Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Silent Corner, by Dean Koontz- A Review Sort Of...

Image courtesy of
Google from Amazon
The first Dean Koontz book I read was By the Light of the Moon, published in 2002. I’m not a big fan of horror, guts, or gore so the fact that this book captured my attention is strange enough in and of itself. 

And the book is even stranger.  Here’s the gist:

It begins with a “mad scientist/doctor” injecting a serum into unsuspecting strangers. He tells them, while they’re tied up, ‘Either you’ll die (from the injection) or you and your world will become astounding.’ 

Well the characters, of course, do not die. (Else no book, right?) They gain some super-human skills from the serum injection that the bad guys are willing to kill them over. (They already off'd the doc.) 

My favorite character in this book is the autistic adult (yet younger) brother of the main character. Unbeknownst to big brother, little brother has also been injected and gains the ability to time travel, which he calls Folding. Their brother-to-brother conversations are charming and take the edge off my “nervous scardy” for a little while.

The Silent Corner, by
Dean Koontz
Fast forward fifteen years. Today I just finished our book club pick, The Silent Corner, recently released by Dean Koontz. FBI agent, Jane Hawk, (Koontz’s newest hero) is searching for some answers. The untimely death of her husband and many other unlikely victims have caused Jane to “go rogue” from the Agency.

This story is scary, not because of zombies, evil spirits, aliens, or supernatural events- there is none of that in this book- but instead because of its possibility of being very, very real.

Point number one: The “dark web” is in this story. – Just this week on the national news a report from Italy about a young female model being abducted and nearly sold into human trafficking ON the dark web. It’s a real thing with real bad dudes. *

 A nanobot on a blood cell. Image courtesy of Google.
Point number two: Nanotechnology plays a prominent part in this book. -Also real. Science, technology, and medicine all wrapped into one. Its implications are nothing short of miraculous. Little machines in our bodies that fight cancer or brain tumors or whatever. Machines the size of molecules. **  

Except in The Silent Corner nanotechnology takes a horrible turn. Bad guys are using the technology to alter the human brain. Make people do what they wouldn’t do.  All sorts of shit hits the fan.

Image courtesy of Google.
As a writer myself, I loved several things Mr. Koontz did in this story. First, every story worth its salt has a protagonist that has a need. Check.
Also, every major character has a back story that motivates what they do. Check. 
Good stories don’t have random characters that  do nothing to move the story forward. Check. (Homeless guy on page 34 becomes a player later in the story.) 
And, finally; Beautiful language does not a story make. Tell the story and the language will emerge. Like this: 

“ Together…they ascended on foot through a meadow carpeted with a variety of grasses and decorated with formations of chaparral lily in early bloom. Rabbits dining on sweet grass hopped away from them or sat up on their hindquarters to watch them pass. Cicadas sang, and orange butterflies with narrow dark margins on their wings took flight.”

Poetic, huh? I can see it, feel it. I know where the characters are. Oh, and I know all hell is about to break loose soon. (Shout out to Lisa Cron, author of Story Genius. Click here to read my post about this book.) 

Inside the book jacket of
The Silent Corner.
The next Jane Hawk story, The Whispering Room, will be released November 21, 2017.

Jane won some hefty battles in The Silent Corner, but she didn’t win the war. I hope to find out if Jane conquers this particular evil group, if she has it out with her estranged father, whom she’s “called out” after many years of no contact, if Dougal will to be her side-kick or backer, and how her son Travis is fairing.

I'd love some reading suggestions. What have you been reading lately?

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself.




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