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Dark Horse Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The professional horse world, as seen through Hoag's eyes, is full of intrigue, glitter and skullduggery. Elena Estes is a former cop whose bravado on the force resulted in a colleague's death; it also cost her her job and her self-esteem, not to mention the psychological and physical fallout from nearly being shot. She's been keeping a low profile at a friend's Florida ranch, but her world is disrupted when 12-year-old Molly Seabright, wise beyond her years, attempts to hire Elena to find her older sister, Erin, who has been missing for two days. As Elena digs deeper into Erin's disappearance, the dark side of the horse-show set is revealed. Hoag (Night Sins; Dust to Dust), herself an experienced equestrian, shows off her dressage-to-showing knowledge of the sport as she weaves behind-the-scenes tidbits about the training, competitions, horse brokers and grooms into a plot that gallops along. Though she is a master of suspense, the story falters when a major secret about the kidnapping is exposed. There are too many bad guys who may be in on the scheme, and readers will feel cheated by the improbable 11th-hour revelation. It's too bad Hoag felt the need to undercut her plot with schemes and counterschemes, since she finds plenty of tension in the equestrian world she examines here and doesn't need the contrivance. Nonetheless, she has enough skill and drawing power to propel this, her 10th book, onto bestseller lists.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Elena Estes leaves the Palm Beach County sheriff's office in disgrace after causing the death of a fellow copand gallops straight into trouble at an international riding competition in Florida's horse country.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 5 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449808467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449808467
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,188,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tami Hoag is the #1 international bestselling author of more than thirty books published in more than thirty languages worldwide, including her latest thrillers--Deeper Than The Dead, and Secrets To The Grave. Set in the late '80's, this series explores crime fighting in the early days of modern forensic science and criminal profiling. Renowned for combining thrilling plots with character-driven suspense, Hoag first hit the New York Times Bestseller list with Night Sins, and each of her books since has best a bestseller. She leads a double life in Palm Beach County, Florida where she is also known as a top competitive equestrian in the Olympic discipline of dressage.

Customer Reviews

Great character development in a flawed heroine.
Lorien Mickelson
This book has some redeeming points, but overall is too long and has a confused mismash of a plot.
Trader
I am happy to say I like this book a lot and think her lead character is very believable.
Janet Hedberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dark Horse was not a bad book, but it did take me an awful long time to read, which in my terms basically means that the story wasn't intriguing enough for me to not want to put it down. I liked the main character, Elena Estes, but it also seemed like more of the same as in many of her other books...female in a role of law enforcement that did something that has turned all her colleagues against her so she is now an outsider and must try to do her job while dealing with their animosity.. does anyone else feel like this formula is getting kind of old in her books. I'd like to maybe read something a little different for once. Aside from that fact, the story wasn't bad, it just wasn't that intriguing; and the ending was not very satifying to me. I'm still a fan of Tami Hoag, but I really did not find this to be her best work.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Erik1988 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Since so many other reviews tell you the story I won't bother with that here:
1) The reader of the audiobook did a fine job, very good acting. She did some voice changes for different characters but not all, which is ok because it wasnt needed.
2) Characters are believable and their actions consistent.
3) Plot was well put together with enough red herrings and other dislikable characters that you couldn't quite guess the real end to very late in the story. I figured out most of it about 2/3rds of the way through or at least had my suspicions...but that only encouraged me to keep reading to see if I was right or not. Nice pace to everything...at no point was an action-freak like myself bored and wanting more, even though there is very little "action".
4) The protagonist is a character one would want to read in another story. Strong female detective type with a sharp sense of humor and insight. Enjoyable and a character with flaws (not perfect physically and personality-wise)...what more could you ask for.
OVERALL: Worth getting into. Makes me want to check out more from this author.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tolana on September 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't understand why other reviews say this book was disappointing or confusing. Once I got into the book, the characters were fairly easy to keep track of and there wasn't that much about the horse world to make it confusing. I will admit, I did figure out who the real criminals were before it ended. Nonetheless, it was a great read and I read it in a day or so.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "showjumper287" on March 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
To start: I am an equestrian. I ride jumpers in the Chicago area and spend 3 months of every winter in West Palm Beach and Tampa to show my horse. I write this review as a national level equestrian to other national level equestrians. If you do not fit this description, this review will most likely not be of any assistance to you at all.
Personally, I don't read much of the category most people title "Beach Books," and the stuff Tami Hoag writes seems to fit that picture. I wasn't even going to read this book, but a friend of mine who rides with my trainer convinced me it was worth it. She was right.
Dark Horse takes place in West Palm Beach on the Wellington Equestrian Festival show grounds. There is a cornucopia of shady characters in this book, and I suppose an average reader would find it unbelievable or even ludicrous, but anyone familiar with the microcosm of West Palm or any part of the USEF hunter/jumper show circuit will not find this unconvincing. The plot involves a horse murdered for insurance and the kidnapping of a girl who knew the truth about the animal's death. Names of certain jumper trainers in the Chicago area and numerous multimillionaires come to mind. Anyone who thinks of "the Sandman" as someone besides a character in a fairytale will believe this plot.
Now, like I said, I don't read this sort of thing, but the author portrays her West Palm setting perfectly, depicting all parts of the show grounds to a tee. I loved it for its accuracy, if nothing else.
This review is not intended to explain the book to you -- read the official description for that -- but it is intended to encourage all hunter/jumper riders to read it. Dressage people, too -- the main character is a dressage rider.
Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on September 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Elena Estes has given up her career as a detective and taken up living the quiet life in Florida. But her peaceful existence is about to get shaken up when twelve year-old Molly Seabright comes to her for help.
Molly's step-sister was working as a horse groomer among Palm Beach's wealthiest when suddenly she disappears, a victim of kidnapping.
Elena does not want to get involved but a few questions for her curiosity plunges her deep into a nightmare where a killer will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Now, forced to face the painful memories of her past, Elena must follow the trail of the killer if she is to bring a young woman back alive.
`Dark Horse' is a departure for best-selling author Tami Hoag, while it remains a thriller, it is not like her usual gritty thriller, but more a thriller in the Archy McNally vein. I was disappointed with this book, most of the novel was boring, and even the shocking, surprise ending couldn't pull it back from a time waster of 400 pages.
Tami Hoag writes excellent suspense novels, `Dark Horse' not being one of them. Where Ms. Hoag usually writes dark police procedurals, she has opted to try something lighter, and the result is a slower, glitzy type thriller...one that does not succeed in thrilling as her previous novels have.
Nick Gonnella
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