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The 9th Girl    by Tami Hoag order for
9th Girl
by Tami Hoag
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Wanda Plourde

On a very cold New Year's Eve in Minneapolis, a young man driving a Hummer limo freaks out when he witnesses a zombie popping out of the trunk of a car in front of him. He loses control of the vehicle and ends up hitting the obstacle. It turns out to be the corpse of a severely brutalized young woman, and no one knows whether or not she was still alive when she finally hit the pavement.

Homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are assigned the case of the victim dubbed Zombie Doe. Who is she and who could have had so much hate as to have treated her so viciously before her death? They wonder whether this murder is the work of the serial killer (whom they named Doc Holiday) who has been leaving bodies on the side of highways in a five-state area, or is it something closer to home. And what is the girl's acceptance tattoo all about?

Doc Holiday chooses his victims randomly as he travels across the country. It seems that he snatches a girl in one city and then dumps the body in another. But with Zombie Doe, his MO has changed - is he escalating? As Sam and Nikki investigate, they start to find answers that point awfully close to Nikki's home and her cartoonist son Kyle, who wants too much to be a hero.

What an excellent thriller - Tami Hoag has brought another bestseller to the table. I felt like I was watching a crime program when reading this novel, so vivid are the descriptions. The story kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Sam and Nikki are realistic, sensible straight shooters, totally believable. Doc Holiday will make your skin crawl and creep you right out.

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