Protagonist Elena Estes IS surly,tough and chip-on-the-shoulder but she's not a cardboard cutout. She's not a cop (anymore) and not (really)a private detective. She's youngish and attractive enough, but not a knock-out. She's hurting but somehow deserves to, making her very vulnerably human. The hinted maybe-someday romance with the detective on the case plays surprisingly unforced, tenative and very credible. The language is good, the characters diverse. There are quite a few you'd love to shove down the stairs so just who's the biggest bad guy is not obvious. I very much enjoyed the story and the horsey-set ambiance.
Sorry to add some shadows over an unanimous opinion. It could be my own lack of concentration, of course, but I had to make some effort to go on listening. I recognize the second part is brilliant but before reaching it one must suffer a too repetitive and introspetive section. Some of the characters of the book are poorly delineated and just confuse the reader (or listener). The plot and the way it is resolved in the end seem a bit naive to me. Half of the book could be spared.
I really enjoyed this book. It kept my interst from the beginning to the last lines. Elle was very interesting and not the usual lady detective type. You slowly get to know her and fill she is the typical person with problems and doubts like we all have. I'm looking forward to another case with her as the lead.
Has Tammi Hoag ever written a dud? If so, I haven’t found it yet! This is yet another well-constructed thriller, with interesting characters. Hoag manages that delicate balance of keeping the plot steaming ahead, while taking enough time to develop her characters, and create atmosphere. The narrator, Beth McDonald, is a perfect fit, and handles the wide range of characters with ease and accomplishment. The backdrop of showjumping and dressage is well sketched without dominating the narrative – again, a sign of good balance. If you’ve read any of Hoag’s other books, I don’t need to convince you. If you haven’t, try this one. You’ll be hooked!
Terrific first audio book for me. Initially, I didn't know if I would care for "being read to". Well, the narration was wonderful and this excellent Tami Hoag story was enhanced by Beth McDonald's narrative abilities. Beth's textured voice portrayed the heroine and other characters in a very real way. Not for one moment did I think she was "acting." The other thing that I really liked, was although I hated interrupting the story for, well, life, it was very easy to get back in to the story when I was ready for escaping back into the tale.
Tami Hoag has always been one of my favorite authors and she didn't disappont me on "Dark Horse" The narrator was awesome and brought the charactors to life. It had just the right amount of suspence and drama and the ending was a surprise! It's certainly worth the money!
As with Luis, I hesitate to disagree with the previous reviewers but I was a little disappointed with this book. The characters (with the exception of the "heroine") were too one-dimensional for my liking. They possessed no redeeming qualities which may work for one truly "sick" individual but this major lack of dimension holds true for almost ALL of the characters.
I felt the first half of the novel bordered on a Janet Evanovich novel and the last half was entirely too overbearing. The plot however, did hold my interest and made the book worth listening too.
As long as you are not looking for a Lawrence Block or Michael Connelly novel you will enjoy this trip into a dark and disturbing world.
Audiobook. Dark Horse is read by Beth McDonald, and she does a great job. There are multiple point of view shifts and she handles the switch from male to female in such a manner that the listener keeps up. The current mantra that authors must select a specific point of view and stick with it at all costs is, well, to be blunt: bull. How this fallacy got started is beyond me. Successful authors like Tami Hoag and many others (hello, Stephen King), take all the so called writing rules and stir them in a stew, scooping out only the most delectable bits for themselves. Which is as it should be.
Dark Horse is an enjoyable mystery, with all the twists as turns you’d expect. A nice who-done-it. The female protagonist is an emotionally fragile and physically damaged former police officer embroiled in a missing person case by a youngster needing to find her older sister. The horse world setting is a educational and fun arena in which to be engrossed.
A most significant element is the reader voice. Barbara Rosenblat’s interpretation of Anna Pigeon, the main character in the Nevada Barr series, is similar to that of Beth McDonald. A sarcastic and witty character, Elena from Dark Horse has more reason for the caustic look on life, in my opinion.