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The Darkest Evening of the Year (2007)

by Dean Koontz

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3,134934,369 (3.37)74
Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the southern California organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. 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, ominous, and invasive incidents.--From publisher's description.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
Another great read from a favorite author, Dean Koontz. He often has an amazing dog who plays a vital role, plenty of suspense, action, and love. Great narration.

FROM AMAZON: 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. ( )
  Gmomaj | Mar 15, 2023 |
I really liked this book for a lot of reasons. First, and maybe foremost, Koontz uses golden retrievers in lead roles - especially one named Nickie. Secondly, some memorable characters - both good and evil - will stay with you long after you've read the book. Thirdly, there are enough plot twists and revealed secrets throughout the book to keep the most inveterate reader moving forward with the plot.

It's clear that Koontz has a soft spot in his heart for golden retrievers, as does this reviewer. For that reason, this review might be slightly jaded in his favor. Regardless, of my opinion though, I'm pretty sure that Koontz fans will enjoy this book and have good memories of it as they think back on it in later years. ( )
  coachtim30 | Dec 27, 2022 |
As far as Koontz books goes, this is one I really had a hard time reading. It was too bouncy from character to character and I really didn't grow attached to any of them. I made myself finish the book as the first half did not grab me at all. It was better in the last third but I also didn't like the ending too much. I hope this isn't what his writing is going to be from now on as he is one of my favorite authors. ( )
  KyleneJones | Apr 25, 2022 |
One of the best Koontz books I've read. As an animal shelter worker, his description of the dogs, their eyes, their feelings, really hit the mark. I really felt he did his homework on homeless pets. I was almost in tears a few times because the reality is just as he describes. The story kept me interested, regardless of the dogs though. ( )
  purple_pisces22 | Mar 14, 2021 |
Despite the graphic and sometimes disturbing nature of his stories, they also never fail to make me smile or even laugh. The only issues I have with his books are that, first of all, the "good guys" are often not very likable, which is the case with Amy Redwood, the protagonist. The second issue is a bit more serious; he tends to over-magic things. At the end of this book, for example, the two protagonists are killed. But then a dog lays on top of them and everything's back to better than normal. ( )
  ctanons | Jan 26, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Koontz, Deanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kairos, KristenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
--Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Dedication
To Gerda, who will one day be greeted jubilantly in the next life by the golden daughter whom she loved so well and with such selfless tenderness in this world. And to Father Jerome Molokie, for his many kindnesses, for his good cheer, for his friendship, and for his inspiring devotion to what is first, true, and infinite.
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Behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition, Amy Redwing drove as if she were immortal and therefore safe at any speed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the southern California organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. 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, ominous, and invasive incidents.--From publisher's description.

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