The Bitter Season (Liska-Kovac) by Tami Hoag

KK Conley Review

TH Bitter Season

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I love the two main characters in this story: Detective Nikki Liska and Detective Sam Kovac. They were partners in through several previous books, and single mom Liska has transferred to the cold case unit in hopes of a more regular schedule. She does have two teenage boys. Even though they no longer work together, Nikki and Sam still see each other around the office. Nikki is hot-headed and doesn’t take anything from anybody. Kovac is curmudgeonly and admits he’s getting too old for some of the physical demands of the job and breaking in a new partner.

There is a lot of humor in this book, and some of it leans to the dark side. Personally, I like that. There are also some of the most graphic crime scenes I’ve read in a while.

The book has great pacing and snappy dialogue. It’s hard to put down once you’ve started, and I recommend it.

Booklist Online Review

This is the latest entry in the popular Kovac-Liska series, but the two are no longer working together for the Minneapolis police homicide unit. Detective Nikki Liska is now with the new cold-case squad in hopes of spending more time with her teenage sons. Detective Sam Kovac is lost without her but learning to deal with a young, green partner on a new case: a brutal home invasion. An Asian-studies professor and his wife were killed by a samurai sword from the professor’s collection. Liska is assigned a 25-year-old murder of a highly honored sex-crimes detective, but for some reason, his family does not want the case reopened. There is no DNA, which is the primary resource to help solve cold cases, but Liska is determined to do the best she can anyway, even while envying her old partner his new case. This is a dark, gritty thriller, but Hoag manages to lighten it up now and then with some black humor. A real page-turner that is sure to please her legion of fans.

— Stacy Alesi

©Booklist Online

Amazon Description and Rating

Kovac and Liska take on multiple twisted cases as #1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag explores a murder from the past, a murder from the present, and a life that was never meant to be.

As the dreary, bitter weather of late fall descends on Minneapolis, Detective Nikki Liska is restless, already bored with her new assignment to the cold case squad. She misses the rush of pulling an all-nighter and the sense of urgency of hunting a desperate killer on the loose. Most of all she misses her old partner, Sam Kovac.

Kovac is having an even harder time adjusting to Liska’s absence, saddled with a green new partner younger than most of Sam’s wardrobe. But Kovac is distracted from his troubles by an especially brutal double homicide: a prominent university professor and his wife, bludgeoned and hacked to death in their home with a ceremonial Japanese samurai sword. Liska’s case-the unsolved murder of a decorated sex crimes detective-is less of a distraction: Twenty five years later, there is little hope for finding the killer who got away.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis resident Evi Burke has a life she only dreamed of as a kid in and out of foster homes: a beautiful home, a family, people who love her, a fulfilling job. But a danger from her past is stalking her idyllic present. A danger bent on destroying the perfect life she was never meant to have.

As the trails of two crimes a quarter of century apart twist and cross, Kovac and Liska race to find answers before a killer strikes again.

4.5 Stars, 100+ Reviews

Goodreads Rating

4.2 Stars, 600+ Ratings

Author’s Description

Same as Amazon Description