Dark Horse by Tami Hoag

Retro Review

Dark Horse by Tami Hoag
Thriller on Audio, 13+ Hours
In her latest thriller, New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag takes readers on a suspense-filled ride of shocks and twists leading to an explosive finish. Elaina Estes has always considered herself a dark horse. But now, her unpredictability and recklessness have cost her more than just the job in the narcotics division of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office - they have cost the life of a fellow cop. Outcast and disillusioned, Elaina leaves the gritty city streets for a rural retreat in Florida's lush horse country. But even here, this ex-cop knows that something quite dangerous - a ruthless manipulation of power, drugs, and human frailty - lurks behind the glittering facade of international riding competition. But will proving her case be the death of someone else?

This is a thriller that, for me at least, wasn’t very thrilling. It involves a missing young woman, some lovely horses, some not at all pleasant animal and human cruelty and a slew of assholish suspects, all of whom are decidedly up to no good. That part of the plot was pretty lackluster. I guess I’ve become accustomed to more thrills in my thrillers and a little emotion – even if it is rage – but this one just left me feeling dead inside.

I guess my biggest problem was with the main character Elena. She’s a bitter, battle scarred ex-police officer who is as abrasive as they come and the narration only highlighted that character trait. She is persistent and stubborn (good traits in moderation) but something about her just grated on my last nerve. I didn’t “get” her and didn’t like her and there’s really nothing more I can say about that. Also, as an unneeded and unwanted bonus, we are subjected to an eye-rolling, chemistry-free romance between Elena and an officer that I didn’t buy into because I wasn’t feeling it – probably because they weren’t either. It felt like it was tacked in there to please . . . someone. Definitely not me.

I did love the passages that described the horses but they weren’t enough to carry the book for me. Dark Horse gets some great reviews so if you’re a Hoag fan don’t listen to me. If a copy lands in your lap give it a go and tell me how much of an idiot I am.


  1. Oh that's really disappointing. I don't mind some of those heroine characteristics but, yeah, in moderation and there needs to be other sides of her that help make it deal-able. Ah well.


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