Dean Koontz – What the Night Knows – book review

Dean Koontz – ‘What the Night Knows’
Bantam Books

This latest novel by the prolific Koontz is a classic page-turner of supernatural horror. In streamline fashion, Koontz delivers just what you need to progress quickly into and through the story. Many years ago, Koontz locked into a writing formula and although his novels never stray too far from his blockbuster-maker plots and techniques, they are nevertheless, enjoyable.

The brief; John Calvino had been a fourteen year old boy when his family was killed by brutal serial killer, Alton Blackwood. He only survived by killing the murderer in self defense. Many years later Calvino is a homicide detective with a family of his own. When he begins to investigate a new rash of ritual family slayings, Calvino is convinced that Blackwood has somehow managed to escape the clutches of death and that his own family is in grave danger.

The story is interspersed with readings from Alton Blackwood’s journal, which unveil an interesting back story, while helping to build the suspense in the present time. The book makes for some quick and intense reading in the first half but then gets sluggish as the story moves away from the Calvino family to other families threatened by the Blackwood entity. Eventually, it does come back to the Calvino’s story. The intensity is ratcheted up until it leads to a not-surprising yet epic finale, a battle of wills, and good vs. evil.

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