What the Night Knows

( 1412 )

Overview

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In the late summer of a long-ago year, Alton Turner Blackwood 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, re-creating in detail Blackwood’s crimes. Homicide detective John Calvino is certain that his own family—his wife and ...

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Overview

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In the late summer of a long-ago year, Alton Turner Blackwood 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, re-creating in detail Blackwood’s crimes. Homicide detective John Calvino is certain that his own family—his wife and three children—will be targets, 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.

Includes the bonus novella Darkness Under the Sun!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Twenty years ago, a serial killer went on a ghastly killing spree, murdering four families within a few months until he himself was slain by a frightened fourteen-year-old boy. Now, two decades later and half a continent away, someone is murdering families again, meticulously imitating the methods and details of the previous mass killer. Can that boy, now grown into a homicide detective, stop the killings and end his own personal nightmare? Now in mass market paperback and NOOK Book.

From the Publisher
“Compelling, terrifying and fresh . . . true terror in print.”—Associated Press
 
“Deliberate, highly supernatural . . . one of Koontz's weightiest performances.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“You’ll find yourself genuinely unnerved. . . . On a dark winter’s night, what more do you need?”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
 
“Satisfyingly spooky and unrelentingly foreboding.”—USA Today
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly Audio
It is a good thing that narrator Steven Weber is capable of such enthralling performance—it's this audiobook's only saving grace. A young teenage boy savagely murders his family in a manner identical to the way the family of Det. John Calvino was murdered 20 years earlier. Though John, then a boy, had killed that perpetrator himself, he knows the spirit of that evil lunatic is now possessing people, good and bad, and is out to destroy John's own wife and children. The story becomes an exercise in frustration: spooky things occur to the Calvino family, and they each stubbornly refuse to share their experiences, either in a mistaken effort to protect each other, or to protect themselves from ridicule. Weber's seasoned efforts to bring emotion and drama to this book are valiant and rewarding. His voice is rich and comfortable in the narration and can keep pace as the story becomes intense. A Bantam hardcover. (Feb.)
Publishers Weekly
In this less than suspenseful supernatural thriller from Koontz (Breathless), 14-year-old Billy Lucas's inexplicable slaughter of his entire family awakens the fears of homicide detective John Calvino, who as a child was the sole survivor of a similar family massacre. Though Calvino slayed the fiend who did the deed, he has always worried that the killings were demonic in nature and that the evil spirit responsible would return and harm his wife and three children. Sure enough, after Calvino visits the psychiatric ward where Lucas is held, something starts to haunt every member of his close-knit clan, though improbably and conveniently they all fail to share this disturbing development with each other. The detective believes he has a deadline to thwart the force bent on repeating the earlier murders. The terror level never reaches that of similarly themed works such as the movie Fallen. Clunky prose (e.g., Andy Tane, a cop, "is figuratively and literally a horse") doesn't help. (Jan.)
Library Journal
The author's first book, Star Quest, an sf paperback, was published in 1969. Since then, Koontz has written scores of titles in a wide range of genres from children's books to graphic novels. Yet, from his always-popular body of work there sometimes emerges one of particular merit, one likely to add even more readers to his fan base. This spooky ghost story is such a book. It succeeds as an outstanding work of horror because of several elements: the appeal of the main character, homicide detective John Calvino, whose family was murdered by a serial killer when he was 14; the unstoppable evil of the killer, Alton Turner Blackwood, whose spirit returns from death to embody others so that he can force them to do his bidding; and Koontz's adherence (as outlined in his 1972 Writing Popular Fiction) to his own creed for writing suspense in which The Chase, The Race Against Time, and The Anticipation of a Violent Event are of equal importance. VERDICT Essential for Koontz's myriad fans as well as followers of horror in general. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/10.]—Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT
Kirkus Reviews

In his latest, Koontz (Breathless, 2009, etc.)makes the case that the only thing worse than a serial killer might be his ghost.

In his lifetime, Alton Turner Blackwood was no niggling serial killer. He was family size. In fact, slaughtering families was his stock in trade, and 20 years before the novel's opening, Blackwood's efforts had culminated in the decimation of the family Calvino: mother, father and two preteen daughters, one of whom he raped prior to strangling. Jack, a young son, escaped only because he was away during the carnage. He did, however, arrive home in time to find a gun and put an end to Blackwood's bloody career. Or so it was universally assumed. Flash forward to the present. John has managed to surmount, or at least sublimate, the horror of his personal tragedy and is now a very effective, much respected homicide detective. He heads his own family—Nicky, the lovely woman he adores and their three smart, likable, if occasionally over-precocious, children. He's content, his house in order. And then suddenly there's the advent of Billy Lucas to unnerve him. Billy, currently an inmate in the state hospital, is a 14-year-old confessed mass murderer. A killer that young is of course always unsettling, but Billy turns out to present special problems to John Calvino in that it's his family he's done away with, all of them, including two prepubescent sisters, one of whom he first raped. Moreover, he seems to know things about John he couldn't possibly. Unless...unless what? Unless Blackwood has somehow...but that would be unthinkable.

A good ghost story is all about the suspension of disbelief, which is hampered here by haphazard plotting. Still, Koontz has a pile of unswervingly loyal fans for whom the screw may turn no matter.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553593075
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/18/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 96,335
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 4.16 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

Biography

He is one of the most recognized, read, and loved suspense writers of the 20th century. His imagination is a veritable factory of nightmares, conjuring twisted tales of psychological complexity. He even has a fan in Stephen King. For decades, Dean Koontz's name has been synonymous with terror, and his novels never fail to quicken the pulse and set hearts pounding.

Koontz has a lifelong love of writing that led him to spend much of his free time as an adult furiously cultivating his style and voice. However, it was only after his wife Gerda made him an offer he couldn't refuse while he was teaching English at a high school outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that he had a real opportunity to make a living with his avocation. Gerda agreed to support Dean for five years, during which time he could try to get his writing career off the ground. Little did she know that by the end of that five years she would be leaving her own job to handle the financial end of her husband's massively successful writing career.

Koontz first burst into the literary world with 1970's Beastchild, a science fiction novel that appealed to genre fans with its descriptions of aliens and otherworldly wars but also mined deeper themes of friendship and the breakdown of communication. Although it is not usually ranked among his classics, Beastchild provided the first inkling of Koontz's talent for populating even the most fantastical tale with fully human characters. Even at his goriest or most terrifying, he always allows room for redemption.

This complexity is what makes Koontz's work so popular with readers. He has a true gift for tempering horror with humanity, grotesqueries with lyricism. He also has a knack for genre-hopping, inventing Hitchcockian romantic mysteries, crime dramas, supernatural thrillers, science fiction, and psychological suspense with equal deftness and imagination. Perhaps The Times (London) puts it best: "Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler."

Good To Know

Shortly after graduating from college, Koontz took a job with the Appalachian Poverty Program where he would tutor and counsel underprivileged kids. However, after finding out that the last person who held his job had been beaten up and hospitalized by some of these kids, Koontz was more motivated than ever to get his writing career going.

When Koontz was a senior in college, he won the Atlantic Monthly fiction competition.

Koontz and Kevin Anderson's novel Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son was slotted to become a television series produced by Martin Scorsese. However, when the pilot failed to sell, the USA Network aired it as a TV movie in 2004. By that time Koontz had removed his name from the project.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Koontz:

"My wife, Gerda, and I took seven years of private ballroom dancing lessons, twice a week, ninety minutes each time. After we had gotten good at everything from swing to the foxtrot, we not only stopped taking lessons, but also stopped going dancing. Learning had been great fun; but for both of us, going out for an evening of dancing proved far less exhilarating than the learning. We both have a low boredom threshold. Now we dance at a wedding or other celebration perhaps once a year, and we're creaky."

"On my desk is a photograph given to me by my mother after Gerda and I were engaged to be married. It shows 23 children at a birthday party. It is neither my party nor Gerda's. I am three years old, going on four. Gerda is three. In that crowd of kids, we are sitting directly across a table from each other. I'm grinning, as if I already know she's my destiny, and Gerda has a serious expression, as if she's worried that I might be her destiny. We never met again until I was a senior in high school and she was a junior. We've been trying to make up for that lost time ever since.

"Gerda and I worked so much for the first two decades of our marriage that we never took a real vacation until our twentieth wedding anniversary. Then we went on a cruise, booking a first-class suite, sparing no expense. For more than half the cruise, the ship was caught in a hurricane. The open decks were closed because waves would have washed passengers overboard. About 90% of the passengers spent day after day in their cabins, projectile vomiting. We discovered that neither of us gets seasick. We had the showrooms, the casino, and the buffets virtually to ourselves. Because the crew had no one to serve, our service was exemplary. The ship dared not try to put into the scheduled ports; it was safer on the open sea. The big windows of the main bar presented a spectacular view of massive waves and lightning strikes that stabbed the sea by the score. Very romantic. We had a grand time.

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    1. Also Known As:
      David Axton, Brian Coffey, K.R. Dwyer, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige, Owen West, Aaron Wolfe
    2. Hometown:
      Newport Beach, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Everett, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1

What year these events transpired is of no consequence. Where they occurred is not important. The time is always, and the place is everywhere.

Suddenly at noon, six days after the murders, birds flew to trees and sheltered roosts. As if their wings had lanced the sky, the rain fell close behind their flight. The long afternoon was as dim and drowned as twilight in Atlantis.

The state hospital stood on a hill, silhouetted against a gray and sodden sky. The September light appeared to strop a razor’s edge along each skein of rain.

A procession of eighty-foot purple beeches separated the inbound and the outbound lanes of the approach road. Their limbs overhung the car and collected the rain to redistribute it in thick drizzles that rapped against the windshield.

The thump of the wipers matched the slow, heavy rhythm of John Calvino’s heart. He did not play the radio. The only sounds were the engine, the windshield wipers, the rain, the swish of tires turning on wet pavement, and a memory of the screams of dying women.

Near the main entrance, he parked illegally under the portico. He propped the police placard on the dashboard.

John was a homicide detective, but this car belonged to him, not to the department. The use of the placard while off duty might be a minor violation of the rules. But his conscience was encrusted with worse transgressions than the abuse of police prerogatives.

At the reception desk in the lobby sat a lean woman with close-cropped black hair. She smelled of the lunchtime cigarettes that had curbed her appetite. Her mouth was as severe as that of an iguana.

After glancing at John’s police ID and listening to his request, she used the intercom to call an escort for him. Pen pinched in her thin fingers, white knuckles as sharp as chiseled marble, she printed his name and badge number in the visitors’ register.

Hoping for gossip, she wanted to talk about Billy Lucas.

Instead, John went to the nearest window. He stared at the rain without seeing it.

A few minutes later, a massive orderly named Coleman Hanes escorted him to the third—top—floor. Hanes so filled the elevator that he seemed like a bull in a narrow stall, waiting for the door to the rodeo ring to be opened. His mahogany skin had a faint sheen, and by contrast his white uniform was radiant.

They talked about the unseasonable weather: the rain, the almost wintry cold two weeks before summer officially ended. They discussed neither murder nor insanity.

John did most of the talking. The orderly was self-possessed to the point of being phlegmatic.

The elevator opened to a vestibule. A pink-faced guard sat at a desk, reading a magazine.

“Are you armed?” he asked.

“My service pistol.”

“You’ll have to give it to me.”

John removed the weapon from his shoulder rig, surrendered it.

On the desk stood a Crestron touch-screen panel. When the guard pressed an icon, the electronic lock released the door to his left.

Coleman Hanes led the way into what appeared to be an ordinary hospital corridor: gray-vinyl tile underfoot, pale-blue walls, white ceiling with fluorescent panels.

“Will he eventually be moved to an open floor or will he be kept under this security permanently?” John asked.

“I’d keep him here forever. But it’s up to the doctors.”

Hanes wore a utility belt in the pouches of which were a small can of Mace, a Taser, plastic-strap handcuffs, and a walkie-talkie.

All the doors were closed. Each featured a lock-release keypad and a porthole.

Seeing John’s interest, Hanes said, “Double-paned. The inner pane is shatterproof. The outer is a two-way mirror. But you’ll be seeing Billy in the consultation room.”

This proved to be a twenty-foot-square chamber divided by a two-foot-high partition. From the top of this low wall to the ceiling were panels of thick armored glass in steel frames.

In each panel, near the sill and just above head height, two rectangular steel grilles allowed sound to pass clearly from one side of the glass to the other.

The nearer portion of the room was the smaller: twenty feet long, perhaps eight feet wide. Two armchairs were angled toward the glass, a small table between them.

The farther portion of the room contained one armchair and a long couch, allowing the patient either to sit or to lie down.

On this side of the glass, the chairs had wooden legs. The back and seat cushions were button-tufted.

Beyond the glass, the furniture featured padded, upholstered legs. The cushions were smooth-sewn, without buttons or upholstery tacks.

Ceiling-mounted cameras on the visitor’s side covered the entire room. From the guard’s station, Coleman Hanes could watch but not listen.

Before leaving, the orderly indicated an intercom panel in the wall beside the door. “Call me when you’re finished.”

Alone, John stood beside an armchair, waiting.

The glass must have had a nonreflective coating. He could see only the faintest ghost of himself haunting that polished surface.

In the far wall, on the patient’s side of the room, two barred windows provided a view of slashing rain and dark clouds curdled like malignant flesh.

On the left, a door opened, and Billy Lucas entered the patient’s side of the room. He wore slippers, gray cotton pants with an elastic waistband, and a long-sleeved gray T-shirt.

His face, as smooth as cream in a saucer, seemed to be as open and guileless as it was handsome. With pale skin and thick black hair, dressed all in gray, he resembled an Edward Steichen glamour portrait from the 1920s or ’30s.

The only color he offered, the only color on his side of the glass, was the brilliant, limpid, burning blue of his eyes.

Neither agitated nor lethargic from drugs, Billy crossed the room unhurriedly, with straight-shouldered confidence and an almost eerie grace. He looked at John, only at John, from the moment he entered the room until he stood before him, on the farther side of the glass partition.

“You’re not a psychiatrist,” Billy said. His voice was clear, measured, and mellifluous. He had sung in his church choir. “You’re a detective, aren’t you?”

“Calvino. Homicide.”

“I confessed days ago.”

“Yes, I know.”

“The evidence proves I did it.”

“Yes, it does.”

“Then what do you want?”

“To understand.”

Less than a full smile, a suggestion of amusement shaped the boy’s expression. He was fourteen, the unrepentant murderer of his family, capable of unspeakable cruelty, yet the half-smile made him look neither smug nor evil, but instead wistful and appealing, as though he were recalling a trip to an amusement park or a fine day at the shore.

“Understand?” Billy said. “You mean—what was my motive?”

“You haven’t said why.”

“The why is easy.”

“Then why?”

The boy said, “Ruin.”

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Interviews & Essays

What Cannot Be but Is

by Dean Koontz

Not long ago, during an interview related to WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS, a reporter who seemed to be a nice guy, a smart guy, even a good guy, suddenly began to press me to say that I believed every case of schizophrenia was a case of demonic possession. Wondering what might have inspired such a peculiar question, I checked a mirror to see if there was a tin-foil hat glittering on my head, to prevent Dark Forces from reading my mind, but of course I was wearing my usual crocheted Tam-o'-shanter.

I replied that if demonic possession occurred, it must be a rare thing, not as common as the cold. Schizophrenia is a condition that frequently can be controlled with medication, and I doubt very much that Beelzebub, having taken residence in some hapless host, could be driven out merely with a prescription medication or even by the consumption of a steaming bowl of chicken soup. Besides, this novel has much to do with ghosts and darker entities, but nothing whatsoever to do with schizophrenia, which made his question even more puzzling.

Judging by his following questions, I suspected that the interviewer must be a fully modern man who felt himself to be free of all superstition, a rational materialist--and yet had been disturbed by this story of a haunting and possession. I think he hoped I would say something absurd, not so that he could twist my words and make me look completely foolish in his piece (I am quite capable of making an humongous fool of myself without anyone's assistance), but because if I proved to be ditzy, he might be able to dismiss more easily the story that had frightened him in spite of his determined rationalism.

What is it about stories involving malevolent spirits that can frighten us in spite of the wall of reason we erect against them? In spite of all the advancements of science and all our knowledge, we can't escape the feeling that the world is a mysterious place, that what we perceive is only part of what is. And we suspect, in spite of our civilized nature and skepticism, that at least part of what lies beyond that veil of mystery is hostile and terrifying.

We seem to have a genetic need to believe in the malicious unseen. Those who dismiss ghosts and malevolent spirits as child's stuff often believe in the all-powerful and evil nature of secret societies like Skull & Bones and the Bildersburger Group. Countless people believe that superintelligent extraterrestrials are here on Earth, have been here a long time, and have sinister intentions--though these aliens are as invisible as ghosts and demons.

Over the years, I have been happily creeped out by hundreds of books and movies, many of them dealing with ghosts and other malevolent spirits. I also love to be spooked by tales of secret societies, extraterrestrials, vampires, zombies, and inexplicably enormous insects. Some of those books and movies have inspired me to write stories of my own that make the skin crawl. WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS was inspired not by any story that I've ever read, but by something incredible that I experienced in 2009, something I'm not yet prepared to discuss in a public forum. That incident led to several sleepless nights and ultimately to the desire to write a novel about what lurks but can't be seen, about what cannot be but is, about what the night knows.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1412 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1424 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 31, 2010

    Scared me as much as Phantoms

    The thing I like about Dean Koontz is that he refuses to be pigeon-holed into one type of storytelling. Only a handful of his books (at least in the past couple of decades) have been supernatural in nature, the others have dealt with good and evil from the hands of man. (ie. a mad scientist creating mad creatures). But he also writes some damn fine fiction that simply deals with human nature, like any "normal" writer would. The first book I read by Mr. Koontz was Phantoms back in 1993, I remember reading that on a graveyard shift at work, inside this big building with just one other person on staff. I was thoroughly scared to the point of having to stop reading it, take a break, relax and come back to it. And now it seems things have come full circle. "What The Night Knows" has returned to Koontz's supernatural, pure evil subject matter and has once again scared the hell out of me. It's the kind of Koontz book people expect of the author, even though he doesn't want to be known primarily as a horror writer. But it also has the trademark Koontz relationships (whether family or lovers), inner turmoil, human nature, insights on society and of course the author's way of describing everything in minute detail. I've read most of Dean Koontz books (all of his books from the last 20 years) and I've never read one that prompted me to ask for a refund. Some better than others, but this one probably belongs in the top 10. It's leave-your-nightlight-on, look-over-your-shoulder, jump-at-the-slightest-noise scary!!!!

    24 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2010

    lots of hype....not that great

    Like others, I pre-ordered this book for $16 in November thinking if I pre-ordered, i was getting a better deal than waiting for the release...the day after the release, Barnes and Noble decides to sell it for $9.99...is that fair? I don't think so....the book is all hype. I have to admit, I loved the novella, the short, but entertaining prequel to this book...but, the this book is so full of description and no substance. I would rather move on to see what is going to happen next rather than know what kind of material the couches in the mental institution are made out of....VERY WORDY. good story, but so wordy...it could have been half the size of the book, half the price, and AS entertaining....I typically love Koontz, this was a disappointment!

    14 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is an exciting horror thriller that grips the reader with the same high level of suspense that Dean Koontz always achieves

    Providing no explanation afterward as to why he committed the atrocity, fourteen year old Billy Lucas simply butchered his family. Homicide detective John Calvino knows Billy's case hits too close to home. Two decades ago serial killer Alton Turner Blackwood slaughtered John's family and three other families; only John survived by shooting the maniac who was in the midst of a deranged ritual.

    John has always feared that Blackwood was possessed by a malevolent spirit who the cop believes has not finished the job. His fear is not so much for himself, but for his wife and their three children. John visits the teen at a psychiatric ward, but as soon as he leaves his family members especially his preadolescent kids begin to feel haunted. John knows time is running out for him to prevent history from repeating itself; perhaps his only reliable ally though he has doubts of the existence and the loyalty is Willard; his family's deceased dog.

    This is an exciting horror thriller that grips the reader with the same high level of suspense that Dean Koontz always achieves. The behavior of the four Calvino family members in some ways reflect the inane behavior of a teen-slasher movie, as each conceals what is happening to them from each other. With a nod to the OK Corral, fans will enjoy the supernatural battle between Calvino and the evil essences from beyond even as Mr. Koontz sets up a potential sequel.

    Harriet Klausner

    12 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    positive

    I loved this book. I have been an avid Koontz reader for years because he always seems ot capture the mystery and the characters in a way that is unique for most mysteries. Lately I was disappointed that perhaps he was becoming predictable, but this novel had a beauty to it. Loved It!!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 31, 2010

    One of Koontz best books in a long time. A master story teller toying with your nerves until you can't take it anymore.

    I've read everything, honestly, that Dean Koontz has written since '77. I've been crazy for his books since first reading "Lightning" when I was 12 years old. This book felt more like one of his older books from the 80's or 90's. That's a good thing, for me. This was layers of suspense on layers of suspense, without some of the "preachiness" that some people have accused him of the last handful of years and books. One of the great things about all of his books is that he hasn't been limited to one theme or style. He's always explored multiple themes in his books. With this one though he didn't get "sidetracked" with those themes. I felt like on this one he let the story take care of itself. And this story was more than capable of keeping my attention from the first page to the last. This was one of the strongest villains he has ever written about and one of his most sympathetic heroes. This book was good versus evil from start to finish. I won't give any specifics about the story away. All I can say is that if you've enjoyed his books then you should enjoy this one also. If you've felt that he's gotten away from some of his more solid writing then maybe this book will help bring you back around a little bit. It was just that much fun for me to get through. I completely forgot the time while I was reading this one.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    If you love a good ghost story, you can't go wrong with this one!

    WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS is a graphic nail-biter that won't let you put it down. John Calvino is a police detective with a secret. Twenty years before, a seriously deranged serial killer, Alton Turner Blackwood, murdered John's family as well as three other families in town, and used their corpses in a gruesome ritual. John was a 14-year old boy at the time, the lone survivor of the fourth family, and managed to kill Blackwood. Now a husband and father of three children, he has reason to believe the man he killed twenty years ago has returned from the dead to fulfill a promise of rape and murder. The answer to why this is happening is the answer to how to stop it and the whole hair-raising story is finding this answer. If you love a good ghost story, you can't go wrong with this one!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Terrible

    I rarely get more than half way through a book, then quit it but the novel is awful. It reads like a story you watched 20 years on tv and is very predictable. Evil spirit jumps from body to body to get to main characters' family. Problem is, is that each host body has nothing to do with characters. Koontz just makes up another host out of the blue and ties them in with the storyline. Very repetitive & boring; I honestly can't read anymore. 2 star ratings are for bad books you finished; 1 stars are for bad books you can't bring yourself to finish.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    Fantastic ride!

    This reminds me of some of his older books like Intensity. This was a heart pounding thrill ride. A cross between the TV shows Fringe and Criminal Minds.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The best Koontz novel in years!

    I have to admit my faith in one of my favorite authors has been shaken of late. I was disappointed in Lost Souls and his most recent work has been less then great. However in What the Knight Knows Koontz has made me a believer again with an original story, a villain you love to hate, and whose protagonist characters have depth and are incredibly refreshing. You find yourselves fearful for the characters and highly invested. It is a can't put it down read. Sit back and enjoy!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Koontz has done it again!

    Right from the start he grasps thr readerby the throat pulling you into this macrobra tail of suspense and murder. een in this preview of his next new novel due out December 28th. Avid followers of Dean Koontx will be chaffing at the bitt while waiting for its release.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Disapionted in this book

    Started good 3/4 of the way through it just got dumb and hard to read u all ready new the ending dont waste your time with this one unless u cant sleep becuese it will pput u their

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    Good- but there were some issues.

    First, the positives: it had all the makings of a suspenseful crime novel with supernatural elements. The plot was really engaging in parts, and I appreciated the originality of the story and its overall effect. The negatives: some of the characters were very manufactured. I didn't buy them at all as a "real" family, and their quippy dialogue and stereotypical roles (especially the kids) came across to me as really artificial and it got sort of annoying. The most critical characters were better developed, though, so it wasn't a total wash on that front. Also, I thought the ending of this book could have been better and I was a little disappointed with it. With that said, I'd say the good of this book outshines the bad, and it's worth a read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    Frightening story, contrived and disappointing conclusion.

    Good book, fun and scary, but he lost the handle at the finish line.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2011

    miss

    too many holes in the plot

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2011

    OK...until I find something better.

    I found that I was reading this book just to get through it. The story begins very slowly, embroiled with just too much introspection within a large number of characters. At one point, almost as an afterthought, the reader is astounded to find that one of the young girls is a "ghost-whisperer" - seems to be a pretty important, but grossly unexplored character trait. Odd! The story-line could have been a winner. Eventually, the book does pick up and becomes somewhat engaging, but I was relieved to see it end and more than ready to move on.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2011

    thanks 4 reviews now ima read it thanks

    :)

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2014

    This book alternates from tedious prose to disturbing and graphi

    This book alternates from tedious prose to disturbing and graphic violence. Also, the author’s blatant proselytization of his ideological and religious beliefs became tiring very quickly. No more Dean Koontz for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    TYPICAL KOONTZ AGAIN

    I have read many novels by Dean Koontz and think his best work was in his early years. I loved the ODD THOMAS books but after the fourth or fifth one they became stale and predictable to me. I quit Koontz for five years or so and decided to give WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS a shot several days ago. The character development was good. The story creepy enough. The problem with this novel was the WORDINESS throughout. There is so much extra description of everything, one would think Koontz is just trying to fill up space. There were entire pages I would read, reread, read again, and still not be able to make sense of what was written. It was like, WHAT THE HECK? This story had good potential but was ruined by nonsense. There's better authors to spend your money on.

    ~ DO ~

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2011

    just ok

    I have always been a fan of Dean Koontz, however, i was disappointed at the ending. I also thought that it kind of dragged on for awhile making me want to take long breaks from it. Other than that its a pretty good book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    One of Koontz's better books of late

    While not his all time best, this book was much better than the few that came before it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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