Review: The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

Since I've been having some problems with my left hand after an accident, I've been reading more than writing.

It had been some time since I read a new Dean Koontz book so I grabbed The Silent Corner, the first book in his Jane Hawk series.

The book is new to me, but it was published in 2017 so you may have read it already.

I loved all of Mr. Koontz's early books, but my delight for his mixed genre stories waned in the late 1990's. I think it was the increasing theme of "end times" that turned me off combined with several deaths in the family and increasing health problems for my daughter.

Real life tragic events made me stay away from books and movies that might make me even more discouraged about life, and that pretty much described the increasing grimness in Mr. Koontz's books.

I found stories that pitted a lone hero/heroine against international consortiums involving government, law enforcement, pharmaceutical companies, military, and "normal" people who willingly carried out their evil deeds grim indeed.

I hoped The Silent Corner would be somewhat different since it had a woman helming the series.

Ripped from the Headlines

I'll say up front that the book was depressing given the state of the world today. The way the author ties current events to the conspiracy in the book that cost Jane Hawk everyone dear to her is ingenious and scary. Doubly so when you realize the book was probably written in 2016 since it was published a year later—3 years before COVID, the civil unrest that's paralyzing so many countries, and the financial upheaval afflicting just about every country.

I had just read a bunch of things on the internet about the desire by some to introduce nanites into the human genome and the dangers and fears of this made the book even scarier to me.

The Silent Corner is a page-turner that freaked me out because, like many of Mr. Koontz's books, the premise is all too possible. 

I've read about the research and development at too many international conglomerates that involve nanobot technology. 

The upside is always presented: the ability to eradicate genetic disease, the promise of great health, higher intelligence, and longer lives.

Not much is ever presented about the downside and the moral issues not to mention the fact that the human genome would be forever changed, i.e., we would no longer be completely human. 

Scientists seem to think because something is possible that it should be done. I do believe there are too many people in the world who lack a moral compass, and characters like that populate this book. Maybe more research scientists should read this book and others like it and view it as a cautionary tale.


“I very much need to be dead.”

These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for—but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demand: find the truth, no matter what.

People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important—so terrifying—that they will exterminate anyone in their way.

But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless—and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.

My Thoughts

When I finished the book and briefly reviewed it for Darling Hubby, he asked what I was reading next. When I told him the second book in the series, he asked why. 

Like him, you may be wondering why I was reading another book in the series when it sounds as if I didn't care much for the first. Two reasons.

1. Dean Koontz is a master storyteller. Despite being freaked out, I'm compelled to find out if Jane Hawk escapes all of the evil people and their plots and exposes them. Of course, there are 5 books in this series so I know that won't happen until the last book—if it happens at all.

It may end up in a stalemate situation where she survives only to go further underground and unite with others concerned about the fate of the human race.

2. Dean Koontz has a way with language that's elegant and beautiful. I am in awe of his abiity to describe anything and everything in unique memorable ways.

I go back and re-read passages just to absorb the way he does this.

Although many readers fault him for the sheer volume of words that gush forth in a scene, I don't because it's a delightful avalanche of prose.

Takeaway Truth

If you've not read The Silent Corner or any Dean Koontz book before, do yourself a favor and grab one. My 3 all-time favorites are Watchers, Lightning, and Phantoms

You'll see daybreaks, storms, people, buildings, evil doers, and just about everything else described differently. Oh, and don't read right before bedtime. You may have nightmares.

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