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.
"A definite winner." (Booklist)
I'm not sure if it was the narrator or the story or both, but I couldn't get into this book. I couldn't get past the narrator's smoky sounding voice and the young girl's supposed intellect, yet short sentences and often one syllable answers or responses. Maybe I just didn't listen long enough. Sorry.
Narrator has an exceptionally clear voice, excellent punctuation and her accents are fantastic. Worth the credits or money completely!!! Fantastic!
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.
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.
Say something about yourself!
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.
Dark Horse had a gripping plot with an unpredictable yet satisfying end.
The main character Estes was interesting- a gritty character with a dark past, yet realistic and never cheesy.
The narrator did well and gave a gritty, exciting feel to the story.
I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who wants an exciting mystery thriller within the backdrop of a realistic horse-person theme.
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.
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.
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.
Absolutely not. I was pretty tired of the main character by the end.
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.
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