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)
Great plot matched with excellent writing. Suspenseful right to the end. The author's insight into human nature made for marvelous character development. Certainly high on my list of recommended books.
I loved this book! I'm an animal-lover and was fascinated by the information about dressage (the fancy footsteps that horses and their riders can do.) I've seen this done and it is so beautiful to see how the horse and rider can "dance" so gracefully. Also, I can really identify with female detectives and murder mystery stories since my own background is in law enforcement. This particular female detective/ex-cop (Elena Estes) was ridden with guilt for an on-duty mistake she made which cost her partner his life, left her with horrible scars and rendered her an outcast with her former fellow officers. She lost her friends, her job, her looks, and her self-confidence and fought suicidal thoughts as she spiraled downward. I could feel her thoughts as she faced her physical and emotional battles. Somehow a lonely, unloved and desperate little girl named Molly managed to pierce through Elena's shell and asked for help in solving the disappearance of Molly's older sister. This book is a good choice!
One of the best mysteries I've listened to in a long time. I actually -- for the first time -- got out my ear set and listened in bed -- and so spent a few very tired days. An absolutely terrific and well written book.
This story centers around a tough, intelligent woman that can't come to grips with her own mistakes. The book is slow at times but engaging. While the story bogs down sometimes, the ending seemed rushed and not flowing from the previous story development. If you like women to be sweet, dependant, and stupid, you won't like this book.
I always enjoy a book that is successful in creating a strong but likeable female as the central character. Elena Estes is just that; tough yet incredibly fragile, gutsy but dealing with deep fears, just a good complex character with a great wisecrack built right in. I'm hoping that there is a future for this her in books to come. It will be interesting to see how she develops....
Tami takes the triple crown with Dark Horse. The narrator does an excellent job with bringing the characters to life. The story keeps you guessing throughout the entire book. She is becoming one of the very best authors in the genre. Buy and enjoy!
Excellent story line and character development. Hoag really knows how to make her characters interesting - you connect with them and understand what makes them tick. The plot twists will keep you guessing, and the ending is NOT predicatable. Very enjoyable... my second book by Hoag. I would also recommend "Kill the Messenger"
A story that grabs you from the off and keeps going all the way. The narration was good and the almost 14 hours of the story seemed far too short.
This sort of story justifies the ?430 spent on my ipod.
My sister recommended this writer to me and she was right. It is a fast paced book. I did not want to turn it off. The Alibi Man is another book that includes the same characters. Tami Hoag uses strong language in her books, so if you fine it offensive, you might want to try a different writer. She did write White Knight that is more of a love story than a detective type novel.
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