Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Evil in Disguise Tami Hoag's Latest Is a Fast-Paced Psychological Thriller

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Evil in Disguise Tami Hoag's Latest Is a Fast-Paced Psychological Thriller

Article excerpt

"COLD COLD HEART"

By Tami Hoag

Dutton Adult ($27.95).

With 34 novels under her belt, Tami Hoag is a seasoned novelist known for writing fast-paced psychological thrillers that leave her readers panting for more. "Cold Cold Heart" is the newest addition to her body of work, and she shows no sign of slowing down.

As author of "Night Sins," "Still Waters," and "Guilty as Sin," Ms. Hoag has often been preoccupied by themes of evil, fear and betrayal and by the psychological tensions that arise in small lives in small towns. Her fantastic new book takes on those concerns with her customary wizardry of psychological suspense.

She delves into the inner life of Dana Nolan, the only surviving victim of a serial killer, trying to piece together her life after her ordeal has left her with physical and cerebral injuries. As Dana slowly remembers more and more of her life before the attack, she comes face to face with the knowledge that sometimes what we think of as good is really evil in disguise.

We first meet Dana Nolan as she fights for her life against a serial killer named Doc Holiday, and Ms. Hoag's graphic description of the account places us at the scene with our hands tied, championing the young woman who once had everything going for her: beauty, intelligence and a promising career in Minneapolis as a TV reporter.

After surviving the gruesome attack, she returns to her hometown of Shelby Mills, Ind., to recover from her brutal injuries inflicted by the killer: broken bones, memory loss, scars, both visible and unseen, and brain injuries.

Dana has no memory of who she was before the attack and finds herself comparing the "Old Dana" friends and family tell her she was to the "New Dana," the woman she now sees in the mirror, knowing her life has been changed forever. Ms. Hoag's research on the subject of brain injury is solid, and she brilliantly places herself inside Dana's character to give readers a true sense of her struggles. …

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