Cover Image: The Boy

The Boy

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I have never read Tami Hoag before, and boy was that a mistake! I love her Karin Slaughter-feeling that she writes with. I'm generally not one for "detective novels", but some do get me, and this one just jumps out and grabs you on every single page. 

Her character development is fantastic, and makes for a simple, yet TOTALLY INTRIGUING read! I wondered at first how this book could be so long, but then they pages just flew! It is full of mystery and secrets at every turn, and is slow to give up those secrets, making it a pulsating ride. I am now going to go back and read the first Broussard and Fourcade book, now that I've fallen for these two characters! 

Thank you to NetGalley, Jamie Knapp,  PENGUIN GROUP Dutton and Tami Hoag for an ARC of this book. These opinions are unbiased and my own.
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What a book! The Boy is filled with plot twists and one of a kind characters. I was glued to my kindle at the very first chapter! 
As a mother of a 7 year old boy this book was a little hard to stomach! I found myself sneaking into his room at night and cuddling after reading at night! 
Nick and Annie are married detectives in Louisiana and are assigned to find out who brutally stabbed a little boy. Then a child disappears and they have to connect these two cases and solve it!

I look forward to reading more from Tami!
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The 3-star rating I'm giving this book is more about the story itself rather than the writing.  Tami Hoag's writing style is always onn point, but this was a terribly hard book to read, and I had a hard time appreciating the plot.  It just disturbed me too much to really invest myself in any of the characters.  This was one hell of a downer story, making me depressed throughout the book. What it boils down to is a young boy being murdered in his own home, while his beautiful mother mysteriously escapes harm.  Nick Fourcade dedicates himself to solving the crime, while battling against a new sheriff and his new brigade of crimefighters.

 Personally, I had expected a more police procedural type novel, which is where Hoag seems to shine.  Fourcade and Annie Broussard did quite a bit of investigating, but the roads and dead ends they kept finding were frustrating and made me ache for the dead boy even more. Annie seemed to falter between empathizing with the young mother and believing she had a hand in the terrible crime.

This must have been a hard book for the author to write, but even so, I expected much better.  I enjoy stories that are more equally balanced with the good and the bad, but this book never felt the light. It just didn't do it for me.
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3.5 Stars.  I've read a lot of Tami Hoag's books and enjoyed them.  I really liked the story she weaves in The Boy.  I found it kind of like looking at real estate.  The bones were definitely there.  The story begins with a woman running through the night crying that someone has killed her and her son, "The Boy."  Enter detectives Annie Broussard and her husband, Nick Fourcade, last seen in Hoag's 1997 novel A Thin Dark Line, to solve a brutal and complex murder of a child.  Was it the mother?  The babysitter?  The sleazy neighbor?  The neighborhood bully?  It's a complicated road filled with themes of spousal abuse, abuse of power, and bullying.

My only real issue was that the characters were all caricatures and didn't read realistically.  The female characters weren't too bad, but the male characters were too overdrawn.  The Nick Fourcade character was constantly losing his temper and raging at his boss and others.  His boss, Kelvin Dutrow, was painted without a singular redeeming quality.  The CSI character was similarly overblown.  All in all, I couldn't get everyone being annoying and one-note.  I found myself rolling my eyes and skimming a lot.

The Boy was good, but not up to Hoag's other procedurals.
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The Boy is Tami Hoag's latest crime novel. In it a little boy has been brutally stabbed to death and it's up to Louisiana dectectives Nick and Annie to find the killer. It has been awhile since I have read anything by Hoag, but when I saw this on NetGalley I decided to request it. (Many thanks to Hoag, Dutton, and NetGalley for the ARC.) Some crime novels are hard to follow but Hoag's writing and plot movement are excellent.  I found myself trying to guess the killer with each new chapter and once I formed a theory I usually changed it a few minutes later. Put this on your TBR for 2019.
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Best selling author, Tami Hoag, grabs the reader from the first page of her new thriller, The Boy.  Hoag weaves the story of a semi-sympathetic grieving mother, a tarnished detective, and a community reeling from the evil within.  Married detectives Nick Fourcade and Annie Broussard bring their unique, sometimes combative styles to the investigation, tapping into their network of community leaders, law enforcement personnel, and dysfunctional families involved in the case.  Adding to the mixture is the philandering Detective Stokes, a fun, quirky character whose passion for women nearly equals his passion for his job.  Hoag's female characters deftly manage to perform their jobs in the male dominated law enforcement field without compromising their work ethics, themselves, or their investigations, and Broussard is no exception.  Broussard's empathy for the victims is exacerbated by her own past and her mother's suicide, yet it fuels her determination to solve the murder of the little boy.  When the boy's babysitter goes missing, it exposes a monster living in their midst..  Sheriff Kelvin Dutrow is a social media savvy, attention seeking narcissist whose engagement to the perfectly coiffed Sharon Spicer brings with it her underachieving, unpopular son, Cameron to Bayou Breaux.  The in depth characters create empathy for their respective situations.  Genevieve Gauthier, the boy's impoverished, misguided mother, went from one bad situation to another.  Dutrow is so blinded by his dislike for Fourcade, he fails to see what is right in front of him.  Fourcade is distracted by the Theriot rape case and is lucky to have his wife and Stokes on his side when his temper flares, threatening his position as an employed lead detective.  The plot moves at a break neck pace with its believable scenarios, spicy Cajun characters, and an ending you won't see coming.  Get ready for a turbulent ride through Creole speaking, Cajun country!
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Detective Nick Fourcade received a very disturbing phone call. He was called to the scene of the tragic and brutal murder of seven-year-old KJ Gauthier. Although seriously injured and consequently hospitalized, Genevieve survived the horrific attack. Questions arise immediately. There was no sign of a break in, nor was there any apparent motive. Nick is perplexed. Why was Genevieve allowed to survive? Nick's wife, Annie Broussard, is also a detective and is on the case as well.

Then, another disturbing situation occurs. KJ’s twelve-year-old babysitter, Nora Florette, is missing. This case becomes primary to Annie. Both she and Nick are running into brick walls. While it seems beyond a shadow of doubt that Genevieve was a victim along with her son, several questions began to plague Nick’s mind. It did not take Nick long to realize that things were not as they seemed, especially as more and more facts were shockingly revealed. The questions were many and I couldn't help but struggle to strive and answer them along with Nick.

Despite the fact that this book is nearly 500 pages, I was compelled to read it from cover to cover in just about one sitting. My attention was truly riveted. Many times while reading this story I was in a state of surprise. Reading something that involves the death of a child was extremely difficult in and of itself. Also, there were other serious issues in this story - bullying, abuse, control, secrets and bone-deep depression. These things may be triggering for some, but they were handled quite well throughout the pages of what was admittedly a difficult and tragic story. 

Meanwhile, Nick and Annie were experiencing serious marital discord, and Annie’s past causes her much angst. The couple have a five-year-old son, so both the past and present are very disturbing. It was just very difficult to try and solve the case of a murdered child, never mind trying to establish the whereabouts of Nora. 

KJ and Nora were not the only victims in this story, so my heart broke when reading certain scenes. I haven't read Tami Hoag before, but I certainly will keep her backlist and any future works on my radar. Her style of writing is extremely compelling. I felt drawn to some of the characters in this story. Conversely, there were characters like the Sheriff who was, simply put, abominable. For a story with this and much more, unexpected twists and turns and a bone-chilling conclusion, be sure to pick up The Boy. 

Although I had the Kindle ARC of this book, I listened to an audiobook of it. I must say that the narration by Hillary Huber was exceptional, including her grasp of Cajun patois. The Boy is the second story in the Broussard and Fourcade series. The first book, A Thin Dark Line, was released in 1997. This book did perfectly well as a standalone.

Many thanks to Dutton and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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The Boy is Tami Hoag at her best! A twisted plot, with well written and sympathetic characters. The story is smart, clever, and at times terrifyingly too real. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the E-Arc copy of this novel.
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With a masterful plot, unique characters and a pitch-perfect rural setting, there is nothing in The Boy that I didn’t love.

A woman awakens to a ghastly sound coming from 7-year-old son’s room. Racing to his room, she finds him stabbed multiple time and the killer next turns the knife on her. Fearing for her safety, she runs bloody and wounded to her neighbors for help.

Annie and Nick, married detectives in rural Partout Parish Louisiana, are assigned the case. If only they could stop the new grandstanding Sheriff, Kelvin Dutrow, from trying to “modernize” the detectives’ methods. When a second child disappears, panic runs high as the detectives race to see if the two cases are connected.

The plotting is done with such precision that the reader sees none of the machinery and can sit back and enjoy the twist-filled ride. The rural Louisiana setting seems like a character all by itself and the characters in The Boy are one of its greatest charms. There is hot-headed Cajun Nick’s frequent switches into French patois. There is level-headed Annie who tries to reel her husband in.

You rarely find a book with both good characters and fine plotting. I loved The Boy. 5 stars!

Thanks to Dutton Books for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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The Boy is the very first book I've read by Tamo Hoag, but I've been wanting to read her books for a while now. I was pleased to find out that I actually own the first book in this series, A Thin Dark Line, and I hope to find to read it someday. 

The Boy is the tragic story about a murdered child. Married detective Nick Fourcad and Detective Annie Broussard are tasked to find the killer and it soon turns out that not everything is at it seems. There are secrets and even the mother of the murdered child is soon a suspect. 

The book is thick and engrossing to read. It'so terribly tragic to read. The murder of children is always a theme that I will find hard to read. And, Nick and Annie feel the pain quite deeply now that they have a young son. 

Storywise must I say that it didn't end the way I had expected. The last part of the book truly surprised me. It's hard to write about it without spoiling things. So, I will just say that the author really knew how to write an ending that connected all the loose threads.
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Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) provided by the Author and Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an fair and honest review.

I can hardly wait! I love a good bayou mystery and Tami Hoag is really good at making the essence of that area come alive. The first Broussard and Fourcade book was years ago and I loved it. Her Doucet Series is one of my favorites, romance with a great mystery, just wonderful. Broussard and Fourcade Series, book one at least, is more mystery, but doesn't skimp on the romance. This book is all mystery. Like the slow moving current of the nearby bayou, this book is slow to give up it's secrets. The mystery ebbs and flows on the way to the inevitable end. So many suspects and so many theories, like getting lost in the byways of the never ending murky waters.

A child is murdered, his young mother attacked and traumatized. Who would do something like that? But a dead child isn't the only crime in Partout Parish. A new sheriff, Kelvin Dudrow, is in town and it's his way or the highway. His abrasive personality and just plain egotism have Annie Broussard and Nick Fourcade battling more than the criminals in this case. As the story unfolds there are hidden secrets and selfish agendas at work here, but as Nick says, "the truth will out."
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A seven-year-old boy is brutally murdered, while his mother escapes injured and bloodied.   As disturbing and puzzling facts come to light it’s up to Detectives Nick Fourcade and Annie Broussard sort them out, find the killer and bring him to justice.  Solving the case is made more difficult by the new sheriff of Partout Parish who loves to make a show for the press all the while butting in and trying to control investigative procedure.  

I first met Nick in Annie in A Thin Dark Line published back in 1997. Not exactly sure when I read it, because it was before Goodreads, but Annie was a new cop to the Partout Parish who became embroiled in a sick and twisted murder.  There’s an immediate spark between Annie and Nick; their romance felt dangerous and passionate, and at the time ill-advised, but it was thrilling!  I was so excited to find they had a new story coming, now married for six years with a five-year-old son.  Neither are perfect, but they’re perfect for each other, and I loved their dynamic, whether working together or trying to get by as a married couple while dealing with a high-profile case.  There’s electricity in the air every time they’re together!

Oh, there are so many twisted and tangled webs to unravel! One of the things I love about Tami’s mysteries is that she can make you feel for her characters, see things from their side, even when their actions are questionable or even when they’re downright wrong.  There are so many disturbing facets here that are, unfortunately, common in real life. 

The Boy was a gift to Ms. Hoag’s long-time fans! I loved getting back to Annie and Nick, but even if you haven’t read the first book, it’s a mystery that’ll keep you glued to the pages! It’s a story that’ll have you thinking about it long after you’ve read the final page!  I hope we get more Annie and Nick in the future!
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*** 3.5 - 4 stars ***
Publication date: December 31, 2018

This is book #2 in the Broussard and Fourcade series by Tami Hoag. This was my first read by Tami Hoag and I felt this read well as a standalone. Nick Fourcade and Annie Broussard are married and detectives working in Louisiana. Genevieve Gauthier is found in the middle of the night trying to find help as her seven year old son was murdered by an intruder in their home. Overall, the mystery was impossible to figure out as the story was very complex with many different characters and relationships; you are kept guessing until the very end. The reason I didn't rate this book higher was that I really didn't bond with many of the characters. Nick Fourcade is a hot tempered man who seems to always be spouting off and fighting someone and I found him annoying at some points. Having said that, I will be looking for the next book in the series and other books by this author as Tami Hoag's descriptive and intricate story line was that good. 

**Special thanks to NetGalley and Pengiun Group Dutton for allowing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**
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Tami Hoag returns to the world of south Louisiana Cajun country, and gives us a spectacular novel of suspense.

A child is stabbed to death and his mother is injured trying to save him — or did she kill the boy herself?

Another child disappears, and the family seems unconcerned.  As bullies target still another child, the people who should protect him only add to his torment.

This intricately plotted novel explores the power — and danger — of secrets large and small.  Hoag deftly handles the interior lives of her characters: children, parents, and the detectives sworn to bring justice to them all.
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I credit Tami Hoag with getting my interested in the romance genre. Her romantic suspense novels got me into the genre during high school, and A Thin Dark Line was one of my favourites. I was completely surprised to see the author return to these characters so long after the first book, but obviously I was going to read the book. It was a treat to return to characters and peak into what happened after the events in the first book, and for me, those moments were certainly the highlight of The Boy. That being said, The Boy is a mystery that certainly stands on its own. The murder of young boy sparks the events of the novel and the author's twisty resolution of this murder was well done with Hoag offering readers a glimpse into every character's thought process, including the guilty party. This is a dark mystery, but I think this was well balanced with some moments from the lead detectives, Nick and Annie's, personal lives. I have no idea if the author plans to write more books with these characters, but I would love for that to happen. 

For those who haven't read A Thin Dark Line, I don't think its absolutely necessary, but many of Hoag's earlier mysteries are well worth the read, especially those set in the south.
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This is the story of an investigation of the murder of a small boy in the swamps of Louisiana, and wow, what a story!

This book kept me guessing the entire time! Did she do it? Did he do it? What about this guy? I just couldn't figure it out. And even when I brushed upon the idea, I was like, no, that can't be it. I know this author has been around for a while, but I have never picked up one of her books before this one. After finishing "The Boy," I immediately purchased four more books by her!

Thank you #NetGalley for an early copy of #TheBoy!
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Tami Hoag is one of my favorite authors that I have followed for years.  A visit back to Louisiana and Annie & Nick feels like coming home.  Some crimes are too brutal to imagine and the crimes here are extremely dark.  The ancillary characters are so well developed most of them could carry their own plot.  A perfect blend of suspense, flawed humanity and the past.
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There is an old saying: ‘Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead.’ Tami Hoag’s The Boy is a dark, gritty mystery that highlights how keeping a secret often involves making sure that everyone else who knows it is, indeed, dead.

This is Hoag’s second book featuring Annie Broussard and Nick Fourcade. You don’t need to read the first one to enjoy this, although I would recommend it since a great deal of character building, relationship building and backstory is contained in A Thin Dark Line.

It’s the kind of crime scene no cop wants to be called to. In the isolated, ramshackle home of single mom Genevieve Gauthier, her young son KJ lies dead from multiple stab wounds. The first man on scene has already thrown up and Detective Nick Fourcade knows it will take all he has for him not to do the same. After all, he has a young son at home, almost the same age as the murdered child. Both boys had gone to bed wearing spiderman pajamas. But where Nick’s little man is safe at a cousin’s house, this boy lies in the middle of a bloody crime scene that is both brutal and confusing. Why would seven-year-old  KJ be murdered by an alleged intruder, yet his mother be left  with only some minor defensive wounds?

Nick's wife, Detective Annie Broussard, has a gentle, comfortable way of speaking to people which makes her a formidable interrogator. She is sent to the hospital to talk to the grieving Genevieve. Kind, compassionate and the loving mother of a young son herself, Annie can relate to the horror this young woman is going through. As the daughter of a single mother, she understands more than most the challenges Genevieve would have faced to provide and care for KJ and the special bond that would have grown between them as a result. What Annie doesn’t understand is the story she’s being told about what happened that night. Why would an assailant pick the child to kill, leaving the far more articulate adult behind as a witness? Annie spends hours alternately comforting her witness and questioning her suspect. It makes her deeply uncomfortable that both of them are the grieving Genevieve.

The next morning finds Annie walking through the last day of KJ’s life. Her first stop is the school, where she learns that KJ's sometimes babysitter, twelve-year-old Nora Florette, has skipped classes. Uneasy, she visits the girls house. Nora’s mother brushes off Annie’s initial concerns but as the day fades to night and Annie’s frantic race around town speaking to Nora’s friends shows the girl hasn’t been seen since the day before, both the family and the rest of the task force grow anxious. Hovering in the back of everyone’s mind is the recent rape of a severely autistic teenage girl.  Coupled with the missing Nora and dead KJ, the press has the community questioning both the competence of the police force and the safety of their own children. Nick and Annie’s new boss, a media attention loving sheriff who cares far more about looking good than solving cases, adds an extra level of pressure to the already strenuous situation. But this case is far from over, as a desperate killer tries to silence every possible witness in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the detectives that are coming far too close to finding them.

I love tales that show how small towns often contain deeply shady characters and The Boy is definitely one of those books.  Set in the quiet, Cajun community of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana, the story perfectly captures the delicate task of village policing among people who pride themselves on ‘minding their own’ while actually being deeply intrusive into other people’s lives. It seemed that almost everyone had a secret and that that secret was often rather repulsive. Many of the characters are simply unlikable, from Genevieve’s slumlord to the bullying new sheriff. Annie, Nick and their friends are the only bright spots in a very dark landscape. That made the story a little less enjoyable than it might have been, although on the positive side it increased the intrigue of the mystery. Fans of the first novel will be glad to know this book shows Annie and Nick successfully married, even if they are going through a rough patch at the start of the story. They haven’t changed a bit and are still deeply in love.

The plot is delicately intricate, filled with red herrings and laced with themes of bullying, infidelity, abuse, and homophobia. I questioned the inclusion of that last. I think readers might be uncomfortable with the slurs thrown at a particular character and how that person is forced to question their own sexuality. To be clear, the homophobic behavior is very negatively portrayed. The characters behind it are hateful and are deliberately drawn in such a manner that we have little to no empathy for them. I simply felt some readers would want to know going in that such behavior was included.

I think fans of Hoag and fans of grittier police procedural mysteries will thoroughly enjoy The Boy. I certainly found it to be a page turner and was enthralled from beginning to end. My one criticism is that the conclusion was a bit of a let-down and I rolled my eyes some at one of the denouements since I thought it was completely out of character, but that didn’t change the fact that I loved the journey of getting to that moment. So I’m aware the ending might be mildly disappointing to some but would still strongly recommend the story. This is the perfect book for suspense fans to while away a cold afternoon with.

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Wow! I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I had no idea it was the second part of a series until I had already started reading it. It did not affect my understanding of the book at all. I do, however, feel compelled to go back and read part 1 and any other book I can find by this author!

This book hooked me immediately and it kept me interested the entire time. What begins as one mystery turns into two, then three unsolved mysteries! Everything from the characters and their development to the way the story is told through multiple perspectives turned this into an incredible page-turner. Dare I say, it reminded me of my very favorite series by Lisa Gardner, The D. D. Warren series, but it definitely went it’s own way. I absolutely loved it!
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The Boy by Tami Hoag was an exciting ride.  From the first page I was thrown into a mystery so dark and related to the unthinkable brutal death of an innocent child.  Who would do such a thing?

The first thing that impressed me was the setting.  French Cajun has always been of interest to me and now I was introduced and immersed into this exclusive group and community.  The French throughout was educational and added an authenticity.

The plot was believable and true to life.  The pace of the novel was fast and I read this book in one sitting.  It was that good.  

The characters were well developed and dynamic.  Nick Fourcade epitomized the alpha, rogue cop that is willing to do whatever to get to the truth and you are rooting for him and his team of detectives to solve this crime.

The writing style was easy to follow.  The story is told from multiple POV in the third person.  

I highly recommend this book.  It is a police procedural packed with twists and turns.  It will keep you guessing until the end.  I will definitely add Tami Hoag to my TBR list.  I have been missing out.
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