Life isn’t always fair and the justice system isn’t always just. Tami’s Hoag’s protagonist knows it only too well.
What would it be like to lose a loved one and then try to deal with life? What would it be like to know who exactly was responsible for the loss of that loved one and yet be a helpless bystander? What would it be like to move to another city to get away from the mess of it all, only to find that the perpetrator you so hate has turned up there and is now threatening to harm another one of your loved ones? This forms the basic premise of Tami Hoag’s novel Down the Darkest Road.
Life couldn’t have been better for Lauren Lawton, a well established interior decorator. She had a loving husband Lance and two beautiful daughters Leslie and Leah. But one fine day when Leslie was 16, she was kidnapped. There was no ransom call or any clue about who could have done this. All the family is left with is a bunch of questions and speculations. Unable to cope with the stress Lance suicides, leaving behind Lauren and Leah to deal with the man who kidnapped Leslie and has now begun to stalk Lauren. The cops are powerless to do much as Roland Ballencoa, the perpetrator, covers his tracks well.
Four years later when Lauren moves to a new city, in the hope of starting life afresh with Leah, she discovers that the man, who took her daughter, has followed her there. She’s tormented that he walks free while her family has been destroyed and she’s been left to pick up the pieces of her life. Four years after the incident Lauren is the only one still chasing the ghosts of the past, trying to nail Ballencoa for destroying her life. But there’s a new fear that now haunts Lauren — will Ballencoa now try to harm Leah who’s soon going to turn 16, the same age when Leslie was taken. Will Lauren ever be able to find out what had happened to Leslie and will Ballencoa ever be apprehended forms the rest of the plot.
The novel is eerie and tragic. It is a tale about a mother who just cannot accept lack of evidence as an excuse for not putting a perpetrator behind bars. Tami’s character Lauren might seem unreasonably obsessive at first. But as you read on, you realise just how hard life is when you have no idea what happened to your daughter but at the same time you see the man responsible for your loss, walk free. The plot is slick and fast paced and Tami keeps you on the edge. Pick up the book if you’re looking for a page-turner.
Name: Down the Darkest Road
Author: Tami Hoag
Publisher: Hachette India