#1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag returns with the latest entry in her riveting Oak Knoll series. Deeper Than the Dead introduced Tami Hoag's millions of fans to Oak Knoll, a small California town that, in the mid-eighties, seemed as idyllic as any . . . until the See-No-Evil killer shattered that notion. It took FBI agent Vince Leone and a new technique called profiling" to put an end to the trauma. Secrets to the Grave brought Leone's teacher-turned-child- advocate wife, Anne, into a central role. Together with Vince and local sheriff 's deputy Tony Mendez, she solved an Oak Knoll murder with a particularly challenging mystery: The victim never existed. And now Hoag returns once more to Oak Knoll for the third installment of this bestselling series. Through Leone's pioneering, science-based investigatory skills, Hoag explores the early days of forensic police work. And through the chilling case at the heart of Down the Darkest Road, she hooks ever more readers into the meticulously crafted, all-too-terrifying world of Oak Knoll, where the scariest secrets of all can be found . . . Down the Darkest Road."
Marissa Fordham had a past full of secrets, a present full of lies. Everyone knew of her, but no one knew her.
When Marissa is found brutally murdered, with her young daughter, Haley, resting her head on her mother's bloody breast, she sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See- No-Evil killer, residents are shocked by reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days had it not been for a chilling 911 call: a small child's voice saying, "My daddy hurt my mommy."
Sheriff's detective Tony Mendez faces a puzzle with nothing but pieces that won't fit. To assist with his witness, Haley, he calls teacher-turned-child advocate Anne Leone. Anne's life is hectic enough-she's a newlywed and a part- time student in child psychology, and she's the star witness in the See-No-Evil trial. But one look at Haley, alone and terrified, and Anne's heart is stolen.
As Tony and Anne begin to peel back the layers of Marissa Fordham's life, they find a clue fragment here, another there. And just when it seems Marissa has taken her secrets to the grave, they uncover a fact that puts Anne and Haley directly in the sights of a killer:
Marilee Jennings came to New Eden, Montana for a much needed break, but the dream soon turns into a nightmare when her best friend is murdered. J D Rafferty is a hardened rancher, a man whose rough charm and dark desires Mari finds impossible to resist. But when his way of life is threatened, he is determined to protect it, nomatter who gets in the way. Someone else has a stake in the wild beauty of New Eden. Someone with an appetite for evil – and the power to turn a slice of heaven into a dark paradise…
Thomas Crane is a normal ten-year-old boy, except for one thing – his father may be a serial killer. Peter Crane is a community leader, but his seeming generosity may be a clever cover for cultivating his own victims. Meredith Crane plays the role of the perfect wife, standing by her man, but is she standing in the way of justice? Duane Larkin has a history of violence that may determine his son's future and send him down a dark path. Even at the tender age of ten, Dennis Larkin is a troubled boy with twisted fantasies of cruel acts committed against the weak and vulnerable. Tony Mendez is a tenacious veteran homicide detective, determined to bring the killer down – no matter who he might be. And FBI Special Agent Anne Navarro is a woman in a man's world, a scientist in the midst of hard-nosed cops. But with her own quiet determination she will do her part to solve the crimes – and perhaps save a child in the process.
She is willing to risk everything – Lucky Lady, from a New York Times bestselling author. When Serena Sheridan's Grandfather vanishes into the vast and infamous swamps of Louisiana for no apparent reason, she feels compelled to abandon her successful career as a psychologist and go and find him. But Serena is deeply afraid of the hostile territory she is confronting and her only guide is the renegade Lucky Doucet, a dangerous Cajun who offers little hope of protection in the steamy Bayou swamps. However, determined to find her Grandfather at whatever cost, she sets off with lucky on a journey into the watery maze that will change both their lives irrevocably.
She was a vision. She was a siren. She was a nightmare. She was dead. Now he needed her to disappear. And he knew just how to make it happen. The Palm Beach elite go to great lengths to protect their own-and their own no longer includes Elena Estes. Once upon a time a child of wealth and privilege, Elena turned her back on that life. Betrayed and disillusioned by those closest to her, she chose the life of an undercover cop, the hunt for justice her own personal passion. Then a tragic, haunting mistake ended her career. Now Elena exists on the fringes of her old life, training horses for a living. But a shocking event is about to draw her back into the painful vortex she's fought so hard to leave behind.
First she finds the body-a young woman used, murdered, and dumped in a canal. Not just a victim, but a friend. As Elena delves into her dead friend's secret life, she discovers ties not only to the Russian mob but also to a group of powerful and wealthy Palm Beach bad boys known for giving each other alibis to cover a multitude of sins. A group that includes a man Elena once knew very well-her former fiancé, Bennett Walker, a man she knows has already escaped justice at least once in his life.
Finding her friend's killer will put Elena at odds with her old life, with her new lover, and with herself. But she is determined to reveal the truth-a truth that will shock Palm Beach society to its core, and could very well get her killed.
Vigilantism can be swift and lethal, but it does not always carry the banner of justice. For Deputy Sheriff Annie Broussard, an attempt to honor the law traps her between the prime suspect in a vicious crime and her own colleagues on the force. And she's unsure which side, if either, is to be trusted. Set in the bayou country of Louisiana, A Thin Dark Line explores dark psychological territory while weaving through a complex plot rife with sordid characters and unlikely heroes. As the author of Night Sins and Guilty as Sin, Tami Hoag lives up to her reputation as a master of suspense.
From Library Journal
Coming off her best-selling hit, Guilty As Sin (LJ 2/1/96), Hoag sets her latest in Bayou Breaux, a fictional Cajun town. A woman is brutally murdered, and everyone, from cops to citizenry, is convinced that the deed was done by Marcus Renard, a fellow she charged with stalking shortly before her death. Renard is set free on a technicality only to be beaten insensible by the chief detective on the case, Nick Fourcade, a patois-speaking recluse with a dark past. Fourcade is arrested by Annie Broussard, an idealistic young sheriff's deputy and the only woman on the force. Because she stands up for what she believes is right, Annie is hounded from her job by the good-ol'-boy cop network. She then joins forces with Fourcade to solve the murder and a series of rapes. Hoag almost scuttles her own story by making the first 200 pages dull and repetitive before finally settling down to let the characters evolve and the story take its own dark, satisfying turns. This doesn't work completely, but her fans won't mind. For popular collections.