Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2011
Imagine having your sixteen-year old daughter abducted; disappear without knowing if or where she's alive. Imagine knowing who took her and not being able to do anything about it! This is the situation Lauren Lawton finds herself in for the last four years.

The Lawton family was once a happy family of four, husband and wife, with two daughters: Leslie and Leah, living a charmed life in Santa Barbara, California. Leslie being abducted has destroyed that. Lance, Lauren's husband couldn't take the pain of losing Leslie, and in a tragic accident, he drove off a mountain road two years after Leslie's disappearance. For the last four years, Lauren's main focus in life is finding a way to make the man responsible, Roland Ballencoa pay. Needing a change in scenery for both her and Leah, Lauren decides to leave Santa Barbara and move to a small college town north, Oak Knoll. This all seems to be working out well until Lauren thinks she sees Roland in Oak Knoll, at the grocery store! Has he followed them up there or is her mind, tired from grief and lack of sleep, playing tricks on her? Lauren drops everything and pursues him out of the parking lot to see if it's really him. This captures the attention of Detective Tony Mendez, whom we've already met in the past two books. He pulls Lauren over for her erratic driving. When Tony finds out whom Lauren is and who she thinks she's seen he goes to work finding out more about this case. Tony wants to know if this child predator has moved into his backyard, and what his plans are. Also, if there is a female around in distress, Tony is there to save the day (can I have a Tony, please?)!

This story is set in the same universe as Tami Hoag's previous novels Deeper than the Dead and Secrets to the Grave (Oak Knoll, #2). Both novels are set in the 1980's. Vince Leone an FBI agent and Tony Mendez a detective in Oak Knoll are central characters in all three. I loved both of these books, and was happy to get to see all these characters again! Tami does a wonderful job of capturing the feel of the 80's, bringing back a lot of memories for me! It was interesting to see how cases were worked without all of our modern technology. Both Vince and Tony are very involved in the "new concept" of profiling. I love Tony's character, he's so protective and chivalrous *swoon*! In both the first two books, Tony had lost on his love interest, so I was hoping for a match up for him here. There is, sort of but unfortunately it wasn't with the person I was hoping for him. Maybe it was a little too soon. Hopefully it works out in the next book. If you're looking for a well plotted mystery with romance, these books are a definite recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley and The Penguin Group for allowing me to read this!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2011
While I found the first two Oak Knoll books to be great reads I was
somewhat disappointed in the characters in this one. There was no
development of the Hewitt character and I was unsure of why he was
even needed, as he seemed an afterthought. I also was disappointed
in the fact that the cutting done by the daughter was never resolved.
I did enjoy catching up with Anne and her family and to see where
Mendez may be heading. If there is another one in this series, I will
probably read it, but I still feel that the author rushed this one.
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2011
great book! it's not every writer who can create a page-turning, nail-biting, mind-blowing story without leaving a trail of bloody corpses or gory fright-fests in every chapter. this book feels real and that's what makes it so scary and disturbing. the mother is both horrible and heroic, and the combination is fascinating. this would make for a great 'what would you do if you were in her shoes?' discussion! hoag is always a winner and this is no exception. make it a movie!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2012
I'm an avid tami hoag fan and have read all of her triller books, the first of which that got me hooked on her writing being Guilty as Sin. Since then she has been on my must read list. I purchase the minute her latest release comes out without a second thought. Usually I enjoy all of her books. This time however I was left very disappointed. Too much time was spent on Lauren Lawton feeling sorry for the situation she was in that I could not feel sympathetic towards her. Her characteriztion was just flat and I don't know if this was intentional or not. The plot was too predictable because I knew without even skimming to the end where the twist in the story was going. It was just that obvious. I also felt too much time was harped on about the technology advances they were hoping would occur in the near future. It got a tad bit annoying hearing the characters say that over and over rather than just focus on the present day. It seemed forced upon too much in the dialogue. The issue with Leah's character was also never fully addressed and just seemed to be thrown in there. The story sort of dragged on only for the ending to be rushed. All in all it was just a predictable okayish read and i expect so much more from one of my fav authors.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2012
This author has chosen a heartwrenching subject, namely the kidnapping and killing of the protagonist's young daughter. Ms Hoag describes vividly the mother's devastation, including her fears for and need to protect a second daughter from the killer who is still at large. Also described is the blindness of our legal system. However, in an attempt to describe the suspected man, the author clutters page after page with direct quotations of the pervert's profanity. Why? It's unnecessary and ruins the whole effect. The sense of commiseration and tenderness that the author engenders at the beginning fizzles out, and the reader is left with pornography literature. What a shame.

Ms. Hoag can benefit from studying ROOM, by Emma Donaghue, where a similar tragedy is described in much more even diction.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2012
I had a hard time when starting this novel, seemed like so much sadness, anger, and fear. I am a staunch Tami Hoag fan, so I wouldn't give it up. WOW. It picks up and never stops until the last page. We meet Lauren a very sad, broken, fearful woman, who has lost her daughter. Her husband's suicide haunts her, and she has such fear for her youngest child, it is like living in a jail cell. She feels such anger at her deceased husband, I felt, rightly so, since he took the cowards way out and left her to carry the burden on her own. She has moved to a new town to try and start over....or has she? The twists and turns of this story kept me riveted. Plus, the bonus of hearing how Anne and Vince are doing from her previous novel. I find it difficult to not give "spoilers" , it's just one of those novels you want to talk about! Hopefully, Ms. Hoag's next novel will tell us how Detectives Mendez and Tanner are doing! I would have given this book five stars, but I have to admit I had some dreams about child abduction, more like nightmares! I would definitely give the novel 4 1/2 Stars if I could!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2012
I, too, was disappointed in this book. In fact, I found it rather tedious and found myself skipping some of the pages from the middle to the end. I got bored reading ad nauseum about Lauren's obsession with her daughter's killer at the expense of her living daughter. It was just too much anger (yes, I understand how a mother would be obsessed and angry) and I got the impression that it was page filler. Lauren is impossible to like, which made the book difficult for me to enjoy. The first two books in the Oak Knoll series were excellent and I was so hoping to feel the same way about this one. It just didn't happen for me.
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2012
I have read most, if not all, of Tami Hoag's books. Some are really good, some are okay. This one is bad. At the beginning, I liked the book, mentally giving it five stars. But the further along I read, the more I kept lowering the rating. In fact, when I finished, I was ready to award it one star, but I've stepped back and tempered my disappointment. It's a tedious read with unbelievable characters and boring, flat dialogue (except when the author is trying - too hard- to show spunky characters, in which case there's a lot of putdowns between the characters). If this weren't the third in a series, I'd say it was an old, old book she wrote and had never gotten published before. Not worth the time or money in my opinion.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2012
the book arrived in great condition. I was very disappointed in the story. The story follows a paranoid woman who seeks and harasses the man who she thinks killed her daughter. Tami hoag this is definetly not your best. Whatever happened to Dennis from book 1 &2? What about the trial?Return to Deer Lake, you'll enjoy it better! Save your money. I expect better from Tami.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 19, 2012
DOWN THE DARKEST ROAD is Tami Hoag's third thriller in the Oak Knoll Series. The novel is set in the late 1980s long before the internet, cell phones, DNA testing and other advances made it easier to catch criminals. This book is by far the worst in the series. While the characters were interesting, it felt like it never got out of the first act. The first 350 pages seemed to be just a set up for the 75 page finale. Some might claim the suspense was more psychological. I'm not claiming that wasn't well written or interesting, but there are only so many times you can read about the suffering of Lauren Lawton.

Lauren has lots of reasons to suffer. Her 16-year-old daughter vanished and the suspected kidnapper/murder Roland Ballencoa was never even arrested for the crime. To make matters worse, Ballencoa had been harassing Lauren through the years. Lauren and surviving daughter Leah moved to Oak Knoll to escape the specter of her other daughter's disappearance (she can't even stand the thought of thinking she is dead.)

The jacket novel summary states that "a stunning question changes everything they thought they knew." I kept waiting for that stunning question. For a twist to break the monotony of the plodding plot. But nothing happens. Instead we get regulars like Tony Mendez and Anne Leone trying to comfort Lauren while at the same time trying to find evidence that Ballencoa is anything more than a major creep. Hoag usually excels at writing villains, but this time Ballencoa is just a creep for most of the novel, but never really threatening. A few twists at the end changed my perception, but it was too little too late.

Hoag has been one of my favorite authors for years, and I'll continue to read her books. Others may have enjoyed the plotting of this novel. I don't think Hoag made a mistake, she just chose to write a different type of novel that didn't really mesh with the jacket description.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.