Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review - What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

Title: What the Night Knows (Amazon)
Author: Dean Koontz
Publisher: Bantam Books
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 442
Genre: Horror

In the late summer of a long ago year, a killer arrived in a small city. His name was Alton Turner Blackwood, and in the space of a few months he brutally murdered four families. His savage spree ended only when he himself was killed by the last survivor of the last family, a fourteen-year-old boy.

Half a continent away and two decades later, someone is murdering families again, recreating in detail Blackwood’s crimes. Homicide detective John Calvino is certain that his own family—his wife and three children—will be targets in the fourth crime, just as his parents and sisters were victims on that distant night when he was fourteen and killed their slayer.

As a detective, John is a man of reason who deals in cold facts. But an extraordinary experience convinces him that sometimes death is not a one-way journey, that sometimes the dead return.

Here is ghost story like no other you have read. In the Calvinos, Dean Koontz brings to life a family that might be your own, in a war for their survival against an adversary more malevolent than any he has yet created, with their own home the battleground. Of all his acclaimed novels, none exceeds What the Night Knows in power, in chilling suspense, and in sheer mesmerizing storytelling.

Kim's take - 

Some books take a while to lead you into the action. But not this one. In the first couple of pages, you are already involved in the plot. Koontz is always very descriptive in his writing so the scene is easily visualized. The lead character is John Calvino who is married with three children. A dark force has found it's way into their home and begins to manipulate and terrorize his family, each individual and child separately. Unfortunately, for John and the family, no one shares this with other family members for fear they will appear crazy. There are quite a few twists and turns in the plot of the story that take you by surprise but you ultimately know what is going to happen in the end but not exactly how. My favorite part of the book were the pages from the journal of the killer, Alton Turner Blackwood, that were given throughout the book. I found myself impatient to hear more of his past and what made him the way he was. This was a very twisted man who came from a very evil childhood. I can't say there was a whole lot of heart-stopping suspense but it was a really good read anyway. Not one of the authors best though.

Kim's rating: 4/5

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