Author: Dean Koontz
International Bestselling author Dean Koontz is one of my all time favourites and his new novel What The Night Knows is a perfect example of why. His new supernatural thriller is gripping and intense, a page turner that had me glued to the edge of my seat and up way past my bedtime.
The problem I am faced with now is that I have no idea where to start trying to write a review that will do justice to his work. I have been reading Koontz for 20 years and don’t think I have found a single one I didn’t like but I’ve never had to analyze or think about his writing to review it before.
Dean Koontz is a master storyteller who really knows how to tame the English language to best suit his purposes. Some of his word choices are a little obscure, making you think a lot more than you would had he used more common basic words. It gives his work a very literary feel and there is a way I want to describe it but the right terminology escapes me right now.
This isn’t a book that requires you to read with a thesaurus by your right hand but you will need to be open to a wider vocabulary. The storytelling in this book evokes such vivid imagery that you will see this book played out in your mind in high definition.
The characters in What The Night Knows are well formed and a little extraordinary, not so much so that they cease to be relatable though. The Calvino family, at first glance, seems like your normal run of the mill reasonably well off family. Mum and Dad down to earth and very much in love bringing up three well adjusted, independent and intelligent children ranging in age from 8 to 13. Wife and mother Nicky is an acclaimed artist with an in-house studio that means she works from home and home schools the children.
Husband and father John is a police officer with a tragic past that has left him scarred and living every day trying to make up for his perceived failings of the past. Zachary, only son and your average 13 year old boy hoping for a career in the military and a gifted artist like his mother. Naomi, 11 years old and living half her life dreaming of magical kingdoms accessible through mirrors and portals in hollowed out trees.
Minnie, the baby of the family, older and much wiser than would be expected for her 8 years; she has a sixth sense which gives her glimpses of the supernatural. An intelligent and independent family who share a great sense of pride in themselves and each other, a close knot unit who foster independence and individuality while retaining a strong sense of unity.
Detective Calvino’s past seems to be coming back to haunt him in a very supernatural sense. The perpetrator of evil in the 14 year old John Calvino’s life didn’t survive the night he ripped apart John’s family so it is very difficult to believe that his killing spree could be repeated. The events of that night were widely publicized but John Calvino’s identity was pretty well guarded as he was a minor so none of his colleagues are aware of how closely he is related to what is happening in the present.
Sit captivated and watch as events play out pulling you deeper into the web that Koontz has created to entrap you, unwilling to release you until the final scenes play out. Suspenseful in its unpredictability though there are also times that you can see the writing on the wall. And even the writing on the wall sometimes hides a hidden twist.
Past and present play out side by side so harmoniously that they don’t get jumbled and confuse you trying to sort out what was when as often happens when a writer tries to tell the story of the past and the present together.
Once again Dean Koontz has managed to bring us a spine tingling tale of the supernatural that doesn’t make you suspend disbelief and take you to another world. Instead he writes in a way that brings the other world so flawlessly into ours that it ceases to seem otherworldly. Another bestseller that I am thrilled to add to the collection.