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Prior Bad Acts    by Tami Hoag order for
Prior Bad Acts
by Tami Hoag
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

The brutal torture and murder of a mother and her two foster children is so horrendous that it leaves the detective investigating the crime on permanent desk duty with routine psychiatric visits. Visits during which he never says a word.

Fifteen months later, Karl Dahl, a drifter, is about to go on trial. Before the trial even begins Judge Carey Moore hands down an unpopular ruling against allowing prior bad acts to be admitted by the prosecution. So focused are the citizens of Minnesota on the case that the ruling brings public outcry and the judge finds herself in grave danger.

When the Judge is attacked in a parking garage, Detective Sam Kovac is called in to find her attacker and keep her safe from further harm. To complicate matters, Karl Dahl, the accused, escapes from the hospital emergency room where he is taken after being injured during a prison riot.

As a judge, Moore has a catalog of old and current threats, but after investigating, Kovac puts her husband - a documentary film maker - at the top of the list of suspects, along with Detective Stan Dempsey, the officer who arrested Karl Dahl.

Full of complex characters and multiple plot twists, Prior Bad Acts keeps the reader guessing and rooting for the tough young judge who is tormented by the press, the public and even her husband, as she tries to do her job and make fair legal decisions.

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