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A Dark and Lonely Place: A Novel Hardcover – November 8, 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ambitious, inventive saga...nonstop action and romance.” –Kirkus Reviews


"Edna Buchanan’s A Dark and Lonely Place is an action-packed South Florida love story that blends fact and fiction, past and present, and ultimately transcends time."
--Sherryl Woods, bestselling author of An O’Brien Family Christmas

About the Author

Edna Buchanan worked The Miami Herald police beat for eighteen years, during which she won scores of awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the George Polk Award for Career Achievement in Journalism. Edna attracted international acclaim for her classic true-crime memoirs, The Corpse Has a Familiar Face and Never Let Them See You Cry. Her first novel of suspense, Nobody Lives Forever, was nominated for an Edgar Award.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 419 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439159173
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439159170
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,452,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This may be a good book if you're not already an Edna Buchanan fan. But if you read Buchanan for her gritty crime fiction, with a side of slice of life of Miami, I suspect you may be like me and be disappointed.

While the book has element of crime fiction at the surface, it's really more of a dark love story than anything else. I rolled my eyes at the "destiny at first sight" elements of the book, and the whole romance component just wasn't for me. Throw in more history than tension, and the book was just not satisfying for me. Frankly, it almost felt like Buchanan threw in the modern-day stuff in an attempt to appease readers, her heart clearly was in the historical telling of John Ashley's tale.

I can see readers enjoying this book if they weren't hoping for a typical (wonderful) Edna Buchanan book, but I think fans of her Britt Montero series need to consider if they like history and/or romance enough to enjoy this book for what it is. I don't, and I didn't.
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Format: Hardcover
One hundred years ago in frontier Miami, Florida, John Ashley was accused of murder and sentenced to hang. Proclaiming his innocence, he went on the run with his lover, Laura, and their exploits became legend. A century later, in today's Miami, Homicide Sergeant John Ashley investigates a millionaire's murder and is inexplicably drawn to a stunning model linked to the case who bears an uncanny resemblence to an unknown woman who repeatedly appears in his dreams. Her name is Laura, and the attraction is mutual. Even more strange than their connection to each other is their connection to the infamous John and Laura from the past.

When the homicide case goes bad, Ashley is falsely accused of murder. He and Laura go on the run in a repeat of history as they try to prove his innocence, only to realize that the very people who are supposed to help may, in fact, be the ones who want him out of the way.

This is the first book I've ready by this author and I finished it in one day. It started out slow for me but the suspense built as the story progressed and by the end I was figuratively on the edge of my seat, wondering if the modern-day John and Laura would meet with the same fate as their namesakes a century earlier.

There are lots of characters, but the author does a good job working them all into the story without overwhelming the reader with names and relationships. While mostly a suspense novel, it also has elements of history and romance which makes it all the more interesting. I look forward to reading more titles by this author.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
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By A Customer on November 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1904 West Florida, Joe Ashley comes home late informing his wife Leugenia that they and their nine kids must leave immediately as a man was shot and he will be accused. His son John grabs his guitar and banjo before running to see his girlfriend Laura Upthegrove to say goodbye for now. However, John is falsely accused of murder and with Laura at his side flees with much of the state's law enforcement in pursuit.

In 2011 Miami Beach, homicide detective John Ashley leads the investigation into the high profile murder of politically connected Indian lawyer Ron Jon Eagle. However, he is stunned when he notices a model Summer Smith at a photo shoot who looks identical to the woman who has haunted his dreams for years; though he has never mentioned his fantasy female to his fiancé cop Tracy Dominguez. He also believes she sort of recognized him too by her reaction. John catches up with his model, but soon is accused of murder and forced on the lam with Laura (Summer's real name) at his side while many of the state's law enforcement pursue.

This is an exhilarating thriller as the premise to A Dark and Lonely Place is history repeats the ugly scenarios because humanity fails to truly understand the lessons instead preferring to forget. The two subplots are fascinating with the historical segue based on a real Sunshine State Bonnie and Clyde. Although at times the contemporary plot seems stretched to make it appear identical to what happened to the first John and Laura, readers will enjoy Edna Buchanan's taut thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
Edna Buchanan sets up her novel with a lengthy summary of the life and times of John Ashley, Florida's most infamous criminal. He and his gang, which included his paramour, Laura Upthegrove, and his brothers, are credited with murder, bank and train robberies, piracy, and bootlegging. Folk legend would hold Ashley up as a modern day Robin Hood sort of hero, and so would Edna Buchanan. Her novel, A Dark and Lonely Place, would have her readers believe the same sort of nonsense. According to her, Ashley was mistreated and misunderstood, and turned to a life of cold blooded crime as a means to support his poor self. The novel is little more than a stars-in-your-eyes romance filled with rationalization.

There is a parallel plot, in which one of John's descendants, a 21st century detective, falls in love with a witness, Laura Grove (get it?), and falls afoul of the law he is pledged to uphold. Both Johns and Lauras suffer similar fates. Is destiny imprinted upon our DNA? Can we escape the patterns of the past? Not according to Buchanan, but never fear. There's always a good excuse for embracing criminal activity.
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