Book Review: The Night Window by Dean Koontz

September 16, 2019 Book Reviews 4

Book Review: The Night Window by Dean Koontz

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Night Window by Dean Koontz
Genres: Thriller
Published by Bantam on May 14, 2019
Pages: 432
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also by this author: The City, Saint Odd, The Silent Corner, The Whispering Room, The Crooked Staircase, The Forbidden Door

Fifth (and last) in the Jane Hawk thriller series revolving around a rogue FBI agent determined to save the world. And yes, you really do have to read these in order.

My Take

Whew, another heart-racing story in the Jane Hawk series that had me riveted and turning pages as fast as I could. That dang Koontz had me so on edge as to how it would end, as it could so easily go either way.

It’s heavily character-driven from the righteous Jane Hawk determined to protect her child (and the world) to the megalomaniacal Hollister. That Koontz (I know, I’m getting repetitious!) did devolve into stereotype with Hollister. Okay, so it really enforced how evil he is. How any person can be this nutso, whacko, I’ll never understand, and yet I do understand that there really are people like this out there. Where is that stupid-mean bomb I want? The destruction this whacko rains down on the world is mind-boggling. How can anyone want to deprive the world of such amazing people? I hate them!!

And, and, Hollister is the typical bad guy who thinks he’s playing the game fairly. With his GPS trackers, machine guns, security people, snowmobiles, etc. Yeah, typical. He’s a man who keeps looking for a new high, from being drunk on money, wielding power over others, physically and mentally possessing people, killing people directly…

As for action…pant, pant, pant-pant, my heart can’t take it. And I absolutely adored young Thomas. He took a horrible situation and went with it. Jane does the same thing, figuring that her life, surviving her father, prepared her for surviving now.

As for the bad guys’ attitude towards people…no, there are no words to express how horrifying they were. Contemplating a world of such thugs is enough to cause any decent person to sweat. It’d be worse than the Nazis or today’s terrorists! It’s simply too easy to subjugate anyone!

Jesus, those eyeglass-mounted cameras with face-rec tech are terrifying!

“We know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.”

Thankfully there is another side. Cornell discovering the benefits of loving people, that he can love others. Bernie’s goodness. Vikram’s willingness to sacrifice.

And it’s all through third person global subjective point-of-view, which enables us to feel the emotions, thoughts, and perspectives of a wide range of characters. Not that I want to feel all of ’em! For one, I do appreciate Koontz not dealing with the aftermath of Ganesh.

Koontz does sum up this Arcadian plan as “a program of enslavement designed by those who considered themselves his superiors but were in fact only emotional cripples, sociopaths without the capacity to know truth”. It makes it such a horror to read, imagining the world that these Arcadians want to create. Ugh. Reading of their behavior, how they view and treat people, murdering and torturing…phew… Hmmm, Bobbie would fit right in.

Okay, so the niggles. I didn’t care for Koontz using present tense. It’s weird to read. And as horrifying as this is, this ending was too easy. Sure it was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Koontz kept me on the edge of my seat. And yet.

Still you’d better watch out, or you may be Vikramized.

The Story

Arcadians are everywhere, controlling the media, the NSA, the FBI, the CIA, the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, the Secret Service, the military, attorneys-general throughout the states as are police and sheriff personnel and religious leaders and more. You can’t escape.

But Jane Hawk intends to escape, to stand against the “Arcadian” conspirators, and others have slowly emerged to stand with her, even as there are troubling signs that the “adjusted” people are beginning to spin viciously out of control.

The Characters

Jane Hawk, a.k.a., Leslie Anderson and Alice Liddell, is a rogue FBI agent being hunted mercilessly throughout America. Colonel Nick Hawk had been her husband, a Marine, a wonderful man induced to commit suicide. Travis is their five-year-old who is threatened by the Arcadians. Ancel and Clare Hawk are ranchers and Jane’s in-laws. Hannah is an Exmoor pony at the ranch. Martin Duroc is Jane’s famous pianist father who murdered his wife (turns out he’s one of the Arcadians).

Vikram Rangnekar, a.k.a., Chacka Mol, used to be an FBI white-hat hacker who has been infatuated with Jane for five years (We first met him in The Whispering Room, 2). This boy has installed a ton of back-doors. Kanta and Aadil Rangnekar had been his parents before they were killed. His aunt Doris and uncle Ashok will join Vikram’s posse along with his cousins: Harshad, Ganesh, and Judy. Supposedly Vikram formed Smooth Operator Development LLC, which then became Chacha Ashok, LP. Vikram actually created Spearpoint Consulting. Vikram had two special cousins, twins, brilliant, Sanjay and Tanuja Shukla, who murdered in The Crooked Staircase, 3.

Scottsdale, Arizona, is…
…where Bernie Riggowitz (The Whispering Room) lives with Nasia and Segev Cantor, his daughter and son-in-law. He’s taken Travis; Cornell Jasperson, who suffers from Asperger’s and various forms of autism; and the German shepherds, Duke and Queenie, from the disaster of Borrego Valley to live with them (The Forbidden Door, 4). Miriam is Bernie’s late wife. The dogs had belonged to Gavin, Cornell’s cousin, and his wife, Jessie. Rabbi and Mrs Colstein are amazing. Their golden retriever, Yankel, has fun with Duke and Queenie. Leshem will drop off Bernie’s car. Efrata Sonenberg and her daughters, Orlee and Nophia, have a secret cellar. Sam has been Efrata’s husband; Victor had been Nophia’s husband.

Thomas Buckle is a young filmmaker, the son of a tailor and seamstress, who’s made it onto the Hamlet List. He wishes he would have given Jennifer a chance.

Red, White, Blue, and Dinner is…
…a privately funded cafeteria in San Diego that feeds the homeless and is operated by Dougal “DDT” Trahern, who is still recovering from the wounds he took three weeks ago in The Silent Corner, 1. Charlene Dumont is a cook and cafeteria-line manager; she lost two children, Larisa and Jerome. Dr Walkins had provided the sub rosa medical treatment.

Sheriff Luther Tillman from Minnesota has a wife, Rebecca, and two daughters, Twyla and Jolie (The Whispering Room).

Garrett Nolan, former spec ops, specializes in bikes. Sparky is his harmless mastiff. John Duncan is a blind man who enjoys T.S. Eliot; Argus is his seeing eye dog. Dr Emily Rossman had been a medical examiner in LA who was fired for what she saw. The unlucky Jesus Mendoza was hired to keep an eye on condemned property owned by Norman and Dodie Stein. Colonel Porter Crockett is a good samaritan in Willisford, who is dating Louise Walters (she works at the Horseman’s Haven), and he’s hoping for more. Carl Volk was clubbed to the floor. Andy Goddard is a sheriff’s deputy who isn’t the person he was. The manager of the Casa Grande hotel has a wife, Viveca, and two kids. His son, Colson, loves Little League. Roger Hornwalt is in the wrong place. Mike Bernall taught Vikram to use a gun at his Gun Shop and Shooting Range.

Arcadian Charlie Weatherwax believes in random acts of cruelty, inspired by his parents’ hypocrisy and phoniness. Mustafa al-Yamani, another Arcadian, is obsessed with fitting in with high society. It makes for a macabre humor. Their cell leader is Raimundo Cortez, the attorney general of the state of California.

Various other agents who work with the duo include Homeland Security agents Pete Abelard and Hans Holbein and FBI agents Andy Serrano and Gary Greenway (the senior agent at the Casa Grande Holiday Inn). Verna Amboy and Eldon Clocker are also FBI. Felicity Spurling is a computer specialist with the NSA in Utah. And an Arcadian. Her non-Arcadian co-workers include the freaky Gregor, Derek, Mike, Warren Farley, and Lenny Morton. Lambert Ash is the special agent-in-charge in Phoenix and an Arcadian. Booth Hendrickson had been one of them. Until he wasn’t.

Cynthia Red Coyote is a helicopter pilot. Deputy Vaughn Cooley is with the sheriff’s department in Tonopah.

Crystal Creek Ranch is…
…located in the Rocky Mountains and owned by the psychopathic Wainwright Warwick Hollister, a megabillionaire and leader of the Techno Arcadians, who believes only in his own superiority over everyone and possesses a greed for money and power. It’s difficult to read of such a horrible person, from childhood to now… Andre is his adjusted chef; Mai-Mai had been an incredible artist and is now a slave, adjusted. Adam, Brad, and Carl are rayshaws and the three most senior members of the ranch’s security team.

“Nothing enlivens the libido like murder…”

Orenthal Hollister, Wainwright’s father, had been a weak man who had actually liked to read fiction and philosophy. Mrs Ripley, a.k.a., Auntie Edna, had been the sadistic head housekeeper. Diederick Deodatus had been the baby brother under whose name Hollister established the Diederick Deodatus Foundation. To funnel money into Arcadian projects.

Techno Arcadians are…
…sociopaths who want to create a world where they rule unthinking slaves and the adjusted who have no will, using a nanotech brain implant invented by Dr Bertolt Shenneck. The Hamlet list is a computer-generated algorithm that identifies people who could make a positive difference in the world. They’re referred to as the legacy donors. The whispering room is a nanotech feature that connects everyone who is adjusted. The Aspasia brothels were filled with mindless slaves and rayshaws who would do anything.

Ramsey Corrigan‘s control mechanism went whacked in The Forbidden Door.

Marcus Paul Headsman had been a serial killer whose case was closed by Jane and introduced her to Enrique de Soto who runs a black-market operation out of Nogales, Arizona, dealing in drugs, weapons, human trafficking, and stolen cars. De Soto’s men include Tio, Diablo, Fidel, Johnny, and the even unluckier Hugo Chávez. Purify the Planet Now is Enrique’s nonprofit in Mexico. Yeah, wait’ll you read about all their acts of kindness *eye roll*

Bobby Deacon, a.k.a., Max Schreck, Charles Ogle, and Conrad Veidt, is a nasty little thug with an amazingly customized Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. He thinks he’s an “agent of justice”. I think he makes me puke. Carmine Vestiglia is a fence in Las Vegas. Sutcliff “Sutty” Sutherland is the chief personal bodyguard for Senator Joseph Ford Kargrew. The Latino “John Jones” is a friend of Joe’s. Waheed Ahmed Abdulla was a notorious Muslim gangster in Mumbai.

The four Cooper Color Codes describe situational awareness: White is too distracted to be aware; Yellow is relaxed but alert; Orange is an awareness that something is wrong; and, Red is genuine threat imminent. Rayshaws are people who have been adjusted. Their personalities and will have been removed.

The Cover and Title

The cover is purples and white. Koontz stays consistent in using a mindbending wave that forms the background with the undisguised Jane looking over her shoulder, her shoulder-length blonde hair framing her profile, and wearing a T-shirt tucked into belted blue jeans. All the text is in white with the series information at the very top left. Across Jane’s shoulder is a testimonial with the author’s name large across her bicep. The title spans the bottom.

The title is Jane’s dream, The Night Window, that so terrifies her.

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