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Down the Darkest Road [Paperback]

Tami Hoag
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 May 2012

Four years after the unsolved disappearance of her sixteen-year-old daughter, Lauren Lawton is the only one still chasing the ghosts of her perfect Santa Barbara life. The world has given her daughter up for dead. Her husband ended his own life in the aftermath. And Lauren's younger daughter is desperate to enjoy what's left of her childhood.

Lauren knows exactly who took her oldest child, but there is not a shred of evidence against the man. Even as he stalks her family, Lauren is powerless to stop him. The Santa Barbara police are handcuffed by the very laws they are sworn to uphold. Looking for a fresh start in a town with no memories, Lauren and her younger daughter Leah move to idyllic Oak Knoll. But when Lauren's suspect turns up in the same city, it feels as if history is about to repeat itself. Leah Lawton will soon turn sixteen, and Oak Knoll has a cunning predator on the hunt.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (10 May 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1409136337
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409136330
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tami Hoag's novels have appeared on international bestseller lists regularly since the publication of her first book in 1988. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages worldwide and over twenty-million copies of her books are in print. Tami is a dedicated equestrian in the discipline of dressage and shares her home with two English cocker spaniels. She lives in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Author photo (c) Jan Cobb

Product Description


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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The perfect family shattered by the perfect crime...

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Lauren Lawton happily married living in Santa Barbara with two children has the perfect life until the disappearance of her sixteen year-old daughter Lesley. In the space of one afternoon Lauren's life turns from joy to nightmare. And four years on the nightmare continues - her daughter never found and her husband dead, Lauren lives in anger and fear with her younger daughter Leah now fifteen, just the age that Lesley was when she disappeared.

Although Lesley has never been found, Lauren knows who took her daughter but without a single piece of evidence the police are powerless to do anything and despite their pity for Laurens plight her constant haranguing of the police department have worn thin their patience. Now Lauren has moved to Oak Knoil but has the man who took her daughter also moved to Oak Knoil - is he stalking her?

Aptly titled it is indeed a dark road that Lauren is travelling, accompanied by her daughter Leah who should as a teenager be enjoying life but who lives daily in the shadow of her missing elder sister and her mother's total preoccupation with bringing to justice the abductor of her daughter. Whilst the loss of a child, particularly in these circumstances is unbelievably horrific, this story illustrates how a tragic event can consume one to the detriment of everything and everyone.

Written in first person journal form by Lauren as she seeks to gain catharsis by recording the events as she remembers them, and by multiple third person points of view, we gain a picture of the lives of the people touched by this terrible event. The overriding emotion is one of powerlessness as Lauren tries to protect her remaining child, but at every turn she seems to be the one in the wrong as she reacts in panic when matters begin to move beyond her control.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Road less travelled indeed ! 8 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is rare to find a book you need to make preparations to read, Down the Darkest Road is one.

Set aside a complete day free of any kind of interruption, prepare snacks, drinks, warm clothing, and a good reading light, as once you start this book you cannot put it down, which if anything like me, was way into the wee small hours!

The story is set in Oak Knoll, and there are walk on parts by characters from Tami's two previous books, but the story can stand perfectly alone without their support. Even the name Oak Knoll instills dark forebodings bringing to mind the Romans and the Nazis use of oak leaves for insignia, and Knoll as in grassy knoll in the JFK assassination!

Despite having everything a woman dreams of, tragedy arrives at the door of Lauren Lawton when a stalker abducts her elder daughter. The story starts six years later, after an in depth police investigation, a media storm, and after no body is found and no one is charged.

They relocate to Oak Knoll so that she and her younger child can move to the next phase of their lives in a house Down the Darkest Road. Lauren makes some iffy choices, which have stark consequences, all of which will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat.

Through a clever and detailed plot, we are led, step by step, page by page, in the treads of Lauren's plan to provoke a conclusion to the awful situation.

Detailing the plot here would spoilt it for other readers.

This well-written book is not for the feint of heart; it is graphic, it is passionate, with a powerful finale. It has the intensity of Ashes to Ashes, and had the promise of Dark Horse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The mystery and suspense in Tami Hoag's DOWN THE DARKEST ROAD plays straight to the reader's vicarious need for thrills and chills as well as their need to know. Protagonist Lauren Lawton is living every parent's worst nightmare. Four years earlier, Lauren's 16-year-old daughter, Leslie, disappeared from a quiet road on the outskirts of Santa Barbara, while on her way home from a softball game. The who, what, where, when and why of her disappearance have remained a mystery. Police were unable to develop any proof against their only suspect, Roland Ballencoa, a convicted sex offender and he walked free.

Two years after her daughter's disappearance, Lauren's husband was killed in an automobile accident. Now alone with her only remaining child Leah, Lauren is out for revenge against the man who she sees as responsible for the loss of her husband and daughter. If the police won't or can't bring Ballencoa to justice she will just have to do it herself.

As a reader I enjoy "kick ass and take names" stories, but as a mother I was a bit put off by Lauren. She was a little too focused on her feelings and need for revenge seemed almost oblivious to the possible consequences of her obsessive behavior on her remaining daughter, Leah, which made me begin to dislike rather than admire her. While mom is busy focusing her tunnel vision on fulfilling her "mission" to avenge her oldest daughter, 15 year Leah is left to cope with the loss of her sister and father in her own way. This woman is definitely not a candidate for the mother of the year award although she may qualify for the Bruce Willis - Die Hard plaque.

While Lauren was not a favorite, I did like the two detectives Mendez and Tanner and while I could have done very nicely without the gratuitous sex scenes, overall, this was a thought provoking and enjoyable read
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars takes a while to get going but great when it does
At first was very slow , but once I got into it I just couldn't put it down ! X
Published 14 days ago by Laura-Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
I have read all of the 3 Tami hoag books in this series they were all brilliant could not put any of them down and would highly recommend this author to all. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mel
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller
Ended up getting the 3 books in this series. Loved the dynamics of the relationships as well as the story lines.
Published 2 months ago by diane lumley
4.0 out of 5 stars Could not put this book down
first time I have read the work of this author and can't wait to read more. hope they are as good as this one.
Published 2 months ago by eileen
5.0 out of 5 stars I think this was a good book!
This was a purchase for someone and I have never read it, but it arrived on time and was at a good price so I don't want the sellers to loose out on a good rating for something I... Read more
Published 3 months ago by The Pilchard
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Read
This is the third book in the Oak Knoll series and another great read. Tami Hoag is a fabulous writer and this book captured my attention from the start and had me on the edge of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Moira
5.0 out of 5 stars Divulge into hell...
I bought this first book out of interest of the blurb and goof reviews.
Never have I read Book by it author before but I love it and downloaded another few different... Read more
Published 4 months ago by LizGilliam
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
Purchased this for my father. He said it was an excellent read. It was a very reasonable price and arrived on time as indicated.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs K A Rees
5.0 out of 5 stars oak knoll series
Have read all 3oak knoll books and couldn't put any of them down excellent, will be trying her other books now
Published 5 months ago by S. M. Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars good books
thoroughly enjoyed the three books in this trilogy. I really liked the relationship between the 2 policemen one being FBI
Published 5 months ago by Christine Lindsay
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