Dust to Dust

Tami Hoag, Author Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio $25.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-553-10634-3
Though she began as a romance writer, Hoag (A Thin Dark Line; Guilty As Sin; etc.) has found commercial success in several crime subgenres. Here she tries her hand at the police procedural, and though her story and characters are mostly the stock-in-trade of cop-house fiction, Hoag's verve lets her pull something fresh from the musty old squad room. The nude body of Andy Fallon, a gay Internal Affairs officer with the Minneapolis Police Department, is found hanging from a beam in his bedroom. It looks like a simple suicide, but detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska have doubts, fueled in part by the desire of police brass to forget about the death as quickly as possible. Fallon is the son of department hero Iron Mike Fallon, a paraplegic since his shoot-out with a cop killer 20 years ago. On the day of his son's funeral, Iron Mike kills himself; at least that's how it looks. But as Kovac and Liska begin to realize, it's likely that someone killed the Fallon men--someone willing to eliminate anyone else brave enough to pursue the case. As the tough-talking detectives approach the killer, Hoag lays out a juicy assortment of suspects and subplots. There's Andy Fallon's closeted longtime lover; his seedy brother; a sexy disturbed teen; the Hennepin County prosecutors' office; a cadre of gay-bashing cops; the sultry, haunted female head of Internal Affairs; and a publicity-hungry police captain with his own TV show. Hoag does a fine job of hiding the keys until just the right moment, when all the mysteries come neatly together. The weary Kovac and the ball-busting Liska are all-too-familiar types, yet Hoag renders them so crisply they're not only tolerable but engaging. Both detectives had secondary roles in Hoag's 1999 Ashes to Ashes; they play well on center stage. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.]
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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