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Saturday, February 19, 2011

KOONTZ KNOWS THE NIGHT


Once more author Dean Koontz delivers with his novel, What The Night Knows. From the opening lines, rich with a mastery of language that borders of narrative prose and that insures the reader is drawn quickly into the story.

"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."

Koontz has elevated the genre to something more than mere horror in several of his works, but in What the Night Knows he has achieved new heights. His works are often multi-layered social commentary, complex and compelling fiction, and full of charged scenes that find our fears and expose them ruthlessly. Here, he takes the ghost story and makes it frighteningly real, entirely human, and uniquely his own.

Be cautioned though, don't start it unless you can devote time to it. It is hard - very hard - to put down once begun.

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