Friday, January 6, 2012

Down The Darkest Road by Tami Hoag

Deeper than the Dead
Received ARC from

In this 3rd installment of Tami Hoag's Oak Knoll series, we meet The Lawton family ~ or at least, what's left of the Lawton family.  Lauren and now 16 yr. old daughter, Leah.  Four years earlier the foundation of their once perfect family had begun crumbling when her oldest daughter, then 16 yr. old Leslie, was abducted and never heard from again.  Two years later, her loving husband Lance, who'd worshipped both of his daughter, drove his car off a cliff road.  Suicide or accident, it didn't really matter ~ all that was left was Lauren and Leah, and Lauren was becoming obsessed with finding out what had happened to Leslie ~ and with the man she thinks is responsible. 

Lauren has moved herself and her daughter to Oak Knoll, CA to try and get away ~ or had she?  The story picks up with Detective Anthony Mendez  ~ we met Tony in Hoag's previous Oak Knoll books, Deeper Than The Dead, and Secrets To The Grave ~ meeting Lauren Lawton when she literally runs into him in the grocery store.  Tony follows her, and finds himself intrigued by the story Lauren Lawton tells him...and the fact that she claims she's just seen the man who abducted her daughter.  In Oak Knoll.  Tony Mendez begins to look into the case, going to Santa Barbara where Lauren Lawton and her family lived when the abduction took place, and following the case back...meanwhile, Lauren is convinced noone can help her find out what happened to Leslie, that only SHE can make the man responsible pay......

Wow!  Tami Hoag takes us on a breathless run through the pages of Down The Darkest Road ~ I'll admit, I'm usually all about the HEA, and not much into books that don't deliver it.  In the first book, Secrets to The Grave, we got the romance AND the awesome suspense, and we saw more of the relationship build in book 2 and MORE awesome suspense in Deeper Than The Dead.  We didn't see much of that in Down The Darkest Road, although I will say it strikes me that she's setting Tony up for his HEA ~ BUT,  again, WOW.  The story is compelling, and just so darn GOOD I was sucked in and couldn't quit until I was done.  I HAD to know what Lauren was going to do next, and who dunnit??  And HOW?  I LOVE this series.

I'm a HUGE Criminal Minds fan, and this whole series revolves around the beginnings of the BSU in the FBI ~ for that reason, Ms. Hoag has gone back in time to set her stories, the first being set in 1985, up to this one being set in 1990.  She's done a fabulous job and I hope she continues this series for some time!

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