shocking event is about to draw her back into the painful vortex she's fought so hard to leave behind.
First she finds the body--a young woman used, murdered, and dumped in a canal. Not just a victim, but a friend. As Elena delves into her dead friend's secret life, she discovers ties not only to the Russian mob but also to a group of powerful and wealthy Palm Beach bad boys known for giving each other alibis to cover a multitude of sins. A group that includes a man Elena once knew very well--her former fiancý, Bennett Walker, a man she knows has already escaped justice at least once in his life.
Finding her friend's killer will put Elena at odds with her old life, with her new lover, and with herself. But she is determined to reveal the truth--a truth that will shock Palm Beach society to its core, and could very well get her killed.
Last seen in bestseller Hoag's Dark Horse, Elena Estes, a former undercover cop turned PI, is devastated at the start of this captivating thriller when she realizes a body she finds in a south Florida canal is that of her friend Irina Markova, a beautiful groom with whom she once worked at a horse stable. Assisted by ex-lover Det. James Landry, the tough-as-nails Elena immerses herself in Irina's murder investigation. One of the suspects happens to be Bennett Walker, the ex-fiance Elena hasn't seen in 20 years, who was previously tried and acquitted of rape and attempted murder despite her testimony against him. The suspense builds when Elena learns that Bennett is a member of the Alibi Club, a group of wealthy Palm Beach "bad boys" who cover for each other when trouble befalls them. Elena believes she can trust no one, especially after Russian mobster Alexi Kulak insists that Elena help him unearth Irina's killer. Elena, who eschewed her elitist Palm Beach family to preserve her integrity, is a heroine readers will want to see more of. (Mar. 27) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Not a bad whodunit
Posted November 02, 2009 by P. Ryan , Upstate NYThis is a mystery set in the polo world of south Florida. The sleuth is a female ex-cop who could have been portrayed more sympathetically. Her love interest is a homicide detective with whom she's just broken up. Gardner played fair with the reader, but the revelation of the actual killer was still a revelation to me. Nicely done.
March 27, 2006
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Alibi Man by Tami Hoag
SHE FLOATED on the face of the pool like an exotic water lily. Her hair fanned out around her head, undulating, a silken lily pad to drift on. The sheer layers of fabric that made up her dress skimmed the surface, backlit by the pool lights, purple and fuchsia, the shimmering skin of a rare sea creature that came out only at night in the depths along a coral reef.
She was a vision, a mythical goddess dancing on the water, her slender arms stretched wide to beckon him.
She was a siren, tempting him closer and closer to the water. Her blue eyes stared at him, her full, sensuous lips parted slightly, inviting his kiss.
He had tasted her kiss. He had held her close, felt the heat of her skin against his.
She was a dream.
She was a nightmare.
She was dead.
He opened his cell phone and punched in a number. The phone on the other end rang . . . and rang . . . and rang. Then a gruff and groggy voice answered.
"What the hell?"
"I need an alibi."
I AM NOT a cop. I am not a private investigator, despite all rumors to the contrary. I ride horses for a living but don't make a nickel doing it. I am an outcast from my chosen profession and I don't want another.
Unfortunately, our fates have little to do with what we want or don't want. I know that all too well.
That February morning I walked out of the guest cottage I had called home for the past year, just as the sun was beginning to break. The eastern horizon was color-saturated in stripes of hot orange, hot pink, and bright yellow. I like that hour before most of the world wakes. The world seems still and silent, and I feel like I'm the only person in it.
The broad-leaved St. Augustine grass was heavy with dew, and thin layers of fog hovered over the fields, waiting for the Florida sun to vaporize them. The smell of green plants, dirty canal water, and horses hung in the air, a pungent organic perfume.
It was Monday, which meant I had the peace and quiet of absolute privacy. My old friend and savior Sean Avadon, who owned the small horse farm on the outskirts of Wellington, had taken his latest amour to South Beach, where they would oil themselves and roast in the sun with a few thousand other beautiful people. Irina, our groom, had the day off.
All my life I have preferred the company of horses to people. Horses are honest, straightforward creatures without guile or ulterior motive. You always know where you stand with a horse. In my experience, I can't say the same for human beings.
I went about the morning routine of feeding the eight beautiful creatures that lived in Sean's barn. All of them had been imported from Europe, each costing more than the average middle-class American family home. The stable had been designed by a renowned Palm Beach architect in the Caribbean plantation style. The high ceiling was lined with teak, and huge art deco chandeliers salvaged from a Miami hotel hung above the center aisle.
That morning I didn't settle in with my usual first cup of coffee to listen to the soft sounds of the horses eating. I hadn't slept well-not that I ever did. Worse than usual, I should say. Twenty minutes here, ten minutes there. The argument had played over and over in my mind, banging off the walls of my skull and leaving me with a dull, throbbing headache.
I was selfish. I was a coward. I was a bitch.
Some of it was true. Maybe all of it. I didn't care. I had never pretended to be anything other than what I was. I had never pretended I wanted to change.
More upsetting to me than the argument itself was the fact that it was haunting me. I didn't want that. All I wanted to do was get away from it.