Tami Hoag has done it again with her latest novel The 9th Girl. The "it" is make an exceptional read that's full of twists, turns, suspense, and some really dead bodies. The 9th Girl begins with the body of an unrecognizable girl coming from the trunk of a car on New Year's. She is believed to be the 9th victim of a serial killer dubbed the Doc Holliday. All of his victims are discovered during or around holidays and have similar MOs. Nikki Liska and Sam Kovak are called into the crime scene and immediately get on the case.
The investigation takes Liska and Kovak into the seedy, underworld of high school politics and family secrets. All the evidence suggests that "Zombie Girl" may have been killed by Doc Holliday, but there's so much going on in Zombie Doe's life that anyone is potentially her killer. The investigation brings Liska to question her own parenting she struggles with the idea that she isn't around enough for her two sons. One, Kyle, a very teenage son who may have known the victim or last saw her.
Hoag manages to sprinkle in a lot of cop babble that's genuinely funny in a very serious novel which is a breath of fresh air. The characters all work well together and compliment each other. Liska takes center stage in the The 9th Girl and her struggle between the badge and being a good parent is very relatable to any working single parent.
In conclusion, Tami Hoag kept me guessing until the very end. Although the ending may be a little too neat for some, I find it acceptable. Fans of Tami Hoag will need to add The 9th Girl to the Kovak/Liska series. For those living under a rock and not familiar with her work I recommend that fans of Tess Gerritsen, Lisa Gardner, or suspense thriller lovers go out and get it. The 9th Girl will make you question who can you really trust? And is any of it worth being accepted as opposed to just being you. ****