Thursday, November 21, 2013
The 9th Girl
I don't know what it is about people that they are drawn to books about serial murderers. Perhaps we are just so horrified by the idea that there are people out there that kill for the joy of committing murder. That some people's brains are wired so that they a get some kind of sexual thrill from killing others.
The latest book by Tami Hoag explores the serial murderer that has been dubbed Doc Holiday, because so many of his victims have been killed on holidays. He picks them up in one location and then dumps their tortured bodies in another location. Perhaps they are victims of a cross country trucker. It seems that being a long distance trucker is one profession that a serial murderer can choose to assist in preventing discovery. They are long gone before a body is discovered and there is no known association with the victim. No offence to those perfectly nice truckers out there.
Homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are assigned to a murder that seems to fit the profile of Doc Holiday and they are trying to get the Minneapolis police department to authorize funds and manpower to track him down. The department is not sure there is a serial murderer out there. This is the 9th Jane Doe of the year and she may be the 9th victim of Doc Holiday.
I also read romance novels and there is generally a male and female lead that end up falling in love. In this case there is a male and female lead, but they are long time partners and romance is not an issue. They are committed to solving the murder, even as Nikki Liska finds herself increasingly torn by the amount of time a homicide detective must spend to solve a case. She has young boys at home and a mostly absent ex-husband. The boys need more of her time, while the needs of the victim and safety of the community pull at her. Liska is not sure how much longer she can work these hours, yet she loves the job.
Perhaps the attraction of a novel about a murderer lies in the solution of the puzzle by the end of the book. In real life, things are not always so tidy and satisfying. I look forward to Hoag's next book starring these interesting police detectives. There will always be murders to solve. Kovac doesn't want to lose a partner and Liska doesn't want to lose the this precious time with her young boys. There are a lot of problems for Hoag to solve in her next book with these protagonists and she is always worth the wait.