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What The Night Knows by Dean Koontz

What The Night Knows

by Dean Koontz

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Alton Turner Blackwood murdered four families in horrific ways almost twenty years ago. Twenty years later a young man is incarcerated after murdering his own family in a similar manner. The pattern of the crimes is familiar to Detective John Calvino because on that long ago night his was the fourth family murdered and he was the one who killed Alton Turner Blackwood to put an end to the murder spree.

Through a journal shared throughout the book the reader is privy to the workings of a dysfunctional family and the making of a mass murderer. Through the memories of John Calvino the reader glimpses the rebuilding of a fragile life and the makings of a loving family. When these two things collide … the reader must let go of everything rational and wander through the improbable with our characters.

I have been a fan of Mr. Koontz for many, many years and with the exception of the Odd Thomas and Frankenstein series have found his last few books lacking. Not unenjoyable, but not really edge of your seat suspenseful either. What The Night Knows is seeing something blur out of the corner of your eye, having an inkling that something is around the corner, wondering if the wind contains more than just blowing leaves. I liked this one.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
I think I got an abridged version of this. Mine was on audio and just over an hour long. It felt like huge parts were missing and now I know why. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
I was worried this was going to be another best damn dog of the year saves the day book. But it's not. It's a best *dead* damn dog saves the day book. It seems ever since poor Koontz Golden Retriever passed all he can write are angel doggies (with secret portal transport skills!) saving their owners from a fate worse than death. I can sympathize having two dogs myself. But still. REALLY. If a serial killer were to break into my house in the dead of night, Charlie (my rhodesian ridgeback who I call Rabbit the Lion Hunter) would give his loyal almighty god like "WOOF!" three times, tuck his tail and run for the hills... until he got stuck to a cactus. Hagsy the lab would probably just run happy circles around the house inciting some kind of magic spell hoping to induce giant squash (her fav vegetable) that would rise up and squish malevolent intruders and probably me, then she'd follow Charlie. Cute, but no angels.

I will say, the book is closer to the roots of horror & suspense of his older works, which is why i fell inlove with Koontz in the first place. But it's at times preachy and I feel he can cut back on his moral of the story narration thing. I am/was curious why he did so much of the narration in this particular book and would love to hear others opinions. Perhaps he was aiming for small bits of old fashion narration similar to what Dickens or Defoe did in their works (especially considering how often he brought up Lousia May Alcott's Little Women)? If so, very cool idea. However, the mix of the modern jive with old time narration just didn't work for me here (maybe if he cut back on the modern dudeness slang of it all). But I like the risk of it. It means although he's been at the #1 slot for years he's still stretching out of his comfort zone. In today's environment when it seems so many stick to the same formula over and over, I find this wonderfully refreshing, even when one falls flat on their face. ( )
  imaginationzombie | Sep 28, 2014 |
It's been a while since I've picked up a Dean Koontz's book that I enjoyed reading so much. I'm not refering to his most recent works in particularly - although some say they have been decreasing in quality -, nor am I saying that I didn't appreciate the ones I've read.

I didn't have that much expectations about this one, which was probably the reason why I liked it so much. It's one of his most suspenseful novels that I've read, and also one of the most entertaining ones. ( )
  Joel.G..Gomes | Apr 17, 2014 |
A story about a perfect American family haunted by a malevolence from hubby's past. Sometimes, I just wanted to say: "don't dooo iiittt" as the little girls giddily and naively invite the demon. The smash conclusion is predictable, except for a little twist. Where's my next Koontz book? ( )
  buffalogr | Mar 23, 2014 |
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Death, the undiscovered country,
From whose bourn no traveler returns...
-Shakespeare, Hamlet
To Gerda, who has haunted my heart since the day we met.
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What year these events transpired is of no consequence.
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Book description
In the late summer of a long ago year, a killer arrived in a small city. His name was Alton Turner Blackwood, and in the space of a few months he brutally murdered four families. His savage spree ended only when he himself was killed by the last survivor of the last family, a fourteen-year-old boy.

Half a continent away and two decades later, someone is murdering families again, recreating
in detail Blackwood’s crimes. Homicide detective John Calvino is certain that his own family—his wife and three children—will be targets in the fourth crime, just as his parents and sisters were victims on that distant night when he was fourteen and killed their slayer.

As a detective, John is a man of reason who deals in cold facts. But an extraordinary experience convinces him that sometimes death is not a one-way journey, that sometimes the dead return.

Here is ghost story like no other you have read. In the Calvinos, Dean Koontz brings to life a family that might be your own, in a war for their survival against an adversary more malevolent than any he has yet created, with their own home the battleground. Of all his acclaimed novels, none exceeds What the Night Knows in power, in chilling suspense, and in sheer mesmerizing storytelling.
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After Detective John Calvino receives a signed confesion to a shocking crime from 14-year-old Billy Lucas, he feels that somehow Billy has come home with him, to his family. Then another killing spree happens, just as and when John Calvino dreaded it would. Billy is safely locked away, but not the "ghost", if the ghost exists, that links these murders with past crimes, and with John Calvino. Anything could happen, and surely will-- again.… (more)

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