In his latest thriller, Dean Koontz gets creepy. That will come as no surprise to his loyal following, but how he gets inside the heads of his readers this time is … chilling.
In this latest standalone (or is it first in a series) novel, Jane Hawk is an FBI agent on the hunt. She’s suspicious of the suicidal death of her otherwise happy and loving husband; she’s seen enough clues to connect to the dots to a seemingly random set of suicides around the country. But when she’s told to lay off the case – and her young son is threatened – Hawk digs deeper into the situation, uncovering conspiracies at high levels of power.
Fast-paced and thrilling, The Silent Corner refuses to allow the reader to settle on just how reliable Hawk is (or isn’t), while encouraging a gradual discovery about the protagonist and her situation. While it is scary enough to have things bump in the night, when characters can’t trust their own observations or internal monologue, the narrative allows for a certain amount of terror in the uneven nature of the human brain.
In the process of her journey, Hawk recognizes that while she can’t trust anyone, that she has to trust someone. Buried underneath a conspiracy that involves the sex trade, thinning populations, government oversight, scientific “discovery,” and incredible avarice is a lesson on what it means to create community in a world that is in disarray. What rises up is Hawk’s willingness to sacrifice everything to create a safe place for her son, and a reminder that even when the world goes crazy, we have each other to count on – we must, if we want to survive.
Wildly entertaining, and leaving us wanting more, The Silent Corner is the best Koontz book I’ve read in quite some time – maybe ever. With a grand delivery, he reminds us of his standard-bearing place in the top pantheon of thriller/horror writers. This is Koontz at his finest – chilling us, challenging us, and encouraging us to care.