Guilty as Sin is definitely a book you must add to your mystery books collection. Tami Hoag is a gifted suspense writer who thrills her readers with every page in her books.
Mystery surrounds a small Minnesota town when a kidnapped little boy, Josh Kirkwood, is returned to his parents; he never reveals anything about his ordeal, but simply refers to his kidnapper as ‘the taker’.
The protagonist, Ellen North, is the Assistant County Attorney. In the kidnap case, a well-respected college professor is arrested as the main suspect. And the Kirkwood case is tactfully transferred to Ellen North by her superior, because he does not want to be linked to a case that might setback his ambitions.
Ellen has left behind a career in the fast-paced Minneapolis courts to the relative peace of this small town. Yet, in this case, she faces mortal danger and emotional torture unparalleled to any other case she worked on till then. Already a lady police officer is almost crippled by the enemy when she was working on the case. So, the terror faced by Ellen North is huge.
Now enter two unexpected characters, one: a ex-lawyer turned popular author, Jay Brooks, who wants to get close to Ellen and, the second: ex-lover of Ellen and a famous high-profile lawyer, who is now hired by the accused person in Kirkwood case. Ellen North works diligently to solve the case before darkness closes in on her.
If you happen to follow the ABC network’s police procedural drama Castle, you would feel that the basis for the lead pair ‘Castle-Beckett’ relationship is drawn from the romantic relationship between Ellen North and Jay Butler Brooks in this book 🙂
While the prime suspect is in custody, another kidnap happens and the case credibility is lost. Ellen North receives threatening calls at midnight, a small part of the chill factor the author shoves onto the audience. The creepiness of the entire case can get too much some times.
The chill factor is extra-ordinary in the book. The way the kidnaps are staged, makes one wonder if some paranormal element is involved. The author does a great job of prepping the readers for a great read. Small-town politics and dirty secrets are thrown open for the audience.
Though this is the second book in the Deer Lake series by Tami Hoag, this book can be enjoyed as a standalone book too.
A great heroine, a strong hero, super nasty villain and, other very well-developed characters make this book a wonderful read. Enjoy this thoroughly mysterious adventure and have a great time.