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Dark Horse | [Tami Hoag]

Dark Horse

Tami Hoag, author of Dust to Dust, returns with "a definite winner," says Booklist. In a trailer in a Florida swamp, time is running out for Erin Seabright. A pawn in a kidnapper's terrifying game for a ransom no one can pay, her last hope is a washed-up ex-cop who has already lost it all - not once, but twice.
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Publisher's Summary

In a trailer in a Florida swamp, time is running out for Erin Seabright. A pawn in a kidnapper's terrifying game for a ransom no one can pay, her last hope is a washed-up ex-cop who has already lost it all - not once, but twice.

The wealthy world of the Palm Beach horsey set seems a long way from a cop's world in the narcotics division. A lifetime ago, undercover sheriff's detective Elena Estes worked the mean streets and back alleys, living by her wits and playing the long odds until she took one risk too many. Now Estes lives on the ragged edge of lost hope and self-hatred, hiding from the past and believing she doesn't deserve to have a future. But the past is about to come back with a vengeance, and the future is about to become a race between life and death.

A young woman is missing and her 12-year-old stepsister comes to Estes for help. No one but serious, studious Molly Seabright seems concerned about what's happened to her troubled older sister. Estes has no P.I. license, and no desire to break her self-imposed exile. But the more she learns about the people Erin Seabright was involved with, the more her long-dormant cop instincts come back to life.

One trip to the showgrounds where Erin worked as a groom, and Estes is quickly pulled to the dark side of a glamorous sport. Behind the ultra-rich facade is an ultra-ruthless world of drugs, payoffs, and dirty deals. And in that world stalks a killer who will lead Estes down a twisted trail of mayhem and murder to a final showdown that could cost her everything. A race against time and evil. A race in which Estes is the dark horse...and no one is betting on her to win.

©2002 Tami Hoag; (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A definite winner." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (392 )
5 star
 (123)
4 star
 (146)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (100 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (100 )
5 star
 (37)
4 star
 (34)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Lilly2734 Mentone, AL, United States 03-22-14
    Lilly2734 Mentone, AL, United States 03-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dressage anyone?"

    I wondered as I listened just how many people could relate to the horsey part. Maybe I underestimate the number and those who would pick up this particular book. I grew up riding so I followed that part easily. Had I not had that experience I would have moved on.

    But in the rest of the book the characters fell like flies. Most of us can claim a dysfunctional family but this family re-defines dysfunctional. Some of it was downright funny, most of it was getting to know the characters so we would understand when they were murdered.

    I'm really not sure I would recommend this but then again I've read much worse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Discovery Bay, CA, United States 01-06-14
    Jennifer Discovery Bay, CA, United States 01-06-14 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Save your credit - Very Slow"

    The Oak Knoll series from Tami Hoag is wonderful however this one just doesn’t measure up. The main character is difficult to like and the dialog is childish throughout. Take a pass.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna NEW RIVER, AZ, United States 12-21-13
    Anna NEW RIVER, AZ, United States 12-21-13 Member Since 2013
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    1
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    "Wonderful"
    What did you love best about Dark Horse?

    Dark Horse had a gripping plot with an unpredictable yet satisfying end.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character Estes was interesting- a gritty character with a dark past, yet realistic and never cheesy.


    What about Beth McDonald’s performance did you like?

    The narrator did well and gave a gritty, exciting feel to the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who wants an exciting mystery thriller within the backdrop of a realistic horse-person theme.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elkay 06-07-13
    Elkay 06-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    139
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    102
    48
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    "Decent"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It depends. This was a nice little diversion but it's not high art or anything. The pace was a little slow, the characters were one-dimensional, and the plot was predictable. But sometimes you just want a bit of light reading, something easy that doesn't make a lot of demands on you as a reader/listener. This is that kind of book.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Actually, the ending was telegraphed pretty clearly from the beginning so I kind of spaced out by the end. There was a bit of violent action in the last few chapters, though.


    Have you listened to any of Beth McDonald’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    She was solid - she struck a nice balance - interpreting the characters, without becoming too distracting. I don't think I've listened to anything else by her but I'd try another with her narration.


    Do you think Dark Horse needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Absolutely not. I was pretty tired of the main character by the end.


    Any additional comments?

    Tami Hoag has a formula and it works. I generally find her stuff either okay or totally unreadable. I usually get a little offended by her misrepresentation of feminism and her main characters are pretty much all the same - but I also like mystery/suspense/procedurals and I like bad fiction! So if you've read Tami Hoag, you know what you're in for here. If you haven't, this was a pretty decent one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 03-26-13
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 03-26-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "good for a long drive"

    I bought this book to listen to during a road trip, and it certainly served its purpose keeping me entertained. It was enjoyable enough but I had the plot figured out already halfway through. The narrator did a good job, I do generally like variations of voice for every character (but her accents, as others have pointed out, were terrible), and I felt that she rushed a bit sometimes. I'd recommend it if you're looking for something to keep your mind busy while you drive, but don't expect to be blown away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa 06-27-12
    Teresa 06-27-12 Member Since 2010

    I enjoy listening to great detective mysterie & also great thrillers. I enjoy books also by Vince Flynn, David Baldaci including assasins.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good listen, not Hoag's best."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Not really, the story line was good but it moved slow.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Each character with unique personalities.


    What aspect of Beth McDonald’s performance would you have changed?

    She needed to put more emphasis in parts of the audio.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    That I cannot answer.


    Any additional comments?

    Tami Hoag is a great author. So enjoy her others. This one is not so good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kathryn 06-02-12
    kathryn 06-02-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Couldn't finish the first chapter"

    Graphic descriptions of torturing & murdering horses. I wasted a credit on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margo 09-23-10
    Margo 09-23-10 Member Since 2002

    Tucked away in the beautiful mountains of New Mexico.

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    "A Bit Ridiculous"

    I didn't see much imaginative about this book. Instead of throwing in some red herrings and misdirection, it was more like "let's make everyone a killer of some kind or another." I wouldn't listen to it again, and somewhat wasted my time listening to it the first time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-22-09 Member Since 2006
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    6
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    "Pretty apt."

    Enjoyed the book very much. As I too work at a racetrack I can "feel" where she is coming from. So far we have not encountered any murders thank God, however the "backside" can be a very rough and clandestine place. I think anyone who loves horses or horse-racing or works in the field might enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Fan Los Angeles, CA USA 08-15-06
    The Fan Los Angeles, CA USA 08-15-06 Member Since 2003
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    "Silly book"

    This book was silly and trite. Typical tale of numerous suspects and "brilliant" detective putting all the improbable leads together. Like thousands of other tales of this sort. The reader was very good in parts and very poor in other parts. In all, wish I hadn't wasted my time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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