Cover image for Ashes to ashes
Title:
Ashes to ashes
Author:
Hoag, Tami.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
484 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780553106336
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Alden Ewell Free Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

"ASHES TO ASHES" Read by Melissa Leo A monster known as the Cremator is killing prostitutes in Minneapolis parks and setting their bodies on fire. When one of his victims turns out to be the daughter of a local billionaire, and a homeless teenager claims to have witnessed the burning, it brings together former FBI agent Kate Conlan and the Bureau's top serial-killer profiler, John Quinn. Conlan and Quinn share a painful personal history; now they have to work together against a very smart lunatic who seems to be able to read their minds.


Author Notes

Tami Hoag was born on January 20, 1959, in Cresco, Iowa. Her first novel, The Trouble with J. J., was published in 1988. Her other works include Night Sins, Guilty as Sin, The Alibi Man, Prior Bad Acts, Dark Horse, Kill the Messenger, Deeper Than the Dead, Secrets to the Grave, Down the Darkest Road, Cold Cold Heart, and the Bitter Season. She is a past recipient of the Career Achievement Award from the Romantic Times.

(Bowker Author Biography) Tami Hoag's thrilling novels are eagerly awaited, and she has been a mainstay of national bestseller lists since the publication of her first book in 1988. She now lives in Virginia.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A gruesome serial killer is on the loose in Minneapolis, torturing and burning his victims. Kate Conlan, former FBI agent, is the advocate for the only witness, Angie, a street-tough juvenile who refuses to cooperate. She distrusts the police, making Kate's job more difficult. Moreover, she has given a vague description of the killer. To make matters worse for Kate, the latest victim may be the daughter of reclusive billionaire Peter Bondurant, who uses his connections to bring in John Quinn, the FBI's top profiler. He is a former associate of Kate's, and her love for him was one of the reasons she left the FBI. On one level, she wants to remove herself from the case but bonds with Angie and is frantic when she turns up missing. The reader is privy to the innermost thoughts of all the central characters, from the killer to the authorities working on the case, providing great insight into the frustrations of the heroes and the evils of the villain. This is a winning psychological thriller that will attract fans of Thomas Harris. Hoag's romance fans should note that this is not for the squeamish. --Patty Engelmann


Publisher's Weekly Review

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 Renée 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

The media call him "The Cremator"; the police call him "Smokey Joe." This serial killer, on the loose in Minneapolis, has already captured, tortured, killed, and burned three women when Kate Conlon enters the picture. This former FBI agent is now a witness advocate, assigned to Angie, a runaway teenager, who may have witnessed one of the murders. But Angie isn't talking. The FBI sends a top agent to assist the police after the third murder. To Kate's dismay, they send John Quinn, her former lover. Reluctantly, the two work the case together. Hoag (A Thin Dark Line, Audio Reviews, LJ 3/1/98) creates an exciting story, with sympathetic characters and believable dialog. Melissa Leo delivers a powerful reading. Recommended.ÄJoanna M. Burkhardt., Univ of Rhode Island, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Some killers are born. Some killers are made. And sometimes the origin of desire for homicide is lost in the tangle of roots that make an ugly childhood and a dangerous youth, so that no one may ever know if the urge was inbred or induced. He lifts the body from the back of the Blazer like a roll of old carpet to be discarded. The soles of his boots scuff against the blacktop of the parking area, then fall nearly silent on the dead grass and hard ground. The night is balmy for November in Minneapolis. A swirling wind tosses fallen leaves. The bare branches of the trees rattle together like bags of bones. He knows he falls into the last category of killers. He has spent many hours, days, months, years studying his compulsion and its point of origin. He knows what he is, and he embraces that truth. He has never known guilt or remorse. He believes conscience, rules, laws, serve the individual no practical purpose, and only limit human possibilities. "Man enters into the ethical world through fear and not through love."--Paul Ricoeur, Symbolism of Evil. His True Self adheres only to his own code: domination, manipulation, control. A broken shard of moon glares down on the scene, its light faint beneath the web of limbs. He arranges the body to his satisfaction and traces two intersecting X's over the left upper chest. With a sense of ceremony, he pours the accelerant. Anointing the dead. Symbolism of evil. His True Self embraces the concept of evil as power. Fuel for the internal fire. "Ashes to ashes." The sounds are ordered and specific, magnified by his excitement. The scrape of the match against the friction strip, the pop as it bursts with flame, the whoosh of the fire as it comes alive and consumes. As the fire burns, his memory replays the earlier sounds of pain and fear. He recalls the tremor in her voice as she pleaded for her life, the unique pitch and quality of each cry as he tortured her. The exquisite music of life and death. For one fine moment he allows himself to admire the drama of the tableau. He allows himself to feel the heat of the flames caress his face like tongues of desire. He closes his eyes and listens to the sizzle and hiss, breathes deep the smell of roasting flesh. Elated, excited, aroused, he takes his erection out of his pants and strokes himself hard. He brings himself nearly to climax, but is careful not to ejaculate. Save it for later, when he can celebrate fully. His goal is in sight. He has a plan, meticulously thought out, to be executed with perfection. His name will live in infamy with all the great ones--Bundy, Kemper, the Boston Strangler, the Green River Killer. The press here has already given him a name: the Cremator. It makes him smile. It makes him proud. He lights another match and holds it just in front of him, studying the flame, loving the sinuous, sensuous undulation of it. He brings it closer to his face, opens his mouth, and eats it. Then he turns and walks away. Already thinking of next time. MURDER. The sight burned its impression into the depths of her memory, into the backs of her eyeballs so that she could see it when she blinked against the tears. The body twisting in slow agony against its horrible fate. Orange flame a backdrop for the nightmare image. Burning. She ran, her lungs burning, her legs burning, her eyes burning, her throat burning. In one abstract corner of her mind, she was the corpse. Maybe this was what death was like. Maybe it was her body roasting, and this consciousness was her soul trying to escape the fires of hell. She had been told repeatedly that was where she would end up. In the near distance she could hear a siren and see the weird flash of blue and red lights against the night. She ran for the street, sobbing, stumbling. Her right knee hit the frozen ground, but she forced her feet to keep moving. Run run run run run run -- "Freeze! Police!" The cruiser still rocked at the curb. The door was open. The cop was on the boulevard, gun drawn and pointed straight at her. "Help me!" The words rasped in her throat. "Help me!" she gasped, tears blurring her vision. Her legs buckled beneath the weight of her body and the weight of her fear and the weight of her heart that was pounding like some huge swollen thing in her chest. The cop was beside her in an instant, holstering his weapon and dropping to his knees to help. Must be a rookie, she thought dimly. She knew fourteen-year-old kids with better street instincts. She could have gotten his weapon. If she'd had a knife, she could have raised herself up and stabbed him. He pulled her up into a sitting position with a hand on either shoulder. Sirens wailed in the distance. "What happened? Are you all right?" he demanded. He had a face like an angel. "I saw him," she said, breathless, shaking, bile pushing up the back of her throat. "I was there. Oh--Jesus. Oh--shit. I saw him!" "Saw who?" "The Cremator." Excerpted from Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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