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The Whispering Room

by Dean Koontz

Series: Jane Hawk (2)

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7703129,188 (4.04)13
"'No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.' These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun--just before she takes her own life, and many others, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better. In the wake of her husband's inexplicable suicide--and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals--Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America's future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue--and become the nation's most wanted fugitive--in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough. Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them."--Dust jacket flap.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz was given to me through Netgalley for an honest review. Thank you to author publisher and Netgalley.
The first thing I will say is that this is the second book in the Jane Hawk Series and in order to get a better understanding I suggest starting with The Silent Corner to get a much more well rounded idea of the plot and character that is Jane Hawk. While I inhaled the first book in the series I had a hard time finding my groove with this book. Deans construction is pure genus and flows easy I just felt as though poor Jane is constantly chasing someone to get somewhere and all the breadcrumbs have not been laid out yet for her to get to the end. I loved the cast of supporting characters they all added something different to the story. The story starts to take shape for me after we meet Cora.
After Cora Gunderson's spectacular suicide mission, Sheriff Luther Tillman begins to realize that somehow people are being controlled, it is important to note that the way these people are being controlled is an extremely interesting concept that makes him want to investigate He decides to go to Iron Furnace in a bid to find out what happened to Cora whilst she was there. Tillman and Hawk paths cross in Iron Furnace and they team up to rescue the children from the 'school'. They transport the children to safety, then go their separate ways. I feel horrible for the sheriff yet I love him as a character. Once they part ways Jane continues her mission to get DJ Micheals into the Far Horizons building. I have a feeling that this series will continue in a third book so there for I will be giving this a 3.5 star rating waiting to see how the story progresses. All and all if you like Thrillers and enjoyed the first book give this one a chance.
( )
  b00kdarling87 | Jan 7, 2024 |
Brilliantly writing thriller from Dean Koontz, with an element that chills you to the bone with the whole mind-control - how easily we can be manipulated.
( )
  BluezReader | Nov 12, 2023 |
Picking up right where book one left off with Jane still on the run I highly recommend reading from the beginning with ‘The Silent Corner’ before jumping into this one to get the most out of the story lines.
Both books are more than worth a read and I cant recommend them highly enough.
For both die hard Koontz fans as well as newcomers to this author this and its predecessor are defiantly Must Reads ( )
  DebTat2 | Oct 13, 2023 |
“You're dead already...They'll know about you in the whispering room.”


A narrative which moves like a runaway train, a terrific premise which is more plausible than we’d like to admit, a resourceful protagonist we like and care about, and Dean Koontz’s signature trademarks of goodness and hope in a world which too often seems to have gone mad, make this second entry in the Jane Hawk series a terrific read. I had not read the first in the series when I was fortunate enough to win a chance to read the second through a Goodreads Giveaway, but had little trouble getting up to speed with events. Koontz’s narrative has so much movement, with brief chapters driving the story ever forward, it had echoes of pulp-style pacing, which eventually began to remind me of Robert Ludlum when he was at the top of his game. Whatever device Koontz may have used in penning this exciting and thought-provoking story, it’s electric, moving across the pages like ball lightning moves across the vast, empty prairie.

Because this was the second book in this series, it took me a bit to get a feel for Jane. She’s a resourceful FBI agent gone rogue, fighting a vast, not so unbelievable conspiracy, to remake and control the population through nano-technology. It has cost her dearly, and it is that price which drives her and gives her strength, so that she can clear her deceased husband’s name. She also has unfinished business with her father, who murdered her mother — and got away with it. She has a son, whom she has stashed away until this is all over. I couldn’t help thinking it was not by chance that Koontz named Jane’s son, Travis, since the author is a great fan of writer John D. MacDonald, as am I.

As The Whispering Room begins, Jane is on the run, the most wanted person in the country. Alone but relentless, she moves with great purpose, believing that good can triumph over evil, and must. Towards that end, she must take up the figurative sword, because there is much at stake:

“A guardian angel with a gun?” — Sandy

“Michael the archangel always had a sword. Others, too. Maybe even angels have to change with the times.” — Jane

And these times are dreadful, because they are indeed our times, which we sadly recognize. Reading a Koontz book, especially this one, we realize we are not alone in believing the world has gone askew. With decency, tension and suspense, rather than pessimism, graphic violence, bloody gore and vulgarity, and with a rich belief in kindness and redemption, the eventual triumph of good over evil, Koontz once again shows who is the real king of these genres.

As Jane makes overtures to discover in what quarters she might find allies, she is cautious yet resourceful. But her quest to clear the books on her husband’s death, and indeed perhaps save the world, is a lonely one:

“She knew only a loneliness as might have been felt by the sole survivor of a shipwreck, adrift on a flotsam of deck boards and fractured cargo crates, under a sky empty of all but the sun, the surrounding sea emptier still.”

But she is not alone for long, and not alone in feeling adrift once this one gets rolling:

“As he gazed out from nature's comfort at the blacktop parking lot so barren in the cold fall of hard light, he asked for courage and for mercy, and if that should be too much to ask, then for courage alone.” — black sheriff, Luther Tillman

It will be the strange and disturbing plight of Minnesota’s Cora Gunderson, and Sheriff Luther Tillman’s secret investigation into her “suicide” which brings Jane and Luther together at a town in Kentucky called Iron Furnace. I don’t want to reveal too much here, because this is such a terrific read, but suffice it to say, not all is as it seems in Iron Furnace:

“What the waitress said, Freya...What kind of fever kills all the dogs just like that?” — Luther

“One that knows dogs aren't deceived by appearances.” — Jane

What most strikes the reader — when they are able to catch their breath — is just how far-fetched this should all seem, yet how eerily plausible it actually is in the climate of the past decade. Twice, Jane and Luther comment on it. The first time is when Jane is feeling out a famous journalist to see if she can find an ally:

“Haven't you noticed, insanity is the new normal?” — Jane

The second is when Luther Tillman tries to wrap his mind around what’s happening, and has trouble with it:

“But these Arcadians, the Hamlet list...this is insanity.” — Luther

“Whole nations descend into insanity from time to time. Germany under Hitler. China under Mao. There's a long list of examples.” — Jane

There is a frightening physical web of evil, and an unseen dark-web which is even more frightening. At the heart of what’s going on is elitism run amok, led by a progressive named David James Michael. Koontz very quietly takes on society’s oversensitivity to every tiny word spoken, which often causes otherwise nice people to take offense for no valid reason. And in eerily convincing fashion, he makes the case that government has already run amok, with virtually every aspect of our lives accessible to others, though we in fact have done nothing wrong. He takes a direct shot at the heart — not across the bow — of this idea that others should have control over how we feel, what we believe, what we say and do, and in doing so, illuminates who is attempting to achieve this:

“They were intellectuals, excited by ideas more important to them than people. Self-identified intellectuals were among the most dangerous people on the planet. The problem was, all intellectuals first self-identified as such before others accepted their status and sought them for words of wisdom. They didn’t need to pass a test to confirm their brilliance, didn’t appear before a credentialed board by which they needed to be certified. It was easier to be celebrated as an intellectual than to get a hairdresser's license.”

But even as Jane moves toward the ultimate confrontation, Koontz never allows the thriller portion to lose its humanity. There are children who must be saved, including Luther’s family, who are in more danger than they could possibly imagine. There is a woman who will learn to think twice before taking offense at a perceived politically incorrect slight. There is Luther’s wonderfully intelligent daughter. There are colorful locations and people willing to help Jane as she races toward the shadowed whispering room. And of course, as in every Koontz novel, there are dogs. But the real question is, how long can Jane elude capture so that she can confront the evil head-on:

“You’re scaring me a little: — Luther

“I doubt that.” — Jane

“I mean, scared for you. You have what it takes, but you also need some luck. You’ve had a long run of luck in this. But nobody’s luck holds forever.” — Luther

The story is rich and exciting, and will have you turning pages as quickly as Sidney Sheldon and Robert Ludlum did many moons ago. This is a blast to read, with my only caveat being a confrontation which ends too quickly once it finally happens. It was necessary in order to show how factious evil can be, and it does make me eager to read the next entry, so I’m not downgrading over a minor quibble to a remarkably engaging thriller. Even within a lightning paced narrative such as this, which has some mildly tawdry elements such as the Stepford-like Aspasia, and some terrific action to boot, Koontz takes the time to smell the roses, scattering some lovely descriptions between the train tracks as it barrels forward, out of control. A marvelous modern day thriller with echoes of old-school storytellers, you might be scrambling to obtain a copy of The Manchurian Candidate after reading this if you don't get the references. Highly recommended!

“Once truth was known, it could not be unlearned, nor could it be forgotten, but lay always in the heart, a darkness for which all the years ahead would be spent seeking whatever light could be found to compensate." ( )
  Matt_Ransom | Oct 6, 2023 |
It’s been a couple of years since I read the first book, The Silent Corner, of the Jane Hawk series, and I sure have missed this heroine. Author, Dean Koontz, has created a mesmerizing story with Jane Hawk, an FBI Agent, gone completely rogue as she is seeking revenge for her husband’s “suicide.”

The Whispering Room opens with a school teacher, Cora Gundersun, and her beloved dog. She seems like a wholesome, caring, single woman who enjoys her career and furry companion. She’s the last person one would expect to take her own life, let alone in a manner that took out many others with her in the process. The local sheriff knows her and is suspicious of her behavior and the FBI’s investigation that follows.

Jane Hawk is still on the run and number one on the FBI’s most wanted list. While trying to remain elusive, she’s also trying to find a way to expose the story about these strange occurrences in which unsuspecting citizens are taking their own lives. Suddenly, Jane takes another tactic and is on a serious roadtrip across the country.

I love Koontz’s writing style; the book is...

I have photos, videos, and additional information that I'm unable to include here. It can all be found on my blog, in the link below.
A Book And A Dog ( )
  NatalieRiley | Jul 20, 2023 |
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This book is dedicated to Richard Heller; a rock in turbulent times, for almost thirty years my friend, attorney, and wise counsel, who knows that the most valuable gold comes on four feet.
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Cora Gunderson walked through seething fire without being burned, nor did her white dress burst into flames.
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"'No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.' These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun--just before she takes her own life, and many others, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better. In the wake of her husband's inexplicable suicide--and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals--Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America's future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue--and become the nation's most wanted fugitive--in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough. Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them."--Dust jacket flap.

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