- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Dutton (2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 052595239X
- ISBN-13: 978-0525952398
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 419 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,016,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Down the Darkest Road Hardcover – December 27, 2011
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Before her daughter, Leslie, then 16, was abducted four years ago, Lauren Lawton had been a lovely woman. But with no assailant or body ever recovered, she has devoted all her energy to trying to keep Leslie’s case in the headlines while simultaneously not neglecting her younger daughter, Leah, now nearly 16 herself. In an apparent attempt to make a clean start, Lauren and Leah leave Santa Barbara and head to the fictional Oak Knoll, a high-end pastoral retreat in the foothills. How is it, though, that Ronald Ballencoa, the monster whom Lauren is convinced took and probably murdered her daughter, also now resides in Oak Knoll? Lauren’s obsession with Ballencoa is well known to and mostly disregarded by law enforcement in many local jurisdictions, but new-on-the-scene Deputy Mendez doesn’t dismiss Lauren’s pleas and hopes to be the one to finally bring some closure to the fractured family. Mendez, a protégé of legendary profiler Vince Leone (star of many Hoag thrillers), teams up with the feisty Danni Tanner, the original detective on the case (sparks fly between these two). Hoag takes obvious pleasure in keeping her setting circa 1990, before DNA technology had advanced to where it is today and before mobile communications rendered many otherwise tense situations easy-breezy. The setting and her consummate skill as a plotter add to plenty of old-school thrills that pack a punch and will leave fans breathless. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hoag is on a remarkable streak: since 1995, she has written 30 books, and all 30 have appeared on the New York Times best-seller list. Her publisher will be doing everything in their marketing power to ensure that the streak hits 31. --Mary Frances Wilkens
The latest chiller from Tami Hoag is a winner. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING 20120201 It's gripping, highly emotional and I would definitely recommend it. ESSENTIALS 20120201 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Since this was supposed to be a continuous from the previous 2 Oak Knoll books, I expected it to have more on the previous characters. A few of the characters were present, Anne, Tony, Wendy, & Vince. I was disappointed that no mention of Dennis or what happened to him. It was good to see what was new with Anne & Vince. I am hoping Tami does continue this series not so much because of this book but there are still too many unanswered questions from the previous two books.
If you haven't read the other two books you might enjoy and find this book interesting. If you have read the previous two, I think you too with be disappointed. Again not one of my favorite's from Tami Hoag. She can do better.
This novel does have quite a different feel to it than the first two in the series. The first two novels in the series seem to feature Detective Mendez and Vince Leone a great deal while this novel is more focused on Lauren Lawton who is a grief strictened mother who is convinced that she knows who killed oldest daughter and has gotten away with it. Now she is in a battle of wits with the man but must also protect her other daughter in a new town known as Oak Knoll. Mendez, Vince (he is hardly in this novel at all) and Anne Leone are more secondary characters in this story, rather than main characters. And although Mendez once again is trying to rescue a damsel in distress, Laura is the main character.
I will say that I enjoyed this novel as much as the previous two. Suspense, Pacing and characters are a strength in this novel just like with the others. And while I will say their are some fairly major differences in how this story is told, I believe that if you're a fan of first two this is a can't miss.