Book Review: The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

Posted August 23, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: The Silent Corner 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 Silent Corner by Dean Koontz
Genres: Suspense
Published by Bantam on June 20, 2017
Pages: 464
Format: Hardcover

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

First in the Jane Hawk psychological suspense series and revolving around a desperate, angry FBI agent on the run from the powers-that-intend-to-take-over.

My Take

Omigod, this needs to be a “7”! Talk about a real world possibility. Yep, that Koontz knows how to horrify a reader…jesus… And he pulled me in from the start with that emotional hook, making me wonder whose head it was that should have been there. And why is a pistol there instead.

It’s that age-old desire for power. The power to decide who lives and who dies. Who fits in with “your” idea of the best kind of world. God knows, I’m guilty of that one… I want a bomb that takes out mean and stupid people. What can I say?? Ya know, on the plus side, there’d be a lot fewer politicians in the world…jus’ sayin’…

In this case, some of those power-hungry jerks are just children in what they want, and they have no conscience in how they go about setting up their world order. You’ll see when you get to the ranch in Napa, and we finally catch up with the bad guy and his fantasies. Poor guy with such a selfish wife…*eyeroll*… As the story unfolds, it reveals more and more people in powerful positions, and how they’re sabotaging justice.

Pay attention when Koontz provides some insight into how this plan affects individuals, it will creep you the hell out.

That Jane. She’s a machine. She has to be. Never tick off a mother!!

I think The Silent Corner uses third-person omniscient point-of-view, partly because there’s a distant feel to what’s going on in the story and we do go into the minds of other characters with Jane’s the most prevalent perspective, and yet there’s a feel of deep third point-of-view in that we go deep into the mind of some of the characters in their scenes. In the omniscient, the narrator is all-knowing, roams the story (and its characters) freely, but doesn’t participate in the story. Deep third takes the reader into the character, hearing their mind and feeling their body.

Its action starts in the middle, and Koontz slips in those backstories without dumping the info on us, sliding back and forth from present to past, but it’s easy enough to follow. The hardest part is having to read through someone else’s scene to get back to another character’s drama. There’s a good use of foreshadowing and plenty of Chekhov’s guns that come together a third of the way in. Koontz also sprinkles the epiphanies in and about. It’s that last one that will break your heart.

I’m darn glad that this is a series, because I need to read more — damn cliffhangers!

It’s not paranoia if they’re really out to get you.

The Story

It’s a plague of suicides of supposedly happy, content, achieving professionals from all walks of life. Their mistake was in taking Jane’s Nick. In threatening her son.

Jane Hawk may be the most-wanted fugitive in America with very powerful enemies, but she’s clever, relentless, and driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. A rage born of love.

The Characters

Special Agent Jane Hawk is a new widow with a beloved five-year-old son, Travis, and she’s taken compassionate leave from her position with the FBI in the Behavioral Analysis Units 3 and 4 where she dealt with mass murderers and serial killers. Colonel Nick Hawk was a happy man in love with his family. Jane’s mother committed suicide. Jane’s father is a pianist; Eugenia is his second wife. Clare and Ancel Hawk are Nick’s parents and ranchers in Texas. Donner is a favored horse. Scooter had been a beloved dog of Nick’s. Doris McClane is Clare’s married sister.

Gavin (he writes military fiction and nonfiction) and Jessica (she lost her legs in Afghanistan and now volunteers for veterans’ causes) Washington are friends living off the grid. Duke and Queenie are their German shepherd watchdogs. Bella and Sampson are their mare and stallion, respectively.

Nathan Silverman is Jane’s section chief; Rishona is his very-much-loved wife. Their children include Jareb, Lisbeth, and Chaya. The LA Special-Agent-in-Charge is John Harrow; Ramos and Hubbert are agents. Booth Hendrickson moved from the FBI into the Department of Justice. Randolph Kohl is director of Homeland Security. Maurice Moomaw is a section chief at the NSA.

Part of Jane’s “response group” includes Nona Vincent, a retired Army sergeant on skates who wants to know the story when it comes to an end, and Barney, a homeless guy. Dr. Moshe Steinitz is a retired forensic psychiatrist who had sometimes provided advice to the FBI. Hanna is his late wife.

Red, White, Blue, and Dinner is…
…a cafeteria that feeds the homeless and is operated by Dougal “DDT” Trahern, a former Special Forces helo pilot. Justine Carter is the sister who was murdered by Emory Wayne Udell. Charlene and Rosa work the kitchens. Henry is the movie star friend’s butler; Cressida is the star’s sister with a chain of high-end beauty shops. Ronnie Fuentes is a co-owner of Valley Air. His father, Quito Fuentes, had served with DDT. Nora is Ronnie’s older sister a pilot, a former Army medic, and a partner in Valley Air. Dr. Porter Walkins has retired from the Army into private practice.

Lieutenant General Gordon Lambert and his wife, er, widow, Gwyneth are the first Jane visits in the story. T. Quinn Eubanks sat on the board of directors for three charitable foundations. Eileen “Leenie” Root had been a Chicago-based advocate for the rights of people with disabilities; Sweet Sayso had been her imaginary childhood friend per Aunt Faye. Her husband, Sidney Root, is working through his grief. April Winchester is a successful songwriter who loves her husband, Eddie, a bestselling writer. A counselor for kids with severe disabilities, Benedetta Jane Ashcroft’s autopsy was done by Dr. Emily Jo Rossman, a forensic pathologist (and Benedetta’s aunt) in LA who now works as a veterinary technician. Charlie Weems had been her assistant pathologist.

Jimmy Radburn, a.k.a., Robert Branwick, owns Vinyl, a shop that sells vinyl records. Richard and Berniece Branwick are his happy parents. Norman “Kipp” Garner is the money man in the partnership, and he has a taste for violence. Felix “Malware” and Britta “Ms. Ennui” are some of Jimmy’s employees. Kipp’s team includes Zahid, Alika, and Angelina who has her own plans for Kipp’s future. Carl Bessemer, a.k.a., Floyd “Sutter the Cutter”, and William Sterling Overton, a lawyer, had been some of their clients.

Shenneck Labs is…
…in Menlo Park and is on the cutting edge of brain implants. It’s owned by Dr. Bertold Shenneck, a scientist with the Hamlet list. Inga is his model wife who believes in his work; they have a weekend place, Gee Zee Ranch. Clive Carstairs is house manager for their Palo Alto house. David James Michael is an aw-shucks billionaire. Far Horizons is a business in which Shenneck and Michael are partners.

Aspasia is…
…a very secret whorehouse where anything goes. Borisovich and Volodin are some of the guards at the “club”. LuLing is one of the girls.

Frank is part of the team tracking Jane. Mr. Droog threatens Travis. Jay Jason Crutchfield had been a serial killer operating in Atlanta.

Ethan Hunt is a delivery driver. Sonny is scouting the library and on the make. Paloma Wyndham is a hotel manager. Gladys Chang is a real estate agent. Andre is an excellent chef and partnered with Sterling in his restaurant. Connie Nolan is Sterling’s assistant. What If Conferences are sponsored by the Gernsback Institute and challenges people to think outside the box. Kelsey is a reporter. Tio Barrera is the general manager at the Napa Valley hotel; Phil Olney is the graveyard shift clerk. Pilar Vega is a maid at the hotel.

A rayshaw is a made-up word based on Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate, and it sums up what happens to people in The Silent Corner.

The Cover and Title

The cover is perfect. Simple with a background of a lightish royal blue with abstract black swirls that make me think of fingerprints. The author’s name and title line up, one over the other, but twist to create the impression of a corner. An impression reinforced by the white on the left and the silvery gray on the right of the corner.

The title is where untrackable people who are able to use the Internet without detection go, to The Silent Corner.

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2 responses to “Book Review: The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

  1. Your review makes me want to rush right over to Amazon and order me a copy! Koontz is at the top of a small list of favorite authors and I”m thrilled that this one is a winner. Great review, Kathy!

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