THE SILENT CORNER by Dean Koontz (A Review)

At long last, Dean Koontz wrote another good novel.

In the late 70s, through the 80s and 90s, Koontz was delivering the goods, book after book. Starting with Night Chills in 1976, and with the Leigh Nichols pen name, Koontz delivered several books (The Key To Midnight, The House of Thunder, Servants of the Twilight), that set the template for his success, taunt, suspenseful novels that were part horror, part sci-fi, and all out pageturners. Then in the 80s he hit his mega-selling stride – Whispers, Phantoms, Darkfall, Strangers, Watchers, Lightning, Midnight,  The Bad Place, Hideaway, etc …). All of these above books I heartily recommend to anyone who is looking for high-quality mainstream fiction.

silent corner

However, during the 21st century, many of the Koontz novels have been hit-or-miss, some entertaining, some unabashedly maudlin, and other just out-and-out unreadable. Here however, with The Silent Corner, Koontz has returned to classic form, creating a page-turner paranoid thriller with overtones of sci-fi and horrific circumstances.

Jane Hawk is a classic Koontz heroine, a women forced into circumstances of righteous vengeance who uncovers a horrific plot of “culling the human herd.” Against a faceless, and seemingly almost omnipotent enemy, Jane finds allies along the from some of the most unlikely sources.

A definite read!

 

4 palmettos

Lullaby, a Spenser Novel (A Review)

I’m not a fan of other writers taking over popular series after the death of the originating author. It always looks like a greedy grab by the author’s family. As a fan of the original Spenser novels by Robert B. Parker (well, the first 20 at least) and as a huge fan of Ace Atkins, I decided to give this one a try.

My first hope was that Atkins was smart enough to realize that the major problem with the later Spenser novels was the every-growing role of the most annoying character in crime fiction history, Susan Silverman. Another issue was that Hawk had been reduced to a walk-on caricature of his former brilliant presence.

13269092Too bad, Atkins stayed with the formula of the latter Spenser books. Spenser meets a client. Spenser has dinner or sex (both) with Susan where she uses her “brilliance as a therapist” to ask Spenser questions in which he impart his fears/concerns etc … Oh God … how tedious. I’m guessing that since Susan is obviously a romanticized version of Parker’s wife, Joan, that maybe Atkins was contractually obligated to make sure Susan has a large role. Any other reason makes no sense whatsoever.

I can safely say that I will not read any of the other Atkins-written Spenser novels. If I ever do read another Spenser novel, I’ll go back to the original 20. Here’s hoping Atkins gets creative and Susan Silverman gets killed in some creative way, which will jump start Spenser and Hawk back into their former selves and seek righteous retribution.

Not holding my breath.

2 palmettos

 

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