Deeper than the Dead by Tami Hoag was a bit of a surprise to find on my bookshelf. A surprise that I’m glad that I found. It’s one of those stories that really just sucked me in.
For over a decade now, I have Serial Killer Fridays. It started in Criminal Justice class where every Friday we would watch a documentary on a serial killer. Since then Friday nights were my favorite night to watch documentaries about serial killers, scammers, and other sorts of crime. It just so happened that I started this book on a Friday and it easily fit into the realm of Serial Killer Fridays except the book is fictional where we wish Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and others were fictional.
Deeper than the Dead is thrilling book that is set in 1985 in a suburban California town that is home to a serial killer that has a very creepy signature. He would glue the mouth shut, glue the eye lids shut and destroy the ear drums- see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil killer. The second body is actually found by a set of children: a quiet smart boy Tommy, a girl Wendy, the class bully Dennis and his cohort Cody. The book has serial different threads, there is how the kids are coping with the case, their teacher who is genuinely concerned about the kids who is working with the police, the police investigating the crime, and the victim still in the murder’s clutches.
I was in love with the book for the better part of the book. A real thriller. Plus was using some believable police work in an age where forensic evidence and profiling was in its infancy. The jockeying relationship between the police and the profiler who came in to help was also very believable.
The thing I didn’t like was the ending. Now I don’t want to say too much since it would lead to spoilers. But everything unraveled and it wasn’t just the serial killer. It was a police man and his Dennis as well. It just seemed like too much to be believable. Now I would buy Dennis’ problem coming to the surface after seeing a dead body. It’s his dad’s demise and factored character that is the most unconvincing.
But I enjoyed this book big time. I wouldn’t whip out just any book while waiting in a convention line, but I found myself reading this book every chance I could. I wanted to know what happened next and who the killer was.