Down the Darkest Road
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Down the Darkest Road (Oak Knoll #3)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  6,943 ratings  ·  612 reviews
Deeper Than the Dead introduced Tami Hoag's millions of fans to Oak Knoll, a small California town that, in the mid-eighties, seemed as idyllic as any... until the See-No-Evil killer shattered that notion. It took FBI agent Vince Leone and a new technique called "profiling" to put an end to the trauma.
Published December 27th 2011 by Findaway World (first published 2011)
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My least favorite book of the series. This book barely included any of the original characters. The main mystery was never really solved and the perpetrator in the novel were easily determined and stated from the beginning. I was let down with this book of the series.
I'm not gonna lie. Since I got an eReader, I rarely grab books at the grocery store any more. My cart is pristine and guiltless except for the fact that I don't always buy organic. And I buy a lot of booze.

I make my shameful purchases in the dark at two a.m. and then record them here for the world to see. So I feel badly about adding this to grocery store impulse purchase shelf EXCEPT that I saw this at Ralph's and knew to download it. So it counts.

For the record: NO SPINSTERS DIE. NO SLUTTY G...more
Teresa Medeiros
I know better than to start a Tami Hoag book when I want to accomplish anything else because once I started this one, I didn't want to put it down. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. It was so nice to revisit characters from her former novels like Vince and Anne Leone and Mendez. What Tami does best is incorporate emotion into her stories. (Probably a gift from her years as a bestselling romance author.) Even when she's writing police procedure, it's never JUST procedure. You feel every emot...more
Bill Garrison
DOWN THE DARKEST ROAD is Tami Hoag's third thriller in the Oak Knoll Series. The novel is set in the late 1980s long before the internet, cell phones, DNA testing and other advances made it easier to catch criminals. This book is by far the worst in the series. While the characters were interesting, it felt like it never got out of the first act. The first 350 pages seemed to be just a set up for the final 75 page finale. Some might claim the suspense was more psychological. I'm not claiming tha...more
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Down the Darkest Road was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Penguin Group (USA).

3.5 stars

Set in the early 90s, ‘Down the Darkest Road’ is the third installment in Tami Hoag’s ‘Oak Knoll’ series. Once again we’re thrown into the world of Vince and Anne and Mendez where the current investigation deals with missing 16 year-old Leslie who disappears without a trace and her mother Laura who is left to cope with her absence. This was definitely a he...more
I am usually a big fan of Tami Hoag and have been following her novels for years, but this one is absolutely awful, mainly due to the presence of the most self-absorbed, navel-contemplating, sniveling protagonist I have encountered in long time...Lauren Lawson is so despicable that I had a hard time finishing this book. I did not care in the least what happens to this poor excuse for an adult human being, and this totally colors my interest in the other characters. Luckily the parts of the book...more
Down the Darkest Road was very hard to read, not because it wasn’t a good book. It was, but child abduction is never easy to read about….ever. Lauren and her 16 year old daughter, Leah, have moved to Oak Knoll to try and get away from the past 4 years. Four years ago Lauren’s daughter was kidnapped and she was never located. Two years ago Lauren’s husband died in an accident. The only thing that has been keeping her together was her hatred of the man that she knows had something to do with the d...more
Susan Swiderski
I noticed that there are quite a few reviews saying this book was a huge disappointment. They say it wasn't Hoag's best work. Maybe not, but a Hoag's "not her best" is still pretty doggone good. Really. She is the queen of suspense.

Imagine the anguish: Law enforcement can't nail the pervert responsible for the disappearance of Lauren's sixteen-year old daughter Leslie. Even though they're pretty sure they know who did it, they can't prove it. No evidence. In her heart of hearts, every one of Lau...more
Cindy Barnett
Frightening plot (parent's nightmare), definitive characters, graphic sex (POV mostly), foul language, it's stand-alone & well-read (Kirsten Potter) in audio version. The title concerns the mother's decisions not just the tragedy - she is, easily, the most selfish character I've met in a novel - ever. It's ALL about her. I came to actively dislike her. I dislike 'the bad guys' (who doesn't?). I liked others, including the remaining child. Consequently, the author did succeed in making me "li...more
Four years ago, 16-year old Leslie Lawton was abducted. She was never found and no one was charged with her disappearance, however, one man, Roland Ballencoa, was a person of interest. Because DNA testing was still years away, with no evidence to tie Ballencoa to Leslie, Ballencoa walked.

But Lauren, Leslie's mother, knew in her heart that Roland Ballencoa had taken her daughter. After losing her husband in a car accident two years later and unable to remain in the family home with all the once h

It's been quite awhile since I've read anything by Hoag...but a rainy day prompted me to pick this one up and give it a captured me from page 1 and I finished it up in less than 24 hours! Quite an edge of the seat read, with some frustrations along the way, both for the reader and the characters!

Lauren Lawton of Santa Barbara, CA once thought she had the perfect family...her husband Lance, Lauren and their girls...Leslie and Leah. Lauren's words describe the scene best "and then, as in...more
Gail Cooke
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...more
Jan 29, 2012 Kathy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers interested in psychology and psychological thrillers.
In 1986, Lauren Lawton's sixteen-year-old daughter, Leslie, went missing. Her bicycle was found along a country road, her body was never found. Two years later, Lauren's husband drove off a canyon bridge, unable to deal with the pain. Four years after Leslie's disappearance, Lauren and her daughter Leah are still living a life in limbo, not knowing what happened to Leslie, but knowing that the man believed responsible for her disappearance is still walking around a free man, still a danger to so...more
Sandra  Valente
I absolutely loved this book even though it was completely heart wrenching. It's been a while since I have read anything by Tami Hoag and I felt like slapping myself for it, needless to say that I shall get my backside into gear. I've now realised that there were two books prior to this one with the first being 'Deeper than the Dead' and the second, 'Secrets to the Grave'. All I know is that I'm thankful it can be read as a stand alone. Vince Leone, an FBI agent and Tony Mendez, a detective - wh...more
Tami Hoag can weave a tale! Lauren Lawton's daughter disappeared and has given up hope that anyone but herself will be the one to catch the culprit. The only thing that may really tie the man she believes is guilty is a tiny drop of blood in his van. The story takes place when DNA was just starting to evolve but they know more sophisticated testing is on the horizon, so rather than using up the blood, they are waiting until it can be "stretched" for more testing. Lauren really believes that this...more
NetGalley kindly sent this uncorrected proof of this book.

This is the story of Lauren Lawton and her struggle to find her eldest daughter Lesley who has been missing for the last four years.

Since Lesley disappearance, the Lawton's family sufferance never ended, on the contrary. Lauren's husband wasn't able to cope with the lost of his dearest daughter and decided to end his life in a car accident.

In order to make a change in scenery, Lauren and her younger daughter Leah decided to move from San...more
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...more
Imagine having your sixteen-year old daughter abducted; disappear without knowing if or where she's alive. Imagine knowing who took her and not being able to do anything about it! This is the situation Lauren Lawton finds herself in for the last four years.

The Lawton family was once a happy family of four, husband and wife, with two daughters: Leslie and Leah, living a charmed life in Santa Barbara, California. Leslie being abducted has destroyed that. Lance, Lauren's husband couldn't take the...more
If you are expecting this book to be like the first two in the series, you might be disappointed. I really enjoyed Deeper Than the Dead and Secrets to the Grave because of the recurring characters of Vince Leone, his wife Anne, and Tony Mendez. I especially liked Vince, and in this book, he does not appear until 250 pages have elapsed, and he hardly has any part in the story. Anne gets more page time, but she is rather generic here, like any kind woman you might meet in any book. Mendez has a gr...more
I had a hard time when starting this novel, seemed like so much sadness, anger, and fear. I am a staunch Tami Hoag fan, so I wouldn't give it up. WOW. It picks up and never stops until the last page. We meet Lauren a very sad, broken, fearful woman, who has lost her daughter. Her husband's suicide haunts her, and she has such fear for her youngest child, it is like living in a jail cell. She feels such anger at her deceased husband, I felt, rightly so, since he took the cowards way out and left...more
Down the Darkest Road, another solid Tami Hoag offering, brings us back to the Oak Knoll setting of Deeper Than the Dead and Secrets to the Grave. Lauren Lawton has just moved to Oak Knoll with her daughter Leah, intending to exorcise the ghost of their past. Four years prior, Lawton's elder daughter Leslie was abducted and is still missing, and two years after the abduction, Lawton's husband died as well. However, Lauren and Leah's new life in Oak Knoll provides no relief -- on the contrary, it...more
My pulse quickened reading this book! The third book in the Oak Knoll series, Down the Darkest Road is a pulse-pounding tale of mother's quest to bring justice to the man who abducted her daughter. Roland Ballencoa is guilty, but he has managed to escape arrest from a lack of evidence. He is smart and cunning, but his cunning can't escape the vengeance of a mother who has lost her child.

This book has less gore than the previous two books yet Hoag still manages to create a villian that will have...more
As the mom of a daughter, the story of a child abduction couldn’t have drawn me in any faster. I stayed up until 4 in the morning finishing the book. Then I proceeded to check all the locks in my home. It’s so sad to know that this story, although it is fiction, is really happening in this world. There are so many children that are taken from their families and I cannot fathom what heartache those families live with.After four years of missing a daughter and then losing a husband, let alone bei...more
Lisa Dolatowski
Another amazing read by Tami hoag, I always find I can't put her books down.Down the Darkest Road is eerie, suspenseful, tragic, and thought provoking This is a tale that could easily be taken from the front pages of any news paper, it has all the elements that a crime drama fan wants in a storyline, twisting turning scenes, a narrative that will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck and unforgettable characters whom fans will remember some from her previous Oak Knoll novels and new on...more
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...more
Anna Jesse
Na de verhuizing naar Oak Knoll merkt Lauren op dat de verdachte van de verdwijning van haar dochter Leslie zich inmiddels ook heeft gevestigd in het stadje, het gevolg is dan ook een kat en muis spelletje tussen slachtoffers en vermoedelijke dader. Lauren krijgt hierbij hulp van rechercheur Mendez en Anne die we al kennen uit de vorige delen van de serie. De personages zijn goed beschreven waardoor je jezelf goed in kan leven in het verhaal. De meeste aandacht gaat in dit deel uit naar Lauren,...more
This is the last book in the Oak Knoll trilogy. Frankly, I’d hope the entire series would climax with this story and encompass the characters developed in the previous books. Sadly it does not. If you’re looking for Anne, Vince, Frannie, etc., they are are peripheral characters. Following the abduction of her sixteen year old daughter, and the death of her husband, a subsequent obsession is all consuming for the main character. The alleged abductor has followed her to a new town, Oak Knoll. Ther...more
Jan 05, 2012 Betsy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Betsy by: My mother
Ring-a-ding-ding! I cannot think of a better book then to start of 2012 then Tami Hoag's Oak Knoll#3 book!! LOVE this series and I'm sure I will not be disapointed!
LOVED this book!! I think this is the first time I have given 5 stars to a book 3 in a series. Tami Hoag writing just grabs a hold of you and does not let go. Even at the end I'm still wanting more. I hope I don't have to wait too long for another book on my favorite charaters of Oak Knoll!!
This book started out good and had me hooked. But, part way through, when a secret about the main character is revealed, I lost all connection with the characters & the story. I just couldn't get over that plot twist and it colored the rest of the book for me (in a bad way). I basically skimmed through it to get to the end and wasn't all that impressed with the ending anyway.
I really did enjoy this book, and have followed Tami Hoag for years after I read a thriller she wrote around horses which made a big impact on me. I see she is an equestrian which makes a lot of sense. This book has no horses in it, but has a solid plot and clever twists. I especially enjoyed the ascerbic Tanner her dialogues with the hero, in amongst the developing storyline.
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Abduction of a daughter 2 13 Feb 04, 2014 04:50PM  
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag began her professional career writing for Bantam’s Loveswept line of romance novels. In 1988 her first novel, The Trouble With J.J. was published.

With fifteen consecutive New York Times bestsellers to her credit, Hoag has more than 35 million books in print, published in more than twenty languages worldwide. Her first thriller, Night Sins, was made i...more
More about Tami Hoag...
Ashes to Ashes (Kovac/Liska, #1) Secrets to the Grave (Oak Knoll, #2) Deeper Than the Dead (Oak Knoll, #1) Guilty as Sin  (Deer Lake #2) Prior Bad Acts (Kovac/Liska, #3)

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“Anybody can be a victim, and anybody can flog themselves. Big fucking deal. But you put one foot on a ladder and climb to the next rung. Then you've done something. Then you've made a difference. And then what happens matters. Otherwise, it's just old news, and nobody wants to hear about it.” 4 likes
“As Winston Churchill said, "If you're going through hell, keep going." I know from hard experience that can be the longest journey down the darkest road. And I have learned that sometime the shortest distance isnt' forward, but up.” 1 likes
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