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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that will remain with you long after you have turned the last page.
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...
Published on 4 Jan 2012 by Lizzie Hayes

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WHEN YOU'RE GOING THRU HELL - KEEP GOING - w. churchill
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...
Published 7 months ago by Red Rock Bookworm


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that will remain with you long after you have turned the last page., 4 Jan 2012
This review is from: Down the Darkest Road (Hardcover)
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. Not a comfortable book, but one that will remain with you long after you have turned the last page, as one cannot help but wonder `what would I do in these circumstances'?

Highly recommended.
------
Lizzie Hayes
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Road less travelled indeed !, 8 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Down the Darkest Road (Hardcover)
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.

Tami has a gift for metaphor and simile: on page 117 we learn of Lauren's purchase of a full-size male silhouette at the gun target range! and on page 151 Lauren feels her interaction with the police is "another verse in a poem of futility".

I will think of this book each time I fill my washing machine!

Fulfilling, enjoyable read. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WHEN YOU'RE GOING THRU HELL - KEEP GOING - w. churchill, 6 April 2014
By 
Red Rock Bookworm (St. George Utah USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Down the Darkest Road (Paperback)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars down the darkest road, 8 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Down the Darkest Road (Hardcover)
Loved this book,but Tami Hoag never disappoints she keeps the tension going and keeps the readerr guessing until the end
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars INTENSE AND TERRIFYING, 15 Jan 2012
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Down the Darkest Road (Hardcover)
Intense, gritty, terrifying - the latest in Tami Hoag's Oak Knoll series is a page-turner par excellence. The time setting is the late 1980s - 90s when tracing by DNA had not been fully developed and information via computer was not as available as it is now. Hence, tracing a criminal was a much more challenging task for law enforcement officers. In this case, not only tracing but proving guilt.

We're introduced to the story through the eyes of Lauren Lawton who writes, "Once upon a time I had the perfect family. I had the perfect husband: Handsome, loving, successful. I had the perfect children: Leslie and Leah - beautiful, brilliant, precious girls. I had the perfect life in the perfect home, in the perfect place......And then, as in all fairy tales, evil came into our lives and destroyed us."

Evil came in the person of a barbarous, vile individual, Roland Ballencoa. Four years ago he had abducted Leslie or the police were pretty certain he had - but they could not prove it. Not too long after the girl's abduction Lauren's husband drove off a bridge; it was thought a suicide due to the stress and guilt of being unable to protect his daughter.

Bent on revenge and driven to the point of exhaustion Lauren takes Leah and moves to Oak Knoll hoping to put at least a small part of their tragic past behind them. That is not be for she soon finds that Ballencoa is also in Oak Knoll, stalking mother and daughter. It's all an insidious game to him, watching, frightening, taking pictures with his camera.

Lauren is reluctant to go to the police as they've not helped her in the past, but considered her a royal pain in the neck for constantly pushing them to arrest Ballencoa, to find Leslie. But Ballencoa is a wily beast, evidently never breaking the law, but silently stalking. Lauren is sickened to realize that in her case the person believed to be a criminal actually has more legal rights than she does. Eventually, she does turn to Detective Tony Menendez who believes her but can see no way to help her.

Hoag has woven a gripping tale, written in brief chapters, almost staccato-like, quick as a bullet which leaves the reader sometimes gasping, always turning pages. Down The Darkest Road is epic suspense seasoned with ravaged emotions and cliff-hanger scenes. Strong medicine so keep all the houselights on.

- Gail Cooke
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 15 July 2014
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a book that's got you so involved you don't put it down till your finished just enjoy Tami Hoags books
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4.0 out of 5 stars takes a while to get going but great when it does, 9 April 2014
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At first was very slow , but once I got into it I just couldn't put it down ! X
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 15 Mar 2014
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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.
Fantastic will now be looking for more by this author x
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller, 20 Feb 2014
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diane lumley (AUSTIN, TEXAS, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Down the Darkest Road (Paperback)
Ended up getting the 3 books in this series. Loved the dynamics of the relationships as well as the story lines.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Could not put this book down, 25 Jan 2014
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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.
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Down the Darkest Road
Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag (Paperback - 10 May 2012)
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