Down the Darkest Road – Review
Currently on Loan from the Library:
Still Waters by: Tami Hoag
Red 1-2-3 by: John Katzenbach
One for the Money by: Janet Evanovich
The Last Dead Girl by: Harry Dolan
The Intern’s Handbook by: Shane Kuhn
Other Books I’m Reading:
Galatea 2.2 by: Richard Powers
I have done it! I have read every last one of the books in the Kate Shugak Series by Dana Stabenow. Yes, I double checked. I have experienced very approving sentiments while reading all of them. However, I will not be reviewing any of them. Not that they don’t deserve well written positive reviews. They do. I just don’t want to be away from my books that long. Although I did download Everything Under the Heavens a couple of days ago. So another Stabenow review may be forthcoming.
While I was on vacation I picked up a Tami Hoag series I’d been meaning to read. Deeper than the Dead, Secrets to the Grave and Down the Darkest Road are all set in Oak Knoll, California during the mid to late 1980’s. The first two installments are all the things I’ve come to expect from a Tami Hoag book. They are creepy, surprising, intense, and interesting. I even cheered a little at one point. Some guys just deserve a tire iron to the head. Then there is Down the Darkest Road.
Down the Darkest Road is set four years after the previous book. While it does revisit the main characters from the first two books, the main character in this book is Lauren Lawton. Lauren’s daughter Leslie disappeared four years earlier, an event that was followed closely by the death and/or suicide of Lauren’s husband Lance. Lauren has supposedly moved to Oak Knoll with her daughter to escape from the attention they draw due to the well publicized disappearance.
Yes, that’s right. She’s moved to a town famous for a serial killer, several stabbings, and a mental hospital fire, for peace and quiet. This made more sense to me later in the book when it became apparent that Lauren is stalking the man she is convinced kidnapped and killed Leslie. It couldn’t be more clear that Lauren is hanging on by a thread. It also couldn’t be more clear that it is better to know who you are dealing with before you try and deal with them.
There is a lot to like about this series as a whole. Especially the setting. It’s refreshing to read a crime book where DNA does you no good, and computers barely exist. However, if you are sensitive to violence against women, it is probably not the series for you.
In Down the Darkest Road I did miss several characters that were not continued into this book. Dennis Farman the stabby pre-teen arsonist from the first two books is totally missing. Leaving his story line cut short. Likewise the effervescent Mr. Franny, Anne’s best friend and confidant is never even mentioned. Anne the heroine of the first two books is a very serious person. She needs her Mr. Franny. Saddest of all though, there is not resolution of the Tommy Crane matter.
In the first book Tommy is taken out of the country by his mother who is possibly complicit in several crimes. It is noted that Anne will never see him again. But I’m not Anne. I want to know what happens to Tommy. I’m going to be looking for him from now on in every new book Tami Hoag publishes. Poor Tommy.
Favorite Scene: Lauren realizes she should have checked with the licensing board.
Favorite Quote: “From what everyone is saying about Mrs. Lawton, it doesn’t sound like there’s much chance of you falling in love with her,” Hicks said.
Enjoyability: The first two in the series are five stars. Down the Darkest Road is a four. Mostly because, no Mr. Franny.
Where to read this book: If you’re in the mid-west for the next couple months, anyplace you can find that has air conditioning.
Further reading: Just started Red 1-2-3 by John Katzenbach. Creepy.