What the Night Knows: Book summary and reviews of What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

What the Night Knows

A Novel

by Dean Koontz

What the Night Knows
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2010
    464 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Essential for Koontz’s myriad fans as well as followers of horror in general." - Library Journal

"The terror level never reaches that of similarly themed works such as the movie Fallen. Clunky prose ... doesn't help." - Publishers Weekly

"A good ghost story is all about the suspension of disbelief, which is hampered here by haphazard plotting." - Kirkus

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Reader Reviews

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Daniel A.

What the Night Knows
I have been a Dean Koontz fan ever since I read his book "Strangers" many years ago. That book to me, was the best story the author ever wrote... until now. "What the Night Knows" is a page-turner, and a ghost story like no other, and written as only Dean Koontz knows how. The terrifying conclusion is a satisfying end to a well written book. A must read for the Koontz fan, and quite possibly, Koontz's best to date.

Jeff B.

What the Knight Nose
It had been a while since I last read a Dean Koontz novel and I'd forgotten what a disappointment the last one was. This book was a sad reminder. I love good supernatural fiction and this book looked promising. Despite some distasteful elements, this one caught my interest in the first few chapters due to a good balance between realistic crime fiction and slowly emerging supernatural elements. The book began to degenerate when the focus shifted to the absurdly unrealistic children (especially Minnie), and the author tediously interjected too many misplaced AP English vocabulary words. I never did get what the Wheel was about. The most interesting character, the priest who truthfully warns the detective who wants him to preform an exorcism that, "You don't want me in your house.", is given far too little time. Other sociopaths are given too much. The ending is over the top and sacrifices any remaining credibility. Mr. Koontz needs a tougher editor.

Dan Melitz

What the Night Knows - Dean Koontz
I have to agree with one of the reviewers and for me also this must be one of the worst books I have ever read. I used to like Dean Koontz, but this book is badly written, badly thought out and it falls between a number of stools. It is not a proper thriller or a supernatural story, it is however a waste of time. Goodbye Dean Koontz and good luck!

Claire

Worst book I have ever read!
I used to love Dean Koontz books, however always felt that he struggled to write a satisfactory ending. There were only a few books which I really felt had done him justice when it came to the end. But I always brought his new books because I liked his humour which came out through the course of the book and his great imagination and how I was able to connect with the characters that he was describing. However after following all of his books I noticed that he increasingly seemed to use a thesaurus and that he continually seemed to put long describing words which were unnecessary and sometimes confusing where he had inserted them. Several times I changed authors but then always went back to see if his writing had reverted to his style in the beginning and that I was a fan of.

What the Night Knows got to the point for me where not only was raping a sister quite disgusting and at times extremely graphic but his use of something as sinister as something from the dark side using humans as a horse I found to be unrealistic and could not follow his plot or dialogue. Since he is sold primarily as a crime novelist and not a science fiction author, I found his continued use of the supernatural coming through his later books. I would expect something of this nature from Stephen King who goes out of his way to create a book which shocks however not from Dean Koontz. It was a very Disappointing read and again it was rather like reading a dictionary. I read a paragraph to a friend who had not read his books and looked at me like what does that mean. Most of it went over my head. Disappointing when this man obviously is a very talented author however this last book did not do him justice and based on the last couple of books but primarily on this one I shall not be buying any more of his books. Sad but some authors just pump out their books, its Disappointing that just because his first books were successful that publishing houses cannot see that his later books have not been well received.

smudge

unreadable
I am retired and read a lot. This was the worst book I have read in years.

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Author Information

Dean Koontz Author Biography

deankoontz.com

Dean Ray Koontz is an American author. His novels are broadly described as suspense thrillers, but also frequently incorporate elements of horror, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and satire. Several of his books have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List, with many of them reaching the number one position. Koontz wrote under a number of pen names earlier in his career, including "David Axton", "Leigh Nichols" and "Brian Coffey".

When he was a senior in college, Dean Koontz won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and has been writing ever since. His books are published in 38 languages and he has sold over 450 million copies to date.

Dean Koontz lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

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