Title: The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz
Genre: Currently #76 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine
Publication Date: To be released November 21, 2017
Source: Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley
See what I mean? Obviously, I have been living under a rock, as if I’ve read a book by Dean Koontz before, you know I’d have remembered it. The Whispering Room is, yes, the second in the Jane Hawk series, having best-seller The Silent Corner directly preceding it, and apparently preceding it by only a few months(?! Is that even possible?). Apparently so, as here it is continuing exactly where the first left off (so I’ve been told). And–old story–I haven’t read the first one. Holy Moses! Mr. Koontz really puts the prose out prominently, doesn’t he?
Cora Gundersun, beloved special-needs schoolteacher, takes a 180-degree turn from her usually easy-going, sweet and sympathetic character to that of mass murderer. Neither is she meant to survive. Sheriff Luther Tillman of Minnesota knows this is not the Cora the whole town knew and loved. When the feds come in and perfunctorily dismiss his local law office of involvement, Sheriff Tillman goes on a mission to find out what happened to her. That will eventually have him joining Jane in her continuing crusade to find and bring to justice those responsible for the reprehensible nanotechnology being implanted into the innocent and unsuspecting public. But it will cost him. Big Time.
Jane is the ubiquitous former FBI agent gone rogue. She’s smart, she’s dangerous, and she’s on a mission to nail those responsible for her husband’s death and now the threat to her five-year-old son. Further, she has contacts borne of her years in law enforcement–allies–as Sheriff Tillman soon becomes. She is not without resources. She is determined and uncommonly competent, whether man or woman, and has skin in the game. Jane keeps a step ahead of all those who have put her on the most wanted list and appears capable of staying ahead, as she follows one lead to another, each calculated to get her closer to her perceived target. And she will–get there.
It is obvious that installment one sets up the plot and fleshes out Jane. She has gathered the proof she needs to break the conspiracy cabal that plots the takeover of the common man–anyone who is deemed a problem, eliminated; a simple worker bee, assimilated. Koontz polishes his prose, keeping you dazzled and often rereading to get the full import while throwing in bucket loads of three hundred dollar words. (Thank heaven for the built-in dictionary in Kindle.) The implant plot had me reliving the terror evoked of the original 1956 horror film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
Sheriff Tillman, immensely sympathetic, is fully fleshed enough you feel sorry for the ole boy, at times flapping behind the coat tails of Jane as she deftly handles the deadly force set against them. Since we’re already talking nanotechnology and implants, I’m not sure this could really be seen as sci-fi–as it appears a reality in the not too distant future. How much further could it be taken by others is another whole matter.
The book sets up a suspenseful heart-sinking tone and begins the rush to secure mankind. The pace seldom stutters or slips, although if I had a problem it was the inclusion of a couple scenes seemed unnecessary to further the plot and only served to add pages to what some might deem an already over-long narrative (especially for the second in a series that does not conclude the story). Additionally, there is a dizzying variety of cars employed in her getaway, “out-runners” and the police unit, but I swear she always seems to end up in Fords.
I enjoyed the character of Sheriff Tillman, and that of his family, especially the perceptible daughter Jolie (whose dialogue was SOOO 17), and Bernie Riggowitz, that lively driven and recently widowed octogenarian. He is sharp, has a sense of humor, and is a total kick. The trip that acquires Bernie on the ally list is a long and arduous one, but leaves Bernie safely in a warm and safe clime while she pursues the intel that will get her to D. J. Michael of Far Horizon, if not the Arcadians themselves. If she can’t right the wrong, she’ll die trying.
This book was offered as a download from Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine and NetGalley for an honest review and I was thrilled for the opportunity to read and review this title and best-selling author. Would I read another? Oh yeah!
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point five of Five Stars
The Author: Dean Ray Koontz has been acknowledged as “America’s most popular suspense novelist” as dubbed by the Rolling Stone. He is one of today’s most successful writers and has also published under a variety of other names, including Brian Coffey, Deanna Dwyer, and Aaron Wolfe. He has a worldwide following and the praise of critics everywhere. A #1 New York Times best seller, he lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda and their golden retriever Elsa, who is following in the paw prints of their previous goldens, Trixie and Anna. His current Amazon Author Rank is at #8 in Literature & Fiction, Horror, and #31 in Thrillers & Suspense. ©2017 Virginia Williams