Thursday, April 23, 2009

Audiobook Review: The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

Here is a summary of The Darkest Evening of the Year from Dean Koontz website:

Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the southern California organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. Among dog lovers, she's a legend for the risks she'll take to save an animal from abuse. Among her friends, Amy's heedless devotion is often cause for concern. To widower Brian McCarthy, whose commitment she can't allow herself to return, Amy's behavior is far more puzzling and hides a shattering secret.

No one is surprised when Amy risks her life to save Nickie, nor when she takes the female golden into her home. The bond between Amy and Nickie is immediate and uncanny. Even her two other goldens, Fred and Ethel, recognize Nickie as special, a natural alpha. But the instant joy Nickie brings is shadowed by a series of eerie incidents. An ominous stranger. A mysterious home invasion. And the unmistakable sense that someone is watching Amy's every move and that, whoever it is, he's not alone.

Someone has come back to turn Amy into the desperate, hunted creature she's always been there to save. But now there's no one to save Amy and those she loves. From its breathtaking opening scene to its shocking climax, The Darkest Evening of the Year is Dean Koontz at his finest, a transcendent thriller certain to have readers turning pages until dawn.

My Review:

It's probably been about ten years since I have read a novel by Dean Koontz. I remember that I decided I shouldn't read them any more because they just scared the living daylights out of me. Last week I went to the library to choose a couple of audiobooks for a road trip, keeping in mind that I would have to get something that my husband would also enjoy, and I thought...let's give Koontz a try. I am certainly glad that I did, because he is certainly a talented writer. I was amazed at how he could write a thriller genre novel that was still packed with such beautiful prose. He even tugged at my emotions at such a level that I was in tears at one point of this novel.

I will start off by saying that if you are a dog lover, especially of golden retrievers, you will most likely enjoy this novel. The dogs are a pretty important part of this book, and that is brought to your attention in the very beginning. At the start of the novel it appears that Amy is just an empty-headed dingbat, when in reality she is actually a very intelligent, fun-loving woman that created a dog rescue organization. So when Amy is introduced to us she is actually dragging her boyfriend Brian on a mission to rescue a golden retriever from an abusive home. Amy sees something very special in this golden retriever and knows that she cannot leave this home without it.

There are a couple of parallel story lines that have to do with the pasts of both Brian and Amy's lives. I don't want to go into much detail, as that would take away much from a thriller novel, but both of them were involved with individuals that appeared to be nothing less than psychotic lunatics. Throughout the novel, the actions of these murderous characters will have you sitting on the end of your seat waiting to see what they will do next.

One of the first things that drew me to Koontz's novels was the eerie, unexplainable element that he usually included in his books. Although, I must admit that this same element is probably what scared me away from his novels for so long. But how he wove this part of the story into this book was not scary in any way, it was actually a bit soothing and reassuring and left me with a feeling of happiness.

I am confident that if you are a Dean Koontz fan you will enjoy this book. If you feel like reading a thriller and not having the life scared out of you, this book would probably fit the bill, as I was not really scared while I was listening to it or after I completed it. I think that this book was very well written and I know I will not wait so long before I read, or listen to another of Koontz's novels.

My Rating: In the thriller genre I give this book 4/5.


bermudaonion said...

I haven't read any Koontz in a while, but I do love dogs, so this one sounds right up my alley.

Darlene said...

How are things Jo-Jo? I used to read Koontz a lot but not so much lately. I did take this one out at the library but it was so scratched up I couldn't get past the first cd. I was disappointed.

Ti said...

I love Koontz' earlier work. I met him once and he was really witty and quite funny. My favorite book of his is The Watcher.. might only be Watchers, can't remember but it is also about a dog.

I read this one and found it to be a bit much and not that believable but I still enjoy his work.

Unknown said...

I am a Koontz fan, I do own a copy of this book but somehow I haven't gotten to read it yet. I will though, your review is great, Koontz's writing makes me emotional as well, more often than not.

Anonymous said...

I've got this book around here somewhere... I enjoy Koontz and his love of dogs. Thanks for the review.