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This is the follow up to the first book in the Deer Lake series I ll start off by saying I m not a fan of having to read two books to figure out the resolution to a mystery However, I liked the book even though it had some issues.The story continues with the State s Assistant City Attorney Ellen North at the forefront She s been handed the case involving Garrett Wright who Mitch Holt arrested for the assault of Megan O Malley and the abduction of Josh Kirkwood What seems to be an open and shut case turns into anything but She s pitted against a hot shot attorney from Minneapolis with whom she has personal history and a judge who has a super sized ego To top it off, a Hollywood true crime writer has come to cover the story and he has designs on Ellen.Here s what worked The characters there are quite a few are well developed and complicated people There are no perfect individuals here even though some may seem so on the surface And, they can t help being themselves in spite of circumstances that call for them to behave differently I like when a story stays true to character no matter how unpopular or uncomfortable that may seem I also liked that the story is complex, which is essential in a suspense tale or mystery Finally, the last 100 pages seemed to zoom There were rapid paced courtroom scenes and the climactic segments leapt from the pages My heart rate accelerated and I couldn t read fast enough.Here s what didn t work This was too long, especially since the mystery began in another book The ending should have started about 100 pages earlier There was too much emphasis on the bad guys winning, to the point where I was in despair It was astounding to me that Paul s affair with Karen wasn t discovered in the first book and it took forever to come out in this one Finally, while there was a payoff for the relationships at the end, they all felt rushed I know I ve complained about the length but 10 pages to resolve the relationships definitively were in order.This is a really good story Don t give up on it because about the time you re ready to skim to the end, it takes off. I really didn t like this one I had vague memories of reading book 1, so maybe it s my own fault for not re reading that one first to go into this one fresh Honestly though, I don t think it would have helped The characters didn t grab me and the plot seemed nonsensical after a while We eventually sputter to an ending The main character if you can call her that since you get many POVs in this one is prosecutor Ellen North Ellen is trying a local professor in good standing in the community with a kidnapping and possible murder of a young boy Josh Kirkwood With her boss ready to throw her under the bus at any moment, Ellen is walking a tightrope when the young boy suddenly reappears and refuses to speak about what happened to him We not only follow Ellen, we follow a true crime novelist Jay Brooks along with the young boy, his mother, his father, one of the neighbors, the local sheriff, and I know I am forgetting some people There are too many characters to juggle in this one It needed cut down a lot.I personally didn t like the character of Jay at all and thought he was creepy stalking Ellen I didn t feel one way or the other for Ellen The other characters just pop in and out of the story throughout I think I was supposed to be on pins and needles about what happened with everyone, but think that Hoag left way too many things up in the air regarding the personal relationships that may have drawn people in via book 1 The whole mystery of what happened to Josh Kirkwood and why took way too long to get to I found myself getting bored along the way When things are finally revealed I maybe just went huh rather than even trying to work out all of the plot holes I had with the book as written. I ve been reading the reviews and to be honest, I don t agree with most of them.I found this book to be engaging, thought provoking in as far as who was doing what to with whom , and suprisingly interesting.Knowing people in the legal field, the way the trail was prepared for in the book is spot on.You don t always know what your other council is receiving in the way of evidence, depending on when it s found.The character, Ellen North, was written well.I enjoyed the way the author made her seem to be doing her job for the justice of it all.All and all, in my humble opinion, a very good read Why can t I choose negative stars as a rating I haven t read much or any Tami Hoag before this book but I had such a visceral reaction to this book that I was hard pressed not to throw it across the room I had to quit about 1 3 of the way through and take a break because the rage blackouts were becoming much too frequent I ve been reading Harlequin Romances since yesterday because EVEN THAT WAS BETTER THAN READING THE ALLEGED ROMANCE IN THIS NOVEL I want to finish it, I m interested by the mystery part of the story but I absolutely loathe the leading man that Hoag has developed for her ethereally beautiful heroine GAG I desperately hope he is evil and dies in an unpleasant manner because nothing else can save it for me So, so, sooooo much hate Perhaps this would be palatable if I was drunk Finished finally Didn t get any better The actual mystery not half as clever as the author clearly thought herself. Perhaps if I had known that this was a continuation of another book I would have liked it , but I doubt it The romance plot added nothing but irritation to the story I would have had a restraining order taken out on that man. This book was drawn out way too long I really only enjoyed the last 100 pages or so when things started coming to an end And the main character, Ellen North is a self righteous, hypocritical, bitch who can t control her emotions any better than a two year old That s all I have to say about that. .FREE BOOK ☢ Guilty as Sin (Deer Lake #2) ☤ A Cold Blooded Kidnapper Has Been Playing A Twisted Game With A Terrified Minnesota Town Now A Respected Member Of The Community Stands Accused Of A Horrific Act Of Evil But When A Second Boy Disappears, A Frightened Public Demands To Know Have The Police Caught The Wrong Man Is The Nightmare Continuing Or Just Beginning Prosecutor Ellen North Believes She S Building A Case Against A Guilty Man And That He Has An Accomplice In The Shadows As She Prepares For The Trial Of Her Career, Ellen Suddenly Finds Herself Swept Into A Cruel Contest Of Twisted Wits, A Dark Dance Of Life And Death With An Evil Mind As Guilty As Sin 3.5 stars Guilty as Sin is the continuation from book 1, Night Sins This time, the central characters are Ellen North, Assistant County Attorney, and Jay Butler Brooks, a novelist with the goal of observing and researching this devastating crime that has Deer Lake frozen in fear Hoag again does a great job of setting up each scene in a very edge of your seat manner Twists and turns, with a little romance thrown in made for a page turning book There were some parts, mainly legal descriptions, that tended to be dragged out, but overall a great story. This book wasOkay I ve noticed a theme with her books with me I m indifferent to most of the characters in her books, with a few exceptions I really do like the way she writes the actual plot The story itself was really good. Loved, loved ,loved this book Was scary, twisted, and unforgettable Ms Hoag writes intensely She grabs a subject by the throat and doesn t let it go Was creepy, nerve wracking and unputdownable What can I say.