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A Dark and Lonely Place

3.21  ·  Rating Details ·  326 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
From Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Buchanan, the novel she has always wanted to write: the gripping saga of star-crossed lovers across generations.

From Pulitzer Prize winner Edna Buchanan, the novel she has always wanted to write: the gripping saga of star-crossed lovers across generations. A century ago, when Indians and alligators roamed frontier Miami, the legendary John A
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Paperback, 432 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Anne Hawn Smith
Like some other reviewers, I found the structure of the book awkward. The story flips between the real story of John Ashley and Laura Upthegrove, a Bonnie & Clyde story of outlaws in the early 1900s in Florida, and the fictional story of another John Ashley and his girlfriend, Laura. The story of the real outlaw is a very sympathetic portrayal of good man, John Ashley, who is forced into life as bank robber and outlaw which doesn't seem supported in history although he was a hero to the inde ...more
Charlene
I would say this is more an "almost 3" -- there were 2 distinct stories in this novel and sometimes they didn't connect together very well. Main story, which the author says has been her research interest for many years,is based on the life of outlaw John Ashley, a bootlegger who was drawn into bank robberies and murder to keep the bootlegging operation going. A very colorful character sympathetically described by Buchanan, he lives by the old "Cracker code" of honor. One forgets what a frontier ...more
Catherine
I sort of enjoyed this book but found the structure quite clumsy. I liked the idea of reading about two similar couples in two very different time periods but some of the sections for each time frame where too long and I lost track of what was happening with the other couple. Like some of the other readers I skipped sections to carry on with current story line. The resolution for the modern day couple was weak and happened rather abruptly.

I am new to Good Reads and this is the first time I have
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Harold
Dec 14, 2014 Harold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant surprise. Cracker-jack yarn.
Betted
Feb 03, 2012 Betted rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This is my first taste of Edna Buchanan's work. I grabbed it off the shelf because I find it hard to resist a book written by a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. I always look for the best and highest. Pulitzer Prize winners seem to fall in that category.

Keep the word "journalist" firmly in mind if you read this crime-thriller. The author has woven the true story of a pair of star crossed lovers in early Florida with the story of a pair of modern day fictional characters caught up in a parallel
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Wendy Hines
Jul 03, 2013 Wendy Hines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Ashley is a Miami homicide sergeant who has an impeccable record. While at the beach with his girl, he's in the wrong place at the wrong time since a speedboat comes crashing onto the beach. Thankfully, not many are hurt, but the driver of the boat is dead and not from the collision. He's been shot in the head, and John is first on the scene of a high-profile murder.

Also on the beach is a model photo shoot, and one of the girls looks familiar to John. He believes he knows her, but he can't
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Jo Butler
In 1911 John Ashley, a young man from rural Florida, was accused of robbing and murdering a Seminole. In this true-life story, Ashley escapes jail and he and his childhood sweetheart, Laura Upthegrove, become fugitives. Their lives echo Bonnie and Clyde’s as John escapes jail, and for thirteen years the couple scramble to survive. Along with a few accomplices, Ashley is blamed for nearly every crime committed in Florida – a few of which they actually are guilty. In the end, John Ashley and his g ...more
Stephanie
Edna Buchanan used to be a journalist, can you tell? Usually not so well, in her other novels, especially with her Britt Montero series, which I have enjoyed. But her new novel, A Dark and Lonely Place, is completely different.
Buchanan has really done her research on the lives and love of John Ashley and Laura Upthegrove, and it shows. These were REAL people, people who became the most notorious, colorful, and compelling figures in Florida’s violent outlaw history. This is their true story of "p
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Prima Seadiva
2 stars maybe even 1.5. Audio book. Reader ok-had a somewhat annoying way with women's voices.
The parallel plot line could have had promise but some elements were really farfetched in spite of being based on a true story (which I had never heard of so can't compare to actual events).
I know we are a nation obsessed with guns, but I think there were more guns in this book than in the entire city I live in. From start to finish every damn person in this book was whipping out a gun and shooting th
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Linda
Feb 24, 2012 Linda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Edna Buchanan sets up her novel with a lengthy summary of the life and times of John Ashley, Florida's most infamous criminal. He and his gang, which included his paramour, Laura Upthegrove, and his brothers, are credited with murder, bank and train robberies, piracy, and bootlegging. Folk legend would hold Ashley up as a modern day Robin Hood sort of hero, and so would Edna Buchanan. Her novel, A Dark and Lonely Place, would have her readers believe the same sort of nonsense. According to her, ...more
Bonnie
Apr 09, 2013 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edna Buchanan writes a story of star-crossed lovers across generations. A century ago, John Ashley of Miami was accused of murder and sentenced to hang. His childhood sweetheart, Laura, and John went on the run from corrupt law officials and their crime spree lasted longer and became far more deadly than Bonnie and Clyde ten years later. This is the true story of their prison breaks, bank robberies, bootlegging and commitment to each other. A century later, another John and Laura face the same o ...more
Kristen
Mar 08, 2014 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a Dark and Lonely Place, this is a tale of two similar stories that took place and became separated 100 years in time. Like Bonnie and Clyde, in this nine-part novel, it's about the historical true love story of John Ashley and his girlfriend Laura Upthegrove, the first outlaws in Florida history that span years and ended in tragedy. In present day Florida, the fictional John Ashley, a framed and famed police detective, and his witness girlfriend, Laura Groves, who's wanted on the war. From s ...more
L
Mar 03, 2013 L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The book is a tale, well two parallel tales, of men unjustly accused of crime, who end up turning to crime to escape an unjust system and avoid being separated from the woman each loves. Both men have incredibly devoted families. One tale is in Miami's distant past, while the other is contemporary. The parallels and the love stories are more than forced at times and the latter always saccharine. This is not my usual sort of preference in reading, but Buchanan is clearly having so much fun with t ...more
Lori
Jul 18, 2015 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction

What an interesting premise. John Ashley is Florida native in the early 1900's famous for his outlaw, bootlegging ways...all brought about by misunderstanding and vendettas by local law enforcement. The love of his life, Laura, joins him in a life destined for tragedy. But parallel to THAT story is the story of current day police detective John Ashley and the mysterious model, Laura, that he meets but feels he already knows.
Both stories follow much the same plot but with questions regarding how
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Alie
I read A Dark and Lonely Place for a class and I really loved it!

I think Edna Buchanan is brilliant for thinking of such a concept. Reading it I was totally invested trying to see if history would repeat itself. The story was unpredictable but predictable because of that concept. I love the twists and turns. I love that had mixed feelings about the characters because I found that so interesting. I love suspense so was at the edge of my seat the whole time.

A Dark And Lonely Place gets 4 stars f
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Dsolove
I would get involved with one of these intertwined stories and get aggravated to. find myself in the other story. The basic premise of the book (that when the same people meet a second time in a later life, the outcome can change) did not work for me at all. The original John and Laura were not very likable outlaws and Buchanon's attempt to make them appealing was a stretch. The modern day John and Laura were moral law abiding people and so of course the outcome was different. I did become intri ...more
Cian O hAnnrachainn
Taking an old Florida legend of injustice and splicing it into a modern-day crime drama doesn't work for me.

I'm sure that the tale of a desperado falsely accused of murder could have been a page turner, but when you're turning those pages and find yourself in modern day Miami police procedural, the effect is jarring. And not enjoyable.

Couldn't get into the story, couldn't come to care about the protagonist(s)--- is the hero supposed to be a reincarnation or blood relative or cosmic twin or what
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Nikki
Feb 20, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love, love, love, Edna Buchanan's writing. I drink up her Britt Montero stories. But this book, not so much. I still liked it and found her research and story telling compelling. I am intrigued with her weaving two story lines with characters from the past and again in the present and liked seeing the character interactions. But, I found the transitions between the two time frames unevenly done, such that I found myself losing interest in the 'present time frame' story line. Still, a good book ...more
Jill Manske
This was a very interesting book - two sets of star-crossed lovers separated by 100 years. Probably more of a chick book; can't imagine my husband reading it. The characters were well-developed and realistic. The plot was plausible, though it did get a little funky at times. I liked the book enough that I plan to seek out others that she's written. If you're a hopeless romantic, you'll probably like this book.
Ruth
Jan 31, 2012 Ruth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I don't know why I checked this one out from the library. I'm not a fan of Buchanan's writing. Not sure what it is, but it's just not my cup of tea. I thought it might be limited to her series, but I tried this stand alone. Didn't finish. I hate to have to DNFs this early in the year, but I've decided I'm not spending time reading books I'm not enjoying. Thus, I fear, there will be a high number of DNFs this year and in the future.
Pam
Apr 09, 2012 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is hard for me to judge this book. I personally do not like romance and this book has a great deal of romance. But it is an interesting couple. Can a couple from 1905 reincarnate to present day lives so that they can get it right. And there is a present day mystery/adventure. What I can say about this book is that it is superbly written and the flow is great. There is not confusion between the past and present. If you like romance in your books, I highly recommend this book.
Valerie
Not as tight and well-done as I had expected and hoped it to be.
James Carlos Blake has written the same story in his great book Red Grass River.
Buchanan's treatment is too superficial, although one can tell she is fascinated with her subject as she tries to connect current-day events with a famous Florida crime spree from the turn of the twentieth century.
Good try, but it just doesn't hold up.
Irene
Sep 10, 2012 Irene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audio -- 3.7 -- 2 people fall in love twice, once after the civil war and again in the 2000's. they are star crossed lovers who have to repeat the events so as to live out their love. the ending is too fairy like but the rest of the book kept me interested and rooting for the couple not to repeat their Karma. Nice tie in of characters from the past and present. The author did a fine job of keeping the times seperate and as to not confuse the reader. I would say a fine job.
Melanie
This was I book I just randomly found at the library. I was intrigued by the book being set in FL with some real life characters from FL's past. I enjoyed the book until the end, where I feel like she had a great thing going and didn't really know how to end it, so she just did, in like 2 pages. Otherwise I thought it was a really good book.
Clover White
I actually didn't finish this book. While I enjoy Buchanan's storytelling abilities, I didn't really connect with the characters. When a mother tells her lover that if it's a choice between being with him or being with her two kids, she chooses him, I lost interest. Like other Buchanan books, though, the setting was one of the best characters.
Dorothy
Jan 04, 2012 Dorothy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A REALLY hard-to-put-down book. In this novel, the author tells the story of John Ashley and Laura Upthegrove who were considered as outlaws in 1920's Florida. She carries on with fictional descendants who have the same first names and also are faced with legal problems. I fell into the story and felt that I was there and suffered with the characters and enjoyed their good times.
Joyce
Nov 28, 2011 Joyce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the story of Laura and John and of Laura and John. Two couples, one from the 'wild' Florida of the twenties and the other from the corrupt Florida of today. Each couple receives portions of the book and each one's lives are on a similar pattern. The plot is intriguing and the narrative itself very well done. Good reading for a long weekend.
Jan
Mar 04, 2012 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
wow! I was so afraid this would end badly, I almost didn't finish it. 2 stories in 1,this was nothing like the britt montero mysteries. I think I enjoy those more, just because I figure that since it is a series, she will survive. Edna buchanon did an excellent job with expanding on facts, then writing a whole new, but connected story.
Gramy
This book was different, but I like it!

The book reflects the similarities between two sets of soul mates who lived in different time periods, which all shared the same names and DNA. The circumstances that determine their choices in life were eerily similar. The second set of soul mates may have a better chance of fulfilling their destiny together than their predecessors.
Vickie T
Jan 20, 2012 Vickie T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing look at early Florida. John and Laura were childhood friends who ended up as Florida's Bonnie and Clyde. John and Laura in the current day meet at a murder scene, John is a cop and Laura is a model who is involved with the murder. Exciting, fast, intriguing. And I found out the John and Laura Ashley were actual bandits in early Florida history.
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Edna Buchanan knew she wanted to be a writer since she was 4 years old. She moved to Florida where she got a job at a small newspaper. Ms. Buchanan became a reporter for the Miami Beach Daily Sun in the late 1960s.

In 1970, she was hired as a general assignment and police-beat reporter at the Miami Herald. In 1973, Ms. Buchanan became a police beat reporter, which coincided with the rise of Miami
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