Ashes to Ashes

Tami Hoag, Author Bantam Books $24.95 (496p) ISBN 978-0-553-10633-6
Hoag (A Thin Dark Line) has a way of sneaking up on the reader in superior thriller tradition, taking her time in revealing monstrous images lurking in the dark corners. The Cremator, a Minneapolis serial killer, has been torturing prostitutes before incinerating them in local parks, but no one pays much attention until it appears that the third victim may be Jillian Bondurant, a billionaire's daughter. Former FBI agent Kate Conlan, now a victim/witness advocate, is enlisted to handle a reluctant teenage witness who claims to have seen the latest torching. Kate's life becomes further complicated when ace FBI profiler John Quinn is called in by Jillian's father. Kate and John share a personal history, he being one of the reasons she left the Bureau five years ago, and they must each contend with their painful past as they work together to catch the diabolical killer who appears to be taunting them at every turn. Hoag uses crisp dialogue effectively to distinguish the many diverse characters, while Kate and John's mirror-image Machiavellian work ethics justify both their mutual attraction and aversion. Devoting equal attention to the mystery of the serial killer's identity and the romantic tension between her engaging protagonists, Hoag does service to both, scripting love scenes worthy of George Clooney and Renee Russo, the Hollywood stars she mentions as look-alikes for her principals. Granting a humanizing dignity to the victims' corpses, she neatly sidesteps the graphic crudeness of some of her competitors, while still providing enough surprise twists and stomach-turning carnage to satisfy any heebie-jeebie enthusiast. Major ad/promo. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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Hardcover - 978-0-553-66207-8
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Paperback - 569 pages - 978-0-7528-2691-2
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Mass Market Paperbound - 624 pages - 978-0-553-57960-4
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Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-9992-4
Prebound-Glued - 593 pages - 978-0-613-27716-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-3294-5
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Open Ebook - 978-0-553-89847-7
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Mass Market Paperbound - 592 pages - 978-0-553-58918-4
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Paperback - 569 pages - 978-1-4091-2143-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4915-4617-8
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