Review Blog

Jan 18 2019

The Boy by Tami Hoag

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Broussard and Fourcade book 2. Trapeze, 2018. ISBN: 9781409169635.
(Age: Adult - senior secondary) Recommended. Themes: Mystery and suspense, Detectives, Death, Domestic violence, Children at risk, Bullying. As a fan of Tami Hoag, I grabbed The boy as soon as it arrived on my desk and found myself totally involved in the characters and even better for me, the murderer remained unknown right until the gripping conclusion. Hoag returned to Louisiana and her two detectives Broussard and Forcade in this story which can be read as a stand-alone. It opens with a horrifying scene of a woman covered in blood, fleeing for help for her son who has been attacked. Detective Nick Fourcade is first on the scene and finds Genevieve's 7 year old son, P.J., dead and no clues as to why he was killed and why his mother was allowed to run for help. Meanwhile Annie Broussard is with the grieving mother who cannot help her with the crime.
As the two investigate, each using their particular skills, Annie's understanding of the emotions of the people involved and Nick's dogged determination to find the murderer regardless of the cost, the question still remains - why was the only witness left alive? Then the boy's babysitter, thirteen-year-old Nora Florette, is discovered to be missing and the mystery deepens.
Hoag is a master at building up suspense and is also very clever in her portrayal of the main characters. The marriage between Annie and Nick survives through the problems of their work, Nick's temper about injustice and a boss who is not helpful. The difficulties of single mothers are highlighted, not only with Genevieve and her boy but with the relationship between the police chief, his fiancee and fiancee's teen son, and the problems with supervising her family that Nora Florette's mother has while her husband works far away.
This is a tense, dark, emotional murder mystery, which will leave many readers wanting to read more of Tami Hoag's stories.
Pat Pledger

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