by Dean Koontz
(4.0 stars – Goodreads rating)
Published May 8, 2018, by Bantam Books
Genre: Fiction / Thriller / Suspense
Format: Kindle Edition
Page Count: 512
Jane stood in the dark, and the dark stood in her, the latter being the darkness of both her past actions and letal potential.
OK, be honest, did Dean Koontz have a clandestine meeting with George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones) before he wrote The Crooked Staircase? Because he definitely broke readers’ hearts and left a bitter taste in my mouth with this book.
In this 3rd book in the Jane Hawk series, former FBI agent Jane is bent on climbing the Who’s Who ladder within the Arcadian Society to exact some revenge for the death of husband and the ruination of her career and peace. With her son safe in hiding, Jane makes major moves to settle some scores and get closer to cutting off the proverbial head of the beast.
There is no honor anymore. No integrity. Treachery is everywhere. Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and ruinous disorders!
In this series, Koontz capitalizes on our fear of losing control of our true identities and succumbing to another’s whims and agendas. He is a master storyteller, and he conveys as much of the story by what he leaves out as he does by what he includes. And although this installment is action-packed, fairly little ground was gained.
The bad guys are truly brutal. The protagonist is still amazingly resourceful, but she seems to be stretched a little thin. Plus, readers may start to cringe now every time she asks any of her friends for help of any kind. The body count rises in heartbreaking ways right along with the level of intensity. Lovers of fast-paced action will especially appreciate the final two sections of this novel.
I think to myself, I play to myself, and nobody knows what I say to myself.
I’m a Koontz fan, but I had to take off a few stars because of my extreme distaste for the brutal violence (triggers include rape, torture, and child abuse) and for the all-too-convenient way the bad guys were able to track down every single one of their targets regardless of the paltry clues they had to go on. Even in today’s high-tech society, I found that incredibly inconceivable. And finally for the abrupt ending that felt less like a cliffhanger and instead like the book was just unfinished.
Fans of this series will rush on to read Book 4, “The Forbidden Door”, and hopefully, they will be rewarded with an ending (if it ends) that is completely satisfying.
**Many thanks to NetGalley, the author, and Bantam Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.
About the Author
Acknowledged as “America’s most popular suspense novelist” (Rolling Stone) and as one of today’s most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.
Dean R. Koontz has also published under the names Leigh Nichols, Brian Coffey, David Axton, Owen West, Deanna Dwyer and Aaron Wolfe.
Dean, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.
(Bio courtesy of Goodreads)