Down the Darkest Road

Down the Darkest Road


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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. Even Lauren’s younger daughter is desperate to find what’s left of the childhood she hasn’t been allowed to have.
     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. 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 to all the world that history is about to repeat itself. Leah Lawton will soon turn sixteen, and Oak Knoll has a cunning predator on the hunt.  
     Sheriff’s detective Tony Mendez and his team begin to close in on the suspected killer, desperate to keep the young women of their picturesque town safe. But as the investigators sift through the murky circumstances of an increasingly disturbing case, a stunning question changes everything they thought they knew.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616371142
Publisher: Findaway World
Publication date: 12/28/2011
Series: Playaway Adult Fiction Series
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

TAMI HOAG is the #1 international bestselling author of more than thirty books. There are more than forty million copies of her books in print in more than thirty languages. Renowned for combining thrilling plots with character-driven suspense, Hoag first hit the New York Times bestseller list with Night Sins, and each of her books since has been a bestseller. She lives in California.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Down the Darkest Road

Down the Darkest Road is eerie, suspenseful, tragic, and thought provoking.”—USA Today

“A mesmerizing psychological drama on loss, guilt, frustration and implacable, explainable evil.”—Kirkus Reviews

“The setting and [Hoag's] consummate skill as a plotter add to plenty of old-school thrills that pack a punch and will leave fans breathless.”—Booklist

“Hoag…rais[es] the tension with every page that turns.” —The Huffington Post

“Well written, well executed and darn near brilliant.”—All About Romance

“This taut novel of suspense is a true nail-biter.”—Library Journal

“If you have time to read only one book, you really should make it this one. You won't regret it.”—Suspense Magazine

“With complex characters and crisp, believable dialogue, [this] is a sophisticated thriller.”—Houston Press

“A masterful tale…Ms. Hoag knows how to take her readers on a frightening ride.”—New York Journal of Books

And for Tami Hoag

“One of the hottest names in the suspense game.”—People

“One of the most intense suspense writers around.”—Chicago Tribune

“One of the most intelligent and crafty suspense writers working today.”—

“[Hoag’s] reputation…is well-earned.”—South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Customer Reviews

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Down the Darkest Road 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 157 reviews.
LoveMyTwinBoys More than 1 year ago
Up to this book, I have always like Tami Hoag and I preordered this book in anticipation. I loved Deeper than the Dead and Secrets to the Grave - they were very interesting, very action packed and had characters that you got to know and love. However, I was very disappointed in this book and I will be deleting it from my nook. It didn't have the gripping suspense and action as the other 2 books and the characters where very hard to like (let alone wanting them to thrive). Except for Det. Tony Mendez, all the characters were new. In addition, there was such harsh/vulgar language and explicate sex scenes that it was very hard to read and I skipped pages because of it. If this is the type of book Tamk Hoag is going to start pumping out, then I will find a new author to spend my time and money on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tami Hoag puts you in the 1980s again, and if you havent been there personally,thats ok....there is plenty of story,action, gruesome, chilling murders and suspense to keep you up all night reading The story line is awesome and has you thinking about Alice Sebolts "Lovely Bones" and "Shutter Island" to liken to period fiction. A 5 star series and I Hope she continues. Kudos to Tami!
laura24 More than 1 year ago
I love reading this book. I was instantly immersed into this fantastic, believably written story.
Bubbaluva More than 1 year ago
I have a hard time finding authors I truly enjoy but when the pleasingly rare easy read comes along I am thrilled to get lost in the readings, which is precisely what I have done with this book. I just finished dust to dust (another of this author's books) & it was a bit more difficult to read. However, when I saw this would be coming out on the 27th I stuck with it just to hold me over long enough to get to Hoag's latest Oak Knoll book. It was WELL worth it! Even working a full time job and a f/t college student, I still finished this book in less than 2 days! It was that good, especially if you've read the others and were familiar with the characters. Please keep em coming Ms. Hoag! Happy holidays everyone. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say that for me this book was one of the better reads she has written in a while. I really enjoyed the story and had a hard time getting anything completed around my home until I finished it.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I give this book 3 stars because it is Tammy Hoag and very well written. But I found the main character to be highly unlikable. She's a very disturbed woman who has encountered tragedy of the worst kind, but I don't think the reader is supposed to dislike her - which I did. I did enjoy the focus on Detective Mendez, as I enjoyed his character in the other books. I found Vince and Anne's happiness to be a welcome reprive from Lauren's misery and inner monalogue. It's a good story, but very depressing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Tami Hoag's novels and think this was one.of her best! I couldn't put it down!
NonCometL More than 1 year ago
Another good one from Hoag.... Have to admit, this is not my favorite series of hers, but enjoyed this one the most so far... I expect at least one more is coming....
Beamis12 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What would you do if your daughter had been missing for three years, the police think they know who did it but have no proof. The man is harassing you and the police don't believe you and soon they find you intrusive and hysterical? In her third Oak Knoll thriller, Hoag does a wonderful job portraying a woman at the end of her rope consumed by frustration and guilt, up against pure evil. She soon runs into Vince Leon, and Annie who do believe her and using the new techniques in forensics help her to find the answers she needs for closure. Top notch suspense with enough twists to keep thriller fans asking for more. This was an ARC provided by Net Galley.
BookDivasReads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lauren Lawton is a woman on the edge. Her eldest daughter has been missing for four years, presumed abducted and dead. Her husband died in an automobile accident two years ago. She clings to life for the sake of her younger daughter Leah and strives to obtain justice for her missing daughter Leslie in Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag.Life isn't always fair and the justice system isn't always just. Lauren knows this better than others because the man she knows is responsible for her daughter's disappearance has never been arrested or tried for his crime, Roland Ballencoa. To make matters worse he had actually been able to get a restraining order placed against her. All Lauren wants is to know what happened to her daughter and receive justice. If the system won't give it to her then she may need to get it for herself.Leah's life has been hell for the past four years since her older sister Leslie disappeared. Leah isn't allowed to be home alone or even go anywhere alone. The only thing good to come out of their recent move to a new town is she is allowed to work at a horse farm a few days a week. This work brings a new friend into her life, Wendy. Finally she has someone that understands the trauma her family has experienced and doesn't consider her a freak because of it. But Leah knows that she isn't dealing with the situation in a good way, and maybe she is a freak after all.Detective Mendez feels sympathy for Ms. Lawton. He knows that there may be little the system can actually do against the suspect in her daughter's case simply because there is no evidence. His sympathy is the impetus needed for him to delve a little deeper into Leslie's disappearance. The more he digs, the more he understands Lauren's feelings. Will he be able to find evidence to provide the abduction before things get out of hand?Down the Darkest Road is a glimpse into the mind of a family torn apart by tragedy. Lauren is so focused on getting vengeance, if not justice, for her missing daughter Leslie that she neglects the needs of her remaining child, Leah. Leah has a lot of hostility against her missing sister and against her deceased father. Unfortunately she doesn't really have an outlet for these feelings and can't disclose them to her mother. Ms. Hoag even provides glimpses into the motivation and mind of the prime suspect, Roland Ballencoa. Much of the action centers on a cat-and-mouse like game between Lauren and Ballencoa, and even Ballencoa and law enforcement. This back and forth builds the tension and kept me on edge during most of the book. Down the Darkest Road was a quick read but it is by no means an easy read due to the psychological tension and underlying darkness associated with child abduction and sexual predators. This may not be a book for everyone but if you want to read a good suspense/psychological thriller, this may well be the book for you.
cookiemo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tami Hoag has said that she will keep writing about some of the characters in this book until it catches up with the knowledge we now have of DNA etc. I enjoyed reading about the adventures of Detective Mendez and Leone. Also Anne Leon who's adventures we read in an earlier book.I think that anyone could empathise with Lauren in tghe disappearance of her daughter Leslie and the actions she takes.
StarrReina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
¿Down the Darkest Road¿ by Tami HoagI¿ve read Tami Hoag¿s earlier work and did enjoy them. But after reading the first chapter of ¿Down the Darkest Road,¿ I couldn¿t believe I was reading the same author. While I do not feel the vital changes were completely due to a different series, I absolutely believe it was because Hoag found a voice that screamed success.Powerful¿heart-wrenching¿believable: just a few words to describe Hoag¿s protagonist Lauren Lawton. She is faced with a mother¿s worst nightmare when her eldest daughter Leslie is taken and never seen again. Her husband can¿t stand the guilt and kills himself, leaving Lauren to take care of Leah, her youngest, and alone, nurse the hatred of the man who turned her life upside down, Roland Ballencoa.Ballencoa appears blameless. He cannot be tied to the heinous crime and is free to stalk and select other prey. Lauren is out of her mind with grief and anger. She tries to turn the tables and go after Ballencoa herself. She hires a private investigator, who tracks down Ballencoa¿s residence. And the stage is set. He invades her privacy¿she invades his. He spies on her¿she spies on him.While Lauren is fixated on justice for Leslie, Leah suffers her own pain. Only fifteen-years-old, she is left without a sister and father and her mother doesn¿t remotely appear like the woman who raised her.While detective Mendez tries to help Lauren, he is unable to stop the bloodshed that would obviously come. Both Lauren and Leah fight the battle of their lives to save one other.I believe the rating system is up to five stars, but I¿m going outside that box and rate this book at least an eight. If you have time to read only one book, you really should make it this one. You won¿t regret it.Reviewed by Starr Gardinier Reina, author of ¿Deadly Decisions¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed in this book. The other two located in Oak Knoll were very exciting and well plotted. This on definately was not. Kat
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great story,however if you have any feelings about off color reading I suggest you try another book. If however you can get passed that part then the book is worth a try very well written.
Enponia More than 1 year ago
I picked this up at my local Walmart, once I started reading I could not put it down. The author tells a tale like no other it's almost like she's lived what is writing. There is so much detail in her words it creepy. Would recommend to anyone looking for a good read 
nsrn More than 1 year ago
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Bowmaker More than 1 year ago
This was another book that I didn't want to put down. Had to keep reading until the end. Very good book.