The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk Series #2)

The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk Series #2)

by Dean Koontz

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Overview

The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk Series #2) by Dean Koontz

Jane Hawk—fiction’s most relentless, resourceful, stunning new heroine—continues her battle against a murderous conspiracy in the riveting sequel to The Silent Corner.

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.”

These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better.

In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide—and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals—Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue—and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive—in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough.

Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

Acclaim for Dean Koontz’s previous Jane Hawk novel, The Silent Corner

“Gripping . . . The paranoia and mystery increase as the story unfolds. . . . Koontz has created [a] wonderful character in Jane Hawk. . . . Koontz rocks it again.”—Associated Press
 
“In this era of stingy text-message prose, Mr. Koontz is practically Shakespeare. . . . The Silent Corner brims with both action and emotion.”Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
The Silent Corner is vintage Dean Koontz: paranoia-fueled suspense . . . sleek and highly realized action, developed characters, and more twists and turns than any two ordinary novels combined. . . . As relevant to current events as it is audacious . . . amongst Dean Koontz’s finest contemporary work.”Mystery Scene
 
“A proven specialist in action scenes, Koontz pulls off some doozies here. . . . The book is full of neat touches. . . . And the prose, as always in a Koontz novel, is first-rate. Perhaps Koontz’s leanest, meanest thriller, this initial entry in a new series introduces a smart, appealing heroine who can outthink as well as outshoot the baddest of bad dudes.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“The latest page-turner by Dean Koontz introduces readers to Jane Hawk. . . . An inspired choice for a protagonist . . . action, zippy dialogue and a winning character at the center of the book, part of a new series by Koontz.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
 
“Long an A-list bestseller, Koontz has always delivered the goods. . . . [His] varied bibliography now adds a new series and an exciting new heroine.”Booklist
 
“Fantastically written (as always by Mr. Koontz) . . . You are riveted on page one. . . . 5 stars!”Suspense Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345546807
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/21/2017
Series: Jane Hawk Series , #2
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 37,921
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

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

Hometown:

Newport Beach, California

Date of Birth:

July 9, 1945

Place of Birth:

Everett, Pennsylvania

Education:

B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966

Read an Excerpt

1

Cora Gundersun walked through seething fire without being burned, nor did her white dress burst into flames. She was not afraid, but instead exhilarated, and the many admiring people witnessing this spectacle gaped in amazement, their expressions of astonishment flickering with reflections of the flames. They called out to her not in alarm, but in wonder, with a note of veneration in their voices, so that Cora felt equally thrilled and humbled that she had been made invulnerable.

Dixie, a long-­haired dappled gold dachshund, woke Cora by licking her hand. The dog had no respect for dreams, not even for this one that her mistress had enjoyed three nights in a row and about which she had told Dixie in vivid detail. Dawn had come, time for breakfast and morning toilet, which were more important to Dixie than any dream.

Cora was forty years old, birdlike and spry. As the short dog toddled down the set of portable steps that allowed her to climb in and out of bed, Cora sprang up to meet the day. She slipped into fur-­lined ankle-­high boots that served as her wintertime slippers, and in her pajamas she followed the waddling dachshund through the house.

Just before she stepped into the kitchen, she was struck by the notion that a strange man would be sitting at the dinette table and that something terrible would happen.

Of course no man awaited her. She’d never been a fearful woman. She chastised herself for being spooked by nothing, nothing at all.

As she put out fresh water and kibble for her companion, the dog’s feathery golden tail swept the floor in anticipation.

By the time Cora had prepared the coffeemaker and switched it on, Dixie had finished eating. Now standing at the back door, the dog barked politely, just once.

Cora snared a coat from a wall peg and shrugged into it. “Let’s see if you can empty yourself as quick as you filled up. It’s colder than the cellar of Hades out there, sweet thing, so don’t dawdle.”

As she left the warmth of the house for the porch, her breath smoked from her as if a covey of ghosts, long in possession of her body, were being exorcised. She stood at the head of the steps to watch over precious Dixie Belle, just in case there might be a nasty-­tempered raccoon lingering from its night of foraging.

More than a foot of late-­winter snow had fallen the previous morning. In the absence of wind, the pine trees still wore ermine stoles on every bough. Cora had shoveled a clearing in the backyard so that Dixie wouldn’t have to plow through deep powder.

Dachshunds had keen noses. Ignoring her mistress’s plea not to dawdle, Dixie Belle wandered back and forth in the clearing, nose to the ground, curious about what animals had visited in the night.

Wednesday. A school day.

Although Cora had been off work for two weeks, she still felt as if she should hurry to prepare for school. Two years earlier, she had been named Minnesota’s Teacher of the Year. She dearly loved—­and missed—­the children in her sixth-­grade class.

Sudden-­onset migraines, five and six hours long, sometimes accompanied by foul odors that only she could detect, had disabled her. The headaches seemed to be slowly responding to medications—­zolmitriptan and a muscle relaxant called Soma. Cora had never been a sickly person, and staying home bored her.

Dixie Belle finally peed and left two small logs, which Cora would pick up with a plastic bag later, after they froze solid.

When she followed the dachshund into the house, a strange man was sitting at the kitchen table, drinking coffee that he had boldly poured for himself. He wore a knitted cap. He had unzipped his fleece-­lined jacket. His face was long, his features sharp, his cold, blue stare direct.

Before Cora could cry out or turn to flee, the intruder said, “Play Manchurian with me.”

“Yes, all right,” she said, because he no longer seemed to be a threat. She knew him, after all. He was a nice man. He had visited her at least twice in the past week. He was a very nice man.

“Take off your coat and hang it up.”

She did as he asked.

“Come here, Cora. Sit down.”

She pulled out a chair and sat at the table.

Although a friend of everyone, Dixie retreated to a corner and settled there to watch warily with one light-­blue eye and one brown.

“Did you dream last night?” the nice man asked.

“Yes.”

“Was it the dream of fire?”

“Yes.”

“Was it a good dream, Cora?”

She smiled and nodded. “It was lovely, a lovely walk through soothing fire, no fear at all.”

“You’ll have the same dream again tonight,” he said.

She smiled and clapped her hands twice. “Oh, good. It’s such a delightful dream. Sort of like one I sometimes had as a girl—­that dream of flying like a bird. Flying with no fear of falling.”

“Tomorrow is the big day, Cora.”

“Is it? What’s happening?”

“You’ll know when you get up in the morning. I won’t be back again. Even as important as this is, you need no hands-­on guidance.”

He finished his coffee and slid the mug in front of her and got to his feet and pushed his chair under the table. “Auf Wiedersehen, you stupid, skinny bitch.”

“Good-­bye,” she said.

A twinkling, zigzagging chain of tiny lights floated into sight, an aura preceding a migraine. She closed her eyes, dreading the pain to come. But the aura passed. The headache did not occur.

When she opened her eyes, her empty mug stood on the table before her, a residue of coffee in the bottom. She got up to pour another serving for herself.

2

On a Sunday afternoon in March, in self-­defense and with great anguish, Jane Hawk had killed a dear friend and mentor.

Three days later, on a Wednesday, when the evening was diamonded with stars that even the great upwash of lights in the San Gabriel Valley, northeast of Los Angeles, could not entirely rinse from the sky, she came on foot to a house that she had scouted earlier by car. She carried a large tote bag with incriminating contents. In a shoulder rig under her sport coat hung a stolen Colt .45 ACP pistol rebuilt by one of the country’s finest custom-­handgun shops.

The residential neighborhood was calm in this age of chaos, quiet in a time characterized by clamor. California pepper trees whispered and palm fronds softly rustled in a breeze fragrant with jasmine. The breeze was also threaded through with the malodor of decomposition that issued from one gutter drain and then another, perhaps from the bodies of poisoned tree rats that earlier had fled the sunlight to die in the dark.

A for-­sale sign in the front yard of the target house, grass in need of mowing, a Realtor’s key safe fixed to the front-­door handle, and closed draperies suggested that the place must be vacant. The security system most likely wasn’t operational, because nothing remained in the residence to steal and because an alarm would have complicated the task of showing the property to prospective buyers.

Behind the house, the patio lacked furniture. Breathing out the faint scent of chlorine, black water rippled in the swimming pool, a mirror to the waning moon.

A stuccoed property wall and Indian laurels screened the back of the house from the neighbors. Even in daylight, she would not have been seen.

With a black-­market LockAid lock-­release gun legally sold only to law-­enforcement agencies, Jane defeated the deadbolt on the back door. She returned the device to the tote and opened the door and stood listening to the lightless kitchen, to the rooms beyond.

Convinced that her assessment of the house must be correct, she crossed the threshold, closed the door behind her, and re-­engaged the deadbolt. From the tote, she fished out an LED flashlight with two settings, clicked it to the dimmest beam, and surveyed a stylish kitchen with glossy white cabinets, black granite countertops, and stainless-­steel appliances. No cooking utensils were in sight. No designer china waited to be admired on the shelves of those few upper cabinets that featured display windows.

She passed through spacious rooms as dark as closed caskets and devoid of furniture. Although draperies were drawn over the windows, she kept the flashlight on low beam, directing it only at the floor.

She stayed close to the wall, where the stair treads were less likely to creak, but they still announced her as she ascended.

Although she wanted the front of the house, she toured the entire second floor to be certain she was alone. This was an upper-­middle-­class home in a desirable neighborhood, each bedroom with its private bath, though the chill in its vacant chambers gave rise in Jane to a presentiment of suburban decline and societal decay.

Or perhaps the dark, cold rooms were not what fostered this apprehension. In fact, a persistent foreboding had been with her for nearly a week, since she had learned what some of the most powerful people in this new world of technological wonders were planning for their fellow citizens.

She put her tote bag down by a window in a front bedroom and clicked off the flashlight and parted the draperies. She studied not the house directly across the street but the one next door to it, a fine example of Craftsman architecture.

Lawrence Hannafin lived at that address, a widower since the previous March. He and his late wife never had children. Though only forty-­eight—­twenty-­one years older than Jane—­Hannafin was likely to be alone.

She didn’t know if he might be an ally in waiting. More likely, he would be a coward with no convictions, who would shrink from the challenge she intended to put before him. Cowardice was the default position of the times.

She hoped that Hannafin wouldn’t become an enemy.

For seven years, she had been an FBI agent with the Critical Incident Response Group, most often assigned to cases involving Behavioral Analysis Units 3 and 4, which dealt with mass murders and serial killings, among other crimes. In that capacity, she’d killed only twice, in a desperate situation on an isolated farm. In the past week, on leave from the Bureau, she’d killed three men in self-­defense. She was now a rogue agent, and she’d had enough of killing.

If Lawrence Hannafin didn’t have the courage and integrity that his reputation suggested, Jane hoped that at least he would turn her away without attempting to bring her to justice. There would be no justice for her. No defense attorney. No jury trial. Considering what she knew about certain powerful people, the best she could hope for was a bullet in the head. They had the means by which to do much worse to her, the ability to break her, to scrub her mind of memories, rob her of free will, and reduce her to docile slavery.

Customer Reviews

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The Whispering Room 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Classic Koontz, hard to put down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am hooked on Jane Hawke!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Spectacular as always. Constantly up on your toes, so to speak, wondering what's gonna happen next. Fast page turner! Gonna read it again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jane Hawk is not to be believed. The scenario is very scary.
Anonymous 21 days ago
This was a story that made you not want to stop reading loved every minute of it.
TheBookLife 3 months ago
Jane Hawk, the rogue FBI agent still on the run from the aftermath of the first book, she has become hell bent on tracking down everyone involved with the new mind altering technology. The story opens with the death of Cora who is believed to be insane after claiming she has spiders in her brain. But Jane knows the truth ... This is the second book in the Jane Hawk series. I thought it was a little slow at first, had some intense plots but not enough to keep it moving. But that changed about halfway through the book. There were a lot of new characters, all equally important to Jane's cause. Each chapter switches to a different POV but Dean Koontz did a good job bringing everything back around. And, THE END, worth the read. I believe there are two more books in the series at the time of this review and I can't wait to continue on!
Celticlady1953KK 4 months ago
I have not read a Dean Koontz book in a lot of years. When I was offered this book, I thought it sounded really good and captivating. This book is a sequel to The Silent Corner which introduces the reader to a new heroine, Jane Hawk, whose husband committed suicide. Jane is on a mission to find out the truth. In The Whispering Room, Jane continues her search for the truth in the trail of a secret cabal of people who think that they are above the law. As usual, Mr.Koontz's writing is amazing as the story slowing pulls the reader in and doesn't let go. With believable characters and the continuation of a story that had me wanting more. I totally was immersed in the storyline and definitely want to read more by Mr.Koonz!
Anonymous 4 months ago
Hard to put down
Anonymous 10 months ago
Inspirational words, that create amazing scenes in the readers mind. Its like a motion picture in your mind that places you in the action, with the added benefit of knowing the turmoil of emotions in the minds of the many diverse characters. Dean Koontz is the finest kind of writer.
scarl More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Dean Koontz for a long time, and I think Jane Hawk may be his most interesting character yet. This book, as well as its predecessor,, keeps you glued to it. I could not put it down. I was disappointed when I finished reading it because I just wasn’t ready for it to be over. It has a lot of action and thrills, but I think the basic humanity of this woman and her love of her child is the heart of the story. I can’t wait for the next book to come out.
PaperDiva More than 1 year ago
I read the Silent Corner, The first installment in Dean Koontz’s Jane Hawk series, and really like it a lot. Jane is an FBI agent that has gone rogue trying to find out why her husband is dead and in the process she uncovers a conspiracy that is much larger than she thought. The Whispering room starts off with a bang from the get go right where the Silent Corner leaves off. Jane continues her plight to uncover the nanotechnology conspiracy that threatens the world. There is a lot of action and suspense and the story is fast paced. I really like Jane Hawk. She is a character I want to root for. I like the new direction Koontz is taking with his Jane Hawk thrillers. I can’t wait to see how this series ends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just love this character. One or two slow spots, but overall the story keeps moving. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the second book of a new series centered around Jane Hawk, a widowed mother and former FBI agent who is trying to save the world from villains who plan to take over the world using nanotechnology. Mr. Koontz has done a great job so far filling us in on Ms. Hawk's travels and travails. Some great new side characters make their first appearance here, too. This book is 600+ pages of fun and exciting reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting. Could not put it down!
birdladyvm More than 1 year ago
STORY-LINE THE WHISPERING ROOM BY DEAN KOONTZ: In The Whispering Room, Jane Hawke is on the run. Not only is she running for her and her son's life, but Jayne is also trying to stop a conspiracy which could end life in America as we know it. A group of powerful and influential men have plans for the American people. Jane is determined to find and destroy as many of them as she can. As well as, unravel the real purpose of the conspiracy. Jayne's husband supposedly committed suicide. However, when other suspicious suicides occur, Jayne follows the trail to a place no one would suspect of harboring a nightmare. Jayne becomes a predator as she finds clue after clue. Jayne is hunting the hunters and kicking butt. Will Jayne become as bad as the men she is hunting or will they find her first? My mystery suspense book reviews of The Whispering Room follows. CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT: The second book in the Jane Hawke novel's is a roller coaster ride of action and suspense, as well as, thought-provoking and chilling. When technology is in the hands of a few greedy demented people, evil easily occurs. Dean Koontz explores the avenues open to the greedy few in high places and the results. While nothing is as it seems, Jane's determination and grit carry her closer and closer to the full truth. Dean Koontz's writing is almost poetic as he lays out scene after scene with descriptive writing. I could vividly see each one. So vivid were the scenes I had chills reading the justifications and manipulations. As well as, the extent the few were willing to go to enslave America and the world. The depth Jane is ready to go to clear her husband's name and keep her son safe is a woman in search of answers. She is one woman against so many who have deep and endless resources, contacts, and demented furver. However, Jayne is not without her own seemly countless connections as well. Jayne's in possession of a truth they do not want made public; they must stop her. Will evil triumph over good in this chilling showdown? MY OPINION: The Whispering Room is a first-rate mystery suspense from the master of suspense, mystery, and horror. Dean Koontz's fully developed characters included a varied cast of interesting secondary characters. His writing flows smoothly and poetically throughout the novel. The premise of The Whispering Room is relevant to today and our advancing technology. I found the suspense held at a high peak throughout. The Whispering Room will cause chill bumps as Koontz explores the evil of man and the determination of a good woman seeking justice. As I neared the end of this book, I found myself nearer to the edge of my chair; anticipating the outcome. I would not hesitate to buy this book for myself or a friend. THE WHISPERING ROOM RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4 ALSO, PLEASE NOTE: I received a copy of this novel from Bookishfirst and chose to review the novel with honest mystery suspense book reviews voluntarily. Reviews of any novel are dependent on the review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews online and on my blog, are my opinions.
Gailfl More than 1 year ago
The Whispering Room is a diabolical tale of nanotechnology used for power and control by a few bad actors—a chilling premise. This thriller uses 21st century science to both educate and horrify the reader. Koontz’s lyrical style acts to calm the frightening aspects of the story. His characters development is excellent. Jane Hawk is a rogue FBI agent whose life has been permanently changed by these power-seeking bad guys. Luther Tillman, the sheriff in a small town in Minnesota, will suffer the same fate. Yet both show compassion and resolve despite their losses. I cared for each of these characters. In contrast, the bad guys were as despicable as Jane and Luther were likeable. I found all the characters true to their role in the story. Koontz’s vivid descriptions of the climate helped to set the scene and tenor. From the snows of Minnesota to the balm of the Southwest, he successfully presents the weather as a minor character. Words mesmerize me. They always have, from my earliest reading experiences. Finding an author who can make words sing is like discovering the golden pot at the end of a rainbow. Dean Koontz is that type of writer. While reading The Whispering Room, I found myself pausing many times to reread a paragraph that particularly sang for me. One of the greatest benefits of reading is that it makes you think. In trying to decide how to review this book, I pondered the difference between craft and talent in writing. I have read many authors who are good at crafting a story, but still do not capture the ah-ha response from the reader. That is where the art of writing comes into play. Dean Koontz is a masterful storyteller who has the talent to tell a compelling story with a lyrical voice and a clarity of description. I have not read the first Jane Hawk book— The Silent Corner will be the next biij that I read. Il also look forward to The Crooked Staircase in the Spring. I was sent this Advanced Readers Copy by BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review. .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good story. Fast pace. Only flaw I saw was the use of wood in a modern midrise building in San Francisco. Unlikely. Still a book worth your time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had a hard time putting down. Want Jane to triumph over evil so badly. Great Koontz style. Looking forward to the 3rd in this triology. JDL 1/5/18
MandaLuvsToRead More than 1 year ago
This book was almost impossible to put down. Quite honestly, it gave me the wiggins. Without giving too much away, it's centered around subjects like nanotechnology, brain implants, and corruption and mind control at the highest levels. Is such a thing even possible? It's certainly the kind of thing that keeps conspiracy theorists up at night, and just the slightest idea that it could happen is terrifying. Our heroine has everything to gain and nothing to lose by going up against this dark entity, which makes her journey so exciting. The writing is solid and the characters are multi-faceted, something I've come to expect from Koontz's previous works. If you enjoy action and a good thriller, you will definitely like The Whispering Room.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great and fast read! Couldn't put it down. The off color language in a Dean Koonts book......whats up with that, Dean?
mzglorybe More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars from this reader. Dean Koontz is at his best in this new series featuring rogue FBI Agent Jane Hawk. Her husband was forced to commit suicide by a drug implanted in him that causes brain/personality manipulation. He was an intelligent man who may have threatened the goals of the master-manipulators who invented this nanotechnology. Those individuals are on a hit list, and manipulated into committing suicides. Jane's got it all figured out after book 1 and out to bring them all down, whatever the cost, and often times it may be her very own life. Strongly recommend potential readers start with book 1 - The Silent Corner. It will just bring you much more enjoyment as well as a good flow to the plot line. There are some references to what went on in book 1, but not enough to get a real feel for the emotional ride that it was. At times my heart was hammering in my chest, and my stomach in knots what with the situations Jane gets herself into. She is an admirable do-good-for-the people person, and some of the people she meets on this journey see it as well. The only thing that didn't set well with me was what eventually happens with Mr. Michael, the main guy she is after. Yes, it is open for continuation. Looking forward to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great story perfectly executed, one if his best imho. Waiting for more of Jane!
TheBookBag More than 1 year ago
Another amazing story from Koontz! I haven't read a Koontz book in a while and this one reminded me why I love his stories so much. This one grabbed me from the first chapter, with interesting characters, wonderful descriptions, and plenty of action. Jane is a loving wife and mom but her FBI badass personality comes out big time when her family is threatened.She goes rogue to try to stop the murderous people who took her husband's life and are wreaking havoc using mind control on unsuspecting people. The Whispering Room is book #2 in this series. I haven't had a chance to read books #1, The Silent Corner, yet but I am definitely going to be. I fell right into book #2 without feeling like I missed anything by not reading the first book. Now I just want to go back and learn the backstory.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really absorbing read.