Member Reviews

I was drawn into the mystery by the cover for Deadly Tides by Mary Keliikoa. Isn’t it gorgeous? And, the man is silhouetted on the beach. Oh yeah, I’m in.

Abby has a lot on her plate. Her grief over the loss of her daughter to leukemia and her mother’s early onset Alzheimer, at times overwhelms her. It is her job with the FBI that keeps her moving through the days.

Jax is the Sheriff of Misty Pines. When his and Abby’s cases intersect, they struggle to keep their personal lives separate from their professional lives. This is where I feel I missed out by not reading the first book in the series, Hidden Pieces. Does this affect my review? Yes, it did, so keep that in mind.

Abby’s mother had found a shoe…with a severed foot in it and wanted to keep it. I remember seeing TV shows with this as the subject and I even surfed the web to find out more. Do you ever do that? Read something in a novel, then have to do your own research to satisfy your curiosity? That’s a definite plus.

I love when Rachel comes into the picture, with her failed K9 partner, Koa. She wants a job, away from her parents. She is gay and her father thinks he can fix her. I love that Jax supports her and calls out his friend, her father, about his opinions. After all, Jax had lost a daughter, and Jameson still has one, if he would get over being so judgmental. I love a character like Rachel who marches to her own drum and makes the best of a bad situation.

We have lots of suspects…and motives, so solving the mystery is not simple.

I found myself picking up the book and putting it down. Was it too wordy? Too all over the place? Was it me? The pace and tension picked up near the end of the book and that left me with a feeling of satisfaction. I did waiver between a three and a four rating and I think that’s because of my confusion from not reading Book I, Hidden Pieces. So, if you are interested in the series, I highly recommend beginning with Book I.

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Really enjoyed this installment from Misty Pines! While it was a bit slower paced than the first book it was still a one sitting read. I am thoroughly looking forward to reading more about Sheriff Jax.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and Jax crept into my heart even more!
I adored the relationship between Jax and his ex-wife ( and I have high hopes for them!)

The suspense and twists kept me hooked and guessing. What a dramatic conclusion 😱.

This is book 2 in the new series, but could be read as a stand alone, but you'll learn a bit more about the main character if you do read the first book.

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This put takes place in Littletown in Oregon and had a lot of crazy characters. And it was interesting because everybody seemed to know everybody was tied together somehow. A b b y was A fbi agency working on a case in the small town. Her ex husband was named J a n was a Deputy in this town. Abby's mother was Named DO. N. N. And was in a nursing home because she had Memory problems. I Abby and her husband lost their daughter to cancer. They tried to get along but it was really hard.. There was a nurse I worked in the Hospital on the council W W a n d. This place is very important part of the story. Because it seems like it've got tied in with this woman. This man named Terry was the surfboard person who ran a shop. But he was an expert at it. His brother also lived in this town as well. He also had a different side. It's all started with the murderer, killing these people and he was the first 12 go. Things got really crazy because the kids were involved. And they're part of the plot as well. Twas over Is luprints terry was trying to sell to a corporation. There is another man also had a shop in town too. But he wasn't doing as well. The nurse had grudges against men because she broke up with her husband and she also lost He Son cancel. There's a lot of twisting turns in this book but well orchestrated and there's a lot of surprises as well.

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Deadly Tides is the second volume of the Misty Pines series. Author Mary Keliikoa immediately pulls readers into the atmospheric and suspenseful story. F.B.I. Agent Abby Kanekoa is in search of her mother, Dora, again. Abby was supposed to be enjoying a much-needed day off, but Dora, afflicted with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at only sixty-four years of age, has wandered away from the assisted living center where she resides, and Abby is worried. It’s a damp, cold January day on the rugged Oregon coast and Abby knows she has to face the fact that her mother needs better supervision and care than Stonebridge Assisted Living Center can provide. But she is loath to transfer Dora to a facility in Portland, two hours away. Her colleagues at the Bureau have been accommodating and supportive not only about Abby’s need to take time away from work to attend to Dora, but also as she has grieved the death of her only child, Lulu, from leukemia five years ago. And dealt with her divorce from Lulu’s father, Jax Turner, the local sheriff.

When Abby finally locates Dora, she is miles from Stonebridge on a sandy ridge near the beach, wearing only a bloody nightgown . . . and clutching a tennis shoe containing a severed foot! And Dora does not want to surrender it, insisting, “It’s mine.” She is unable to provide details that would aid in the investigation that is now commencing.

Meanwhile, Jax, working with only his trusted assistant, Trudy, and a small force of volunteer reserve deputies, is dispatched to conduct a health and safety check at the home of Terry Chesney on Bull Mountain outside the little town of Misty Pines. Terry, a former surfing champion and “aging beach bum,” operates the Surfrider Shop on the edge of town. But his brother, Gerard, has been unable to reach him since their telephone conversation the prior evening was interrupted when Terry went to the garage of his home to investigate unsettling noises. Jax arrives at the residence to find the garage door open, the lights on, tools scattered about the floor, and a toolbox on its side. Inside the house, an open package of steak is on the counter, along with Terry’s wallet, cell phone, a home baked pie, and groceries that should have been put away hours ago. A steak knife is missing from the wood block containing the rest of the matching set. There is no sign of Terry, but an expanded search leads to the discovery of congealed blood on a pile of leaves not far from an abandoned campsite in the forest near Terry’s house. On a ledge below the tent, Jax recognizes the body of Walter, a homeless man known to wander the Misty Pines area. There is no sign of Walter’s companion, Lois. Soon the missing steak knife is also located near a pool of blood.

Jax and Abby have been attending counseling together but making little progress on repairing their relationship. Both have sought solace in their respective careers as they continue mourning Lulu. Jax is clear about what he wants. He longs to reconcile with Abby and resume their life together. He has sought counseling separately — urged by Abby — and started implementing the counselor’s suggestions, including running to “work out the demons,” and is trying to bring himself to repaint Lulu’s bedroom. It has taken Jax five years to box up Lulu’s belongings, but he still is not able to part with them. Jax worries that he is “unfixable. Unlovable.” He was, after all, abandoned by his own mother. But Abby is not ready and actively evades talking with Jax about their counseling sessions. She’s weary of analyzing her feelings and, although she alerts Jax to Dora’s discovery, recognizing that his department has jurisdiction, she worries that working side-by-side on the case will complicate her efforts to decide whether she wants to get back together with Jax. Thus far, counseling has only heightened her confusion. Jax and Abby are both broken and lost, trying desperately to navigate their grief and, at least in Jax’s case, find their way back to each other. From Abby’s perspective, following Lulu's death, Jax was unable to “understand her struggle, he was so lost in his own. And she had no energy to make him understand, because he was so quick to have an opinion about her.”

Complicating matters for Jax is Commissioner Troy Marks’ insistence that he hire a full-time, salaried deputy. Misty Pines is a small town that is beginning to experience big city-like crime. Twenty-seven-year-old Rachel Killian has applied for the job and is scheduled for an interview. She has adopted her mother’s birth surname which is why Jax does not immediately realize that he is about to interview the daughter of his former partner, Jameson. She is seasoned, having spent two years working for the Vancouver Police Department before joining the Portland force. Her experience in search and rescue with her trained dog, Koa, could be a real asset in the Misty Pines area. Jax decides to make it an on-the-job interview, inviting Rachel and Koa to join him as he proceeds to Terry’s Surfrider Shop when Terry’s employee, Brandon, reports that he arrived that morning to find it ransacked. As Jax’s investigation proceeds, he learns more about Rachel’s history, relationship with her family, and the reasons she wants to relocate to Misty Pines to work for her Uncle Jax. Jax finds himself at odds with Jameson, with whom he has only recently revived his friendship, and recognizes that doing what he feels is morally and ethically honorable, as well as the right thing for his department, may again fracture their relationship.

Jax and Abby are likable and sympathetic from the outset. Both are quickly established as competent, earnest professionals who immediately commit to their new, intriguing case. Jax follows clues related to Terry’s relationship with his brother, Gerard, as well as his business acumen, practices, and prospects. Meanwhile, Abby looks into the disappearance of Jonathan Lilly, a consultant for a federal power company who went for a run a month ago and was never seen again. His sister and niece, Angel, a survivor of non-Hodgkins lymphoma who was treated at the same hospital as Lulu, are anxious to find him.

Keliikoa reveals that while a foot washing ashore in the Pacific Northwest is not an isolated phenomenon, it rarely occurs due to foul play. More often it is a result of detachment from the body of a drowning, accident, or suicide victim. But when another severed foot is discovered, the odds that harm was deliberately inflicted on the victims increase exponentially. “I was fascinated when I learned of the phenomenon happening right along the Pacific Northwest coastline and knew right then I had to find a way to weave it into a story,” Keliikoa recalls. She wanted to explore “what drives someone to such a gruesome act.” Which led her to create not just a compelling mystery, but an absorbing meditation on grief.

At the center of Deadly Tides is a clever and intricately constructed puzzle, and riveting story about empathetic characters. Keliikoa deftly reveals details about Jax and Abby's concurrent investigations, introducing a colorful cast of supporting characters as the list of potential suspects grows. But readers are kept guessing as to whether the two cases are related and, if so, what or who links them. Terry and Jonathan “lived in different cities, had unrelated professions, ran in different circles.” There is no indication that Jonathan was a surfer. Initially, there isn’t even any “evidence that the two men knew each other.” Jax and Abby work cooperatively, sharing information, but neither unfailingly recognizes how salient details may be relevant to the other’s investigation.

As the story progresses, and Jax and Abby inch toward unraveling their complex and perplexing cases, Keliikoa places several of her characters in peril, expertly increasing the dramatic tension. Abby is convinced that Dora inadvertently discovered information that might prove helpful to solving the mystery, but her ability to recall and accurately communicate waxes and wanes, making her statements inherently unreliable. Could her knowledge put her in danger? Would someone be motivated to harm a vulnerable woman suffering from Alzheiner’s disease to prevent their wrongdoing from being discovered? Keliikoa says she enjoys examining “what emotional wound was triggered to drive the person to commit such extreme acts” and with Dealy Tides, she effectively digs “into the emotional makeup of the killer" whose identity, when revealed, is shocking.

Deadly Tides is a suspenseful and engrossing thriller, as well as a moving and poignant depiction of the far-ranging and potentially destructive impact of loss, mourning a beloved child, and loneliness and isolation. Through Jax and Abby, she illustrates the myriad emotions, including guilt about continuing to live (particularly for Jax) and regret, that parents face in the wake of losing a child, individually and as a couple, and how the strain can derail a marriage. Abby is also shouldering responsibility to care for her mother, whose cognitive abilities are deteriorating, and striving to balance keeping her mother safe and her professional obligations. Keliikoa says she works “to create characters that are relatable and struggling on some level with the goal of overcoming those emotional obstacles” and hopes that her readers “connect with that or are helped in any way to move through their own process.” With Deadly Tides, Keliikoa attains her goals masterfully, leaving readers anxious to read the next installment in the gripping Misty Pines series.

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A mystery with a lot of twists and turns. So many clues and false leads! Love this series and all the characters

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I enjoyed this murder mystery set on the Oregon coast. I remember when shoes with feet inside washed up on Washington and British Columbia shores so this novel was of particular interest to me. I like how Keliikoa created a believable plot and motive structure for the same kind of events. The plot is a little complex as there are layers of participants to the events Jax is investigating. The layers of responsibility are revealed as the investigation proceeds. There was a great twist near the end that led to good suspense.

While I liked the setting and plot, I think the characters made the novel so enjoyable. The major ones have suffered loss and part of the impact of the novel is how each of them reacted to that loss. Since this is the second in a series and the character reactions are so important, I would recommend reading the earlier novel first. I also like the introduction of a new deputy and I hope she and her sidekick figure prominently in the next novel.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley and publisher for this ARC publication for an honest review.

I did not realize this was a book two and kind of wish I had read the first before this one. I just felt like I would have been more connected to the characters. The mystery was good, but I wish there was more relationship development between the exes and whether they truly were on a path to reuniting. Once again, I think if I had experienced the loss of their daughter in the first book, this one would have been more enjoyable.

3.5 stars

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I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy through NetGalley. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I had read the first book in this series, Hidden Pieces, a while back and was looking forward to the continuation of the series, so I was happy to read this second one.

Sheriff Jax Turner and Abby, his ex-wife who is an FBI agent, have cases that may be related. They are sharing information just in case. The problem is that Jax wants to get back together with her. They have both been through a lot after losing their daughter to cancer several years ago, but they still love each other. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime, the two cases involve feet, of all things. Two different feet have washed up on the beach, and they belong to two different men who have gone missing. Jax and Abby have to figure out whether or not they’re related and, of course, find the killer(s). There are a lot of twists and after I got about halfway through, it was difficult to put the book down.

If you like murder mysteries with twists, good police procedurals, and heart wrenching circumstances, this is a book for you!

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After finishing this book I realized that it is the second in a series, I didn't have any trouble getting into it, so it can definitely can be read as a stand alone.

I love police procedurals and this one didn't disappoint. It had just enough creep factor and investigation. I thought the mix of a couple one a local police officer and the other an FBI agent was great.

The author did a great job of bringing in the characters back stories and weaving them into this mystery. The story had a lot of twists that lead you down one path and the ending definitely caught me off guard.

I will definitely be checking out book one.

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3.7 Stars
One Liner: Better than book one but slower too

Misty Pines’ Sheriff Jax Turner is slowly getting his life on track. Of course, he is still struggling, and his ex-wife, Abby, doesn’t seem to be as interested in him. However, when the local surfing legend goes missing, Jax is busy gathering evidence and digging deeper.
Abby isn’t having it easy, either. A severed foot washes ashore, which seems connected to another missing case. Since it falls in Jax’s jurisdiction, she hands it over to him but takes up the investigation at the FBI level as more clues turn up.
As the waters get murky, Jax will have to find a way out and expose the layers of lies and agendas without risking precious lives in the process.
The story comes in the third-person POV of Jax and Abby.

My Thoughts:
Reading books one and two together sure helped. This one is better and doesn’t try to bring ‘surprise twists’. Though there’s a sort of curveball, the killer and clues are pretty much aligned.
Having Abby’s POV helped to an extent. We get to see both their perspectives about their personal lives. I also like that they are a work-in-progress, irrespective of the result.
Jax is much better in this book. He is more in control, assured, and capable. True that he is still coming to terms and makes some mistakes, but I like his arc (possibly more than Abby’s).
The mysteries go in parallel, and as new evidence comes to light, some things become clear, while some get murkier. The resolution is decent and not unexpected. A little more focus on the reason would have helped.
Apart from recurring characters like Trudy, Troy, Dylan, and Jax’s team, we have two new entries- Olek (Abby’s FBI partner) and Rachel. It will be interesting to see how they contribute to the future books.
Compared to book one, this one heavily leans on Jax and Abby’s past and present lives. There’s a reason for this. Nurse Margot, with her Maggi noodles curls, does her bit to keep the plot going.
While the setting and descriptions are nice to read, this is a slow-burn mystery mixed with some police procedural. Unlike book one, it takes a long time for the plot to pick up pace. The urgency of the storyline is not replicated in the narrative style. This contrast makes it a little hard to stay interested.
The book does work as a standalone, but I am not sure how much readers can connect with Jax and Abby’s strained relationship. Though we get the basic information, some important snippets are not repeated, which could make the characters feel distant (depends, though).

To summarize, Deadly Tides is an engaging slow-burn mystery with introspective themes like grief, healing, abandonment, family, relationships, etc. I like it better and will read book #3 next year (or whenever it is available).
Thank you, NetGalley and Level Best Books, for the eARC. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.

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I was pulled in from the start! Even though this is book two in the series I never felt lost or confused. This character-driven novel makes you become invested quickly in Sherriff Jax Turner and his FBI Agent ex-wife Abby Kanekoa's lives. Several murders are at the heart of this novel as both Jax and Abby are investigating separate murders. Soon, the two investigations start merging and that's when readers guessing "who did it" expands.

The author brings the setting alive in the vivid descriptions of the Oregon Coastal community. The setting was just as important to the overall plot as were other clues. As Jax and Abby start working together again, we learn more about their past heartache of losing their young daughter to cancer. The cast of characters was well-rounded and gave you so many people to ponder their involvement in the murders. Truly I was stumped until the last chapter of the book. The Red Herrings were running rampant in this book and they kept pace with the almost non-stop action. The twists and turns in the novel are as crazy as the winding, mountain roads described in the book.

Deadly Tides does come to a good ending but leaves many things open for the next book. This novel is one that all mystery suspense readers will love. I know I want to read more books written by Author Mary Keliikoa and so will you.

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Though the second book in the series, Deadly Tides can be read as a standalone read.
A slow burn mystery with a very surprising ending.
The suspenseful pacing of this police thriller will definitely keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat!
Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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This is the second book in the Misty Pines series. Book #1 Hidden Pieces, I also enjoyed. Now we return with book #2, where we are seeing Jax, and Abby working together.

FBI Special Agent Abby Kanekoa goes looking for her mother, an early onset Alzheimer's patient who had walked away from her assisted living facility. Kanekoa drives to a beach that should have been too far for her mother to walk to. As Abby climbs to the top of a tall mound and looks, she sees what she thinks in her mother’s red hair among some logs in the distance. As she approaches, her mother is very wet and she bent over holding on to something. When Abby helps her mother stand, there is blood on her clothes. It is not hers; it is from the severed foot in a sneaker that she is holding. Abby knows that this is a case for her ex-husband, Sheriff Jax Turner. Another foot in a sneaker is found further up the coast.

A welfare check requested by a brother reveals a bloody scene without a body in a forested area behind the residence. Then, a body is found at the bottom of the cliff further behind the residence. The body is not the missing person. The missing person is a well renowned surfboard designer and builder. His latest design has a large financial potential. There are several people who could profit from selling his design to a major manufacturer. There are multiple issues that make this investigation more difficult. The best witness is mother of Special Agent Abby Kanekoa, Sheriff Turner’s ex-wife. The mother is suffering from dementia. Also, the sheriff becomes the love interest of a woman. This is driving a wedge between Turner and Kanekoa. There is a second storyline involving finding the owner of the second foot, and where the rest of the body is. This book is driven by Special Agent Abby Kanekoa. We plunge into her personal problems of caring for her mother, and how she feels that it is not allowing her to focus on and contribute to this investigation. The fact that she still has unresolved pain from the death of Jax and her daughter. This main storyline captured my interest and kept it until the end.

I like the flow and format and that all of the loose ends were wrapped up nicely by the end. The character development was an easy flow and I felt connected to each. I hope that there will be more to come with Jax, Abby and the rest of the characters in the Misty Pine series.

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This is the second book in the author's Misty Pines series and I enjoyed it more than the first book. It seems to be more tightly written without much meandering from the main threads of the story. Sheriff Jax Turner is mentally and emotionally stronger and is determined to keep his community safe. I kinda wish he'd quit trying to get back together with his ex-wife though. She's obviously not that into him any more. With many viable suspects in the story, I was kept guessing right to the end. As other reviewers have pointed out, this book can be read as a standalone. I plan to read the author's newest standalone novel "Don't Ask, Don't Follow" before it publishes in June 2024 and I'd definitely read another book in the Misty Pines series. 3.5 Stars rounded up.

My thanks to Level Best Books via Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this novel. All opinions expressed are my own.
Publication: October 24, 2023

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Mary Kelikoa's DEADY TIDES was the best kind of mystery with layers of secrets, revelations, and twists and turns I never saw coming. Up too late reading, I was entranced by the back story of a divorced couple continuing to serve as FBI agent Abby and local police officer Jax, points of view that expanded and deepened a story grounded in the misty fall coast of Oregon and centered on how we love, envy, lie, and build our lives with the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and one another. The deeply developed supporting characters never got in the way of a mystery that offers secrets from the deep in well-paced, wonderfully wrought events and concludes with a satisfying, entirely logical and yet not obvious conclusion.. I especially enjoyed the dynamic flow between individuals devoted to solving the mystery and also forwarding their own agendas. Now that I've enjoyed Kelikoa's storytelling, I cannot wait to read the first book in the series. I received a copy of this book and these opinions are my own, unbiased thoughts.

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The small town of Misty Pines’s crime rate is increasing again. What I enjoy about this series is how it combines thrilling crime with character development. It is a story just as much about the characters and their lives as it is about the crimes they are trying to solve. If you love crime set in a small town with excellent characters, you will enjoy this book and the series.

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This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I started the Misty Pines Mystery series with Sheriff Jax Turner and decided to continue reading the series. Jax starts at rock bottom. He lost his daughter to cancer and shut himself away from the world to try to stop the pain. In Hidden Pieces, he decides he wants to put himself together, do a great job and renew his relationship with his ex-wife.

Jax struggles a bit, of course, because he hasn't been paying attention to things or working with the top folks in town. Now they find some detached feet, which is kind of a thing in the Pacific Northwest. He has a case and his FBI ex-wife Abby has a case also. So they are both researching a case which may be connected from some different angles. They share some information but don't do a great job of it.

He is also interviewing for a new deputy. He doesn't feel any of his current people can be promoted, as they are too green. A new applicant with appropriate experience and a failed K9 (still great) has him in the crosshairs of his old partner and mentor, Jameson. He had just renewed his friendship with Jameson and his family.

Jax does a good job with the investigation considering his limited resources. He needs to trust his instincts which are good but he doesn't just yet. He needs a stronger team so he has better backup. Abby isn't really a help either. But when things blow up, they work together to save each other and take down the bad guys.

With police investigations and complex histories and personal relationships, I hope to read more of these characters.

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Deadly Tides can be read as the second in the Misty Pines series, OR as a standalone. it's fantastic either way! The book opens with Abby searching for her mother who has escaped an Alzheimer's unit in a retirement home. She finds her, but unfortunately her mother has found something, too: a severed foot, belonging to a local surfing legend who's gone missing. The other POV is Jax Turner, Abby's ex-husband and the sheriff. They quickly realize something much deeper is going on, and work together (while also dealing with their past) to solve the mystery. This is a quick read with excellent writing!

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Would like to thank netgalley for and arc of this book and what a great read. I hadn’t realised it was book 2 of 2 but that said it was easy to read as a stand-alone but wish I had read book 1 first!
Exciting storyline with twists turns and a great plot along the way. I loved the characters in the book and really got engrossed in it! This was a book I couldn’t put down and strongly recommend to anyone who likes this genre of book. Will definitely be reading more from this author and so glad to have had the chance to read this.

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