Thursday, March 13, 2008

Book Review

Chris bought me this book, The Darkest Evening of the Year, for Christmas, but I did not get around to reading it till a couple of weeks ago.
I have got to say that while I like some of his books better than others, I have never read a book by Dean Koontz that I didn't like.
Koontz writes with 2 enduring concepts in pretty much any book he writes. They are:
1- Meaningful, committed, long term -even eternal- relationships between 2 main characters.
2- Golden Retrievers.
This particular book was no exception.
In some of his earlier books, from maybe 15 or so years ago, this first concept is not so developed as it is now.
But whenever I read a book by Dean Koontz, part of the fun for me is finding the Golden Retriever. Very often he places this dog simply on a sidewalk that the hero notices walking past. Sometimes the main character owns a Golden, and in a few of his books, this being one of them, the Golden Retriever is one of the primary players.
In fact, in this novel, the heroine, Amy Redwing, has founded a Golden Retriever rescue foundation and these dogs are discussed at length. Important to this novel are the concepts of adequate care and treatment of animals, as well as the tremendous benefits and rewards that come through owning and loving a dog.

In the Darkest Evening of the Year the plot lines seemed at times to cross and connect in slightly improbable ways, but Koontz was Koontz and carried a slightly fantastic story to the end with believability. (Or maybe I'm just gullible, I'm not sure).

In order to have contrast to the protagonist's "Golden Heart" which was the name of her rescue organization as well as a symbol of her goodness, the bad guys were incredibly bad, indulging in arson, murder, torture and child abuse.

This was a little hard to stomach, but it made me ache even more for goodness to win out.

All in all, I enjoyed this book very much and would definitely reccomend it. Especially if you are a Dean Koontz kind of person.

I think this book was inspired somewhat because Koontz's own dog Trixie, who has graced the back covers of many of his books, and is even credited for writing her own book (with his help of course), passed away last year.

I was sorry to hear that.

Let me add that my favorite Koontz' of all time are Watchers (another one where a dog is the main character) and Odd Thomas.

Good reading.



Carrie & Karl said...

I've never read Dean Koontz, but I've noticed that John Grisham does something similar with Mormons. They are mentioned briefly in pretty much every book (I don't know if it's every book-but in most of them). Since I am Mormon it's funny to see the references to us. They are usually something like the main character runs down the street and is stopped briefly by some Mormon missionaries.

Della Hill said...

Dean Koontz often mentions Mormons too. I think he did in this one, but I don't remember the specific comment. Something like one of the bad guys was going to go live in Utah where noone would notice him.
I also enjoy Grisham.

Chet & Liz Hugo said...

I've read some of Koontz's novels, but I have to say not one of my favorite authors. Don't know why. Lately, I've been reading George R.R. Martin's Ice and Fire Saga (a Game of Thrones, etc...) If you enjoy fantasy, they're pretty good books.--Liz

shrinkingme said...

I believe I have read nearly every one of his books thanks to Alan who buys them and passes them on! I will get this one next. It's funny you mention him because just today I finished "The House Of Thunder" by Dean Koontz. While I also recognize he is big into the whole golden retriever concept, I must say as hard as I am reviewing this book in my mind at this moment, I do not recall a golden retriever in this one! You have me very curious though, maybe this is one where the dog just isn't mentioned! And Carrie, I also love John Grisham. I recently read "Even Steven" and am curious to read the next book after this...

Della Hill said...

I will have to make a note of that. It seems like any book that you have recommended has been good, so I will try that series.
Every now and then Koontz either leaves the dog out or I miss it. But that is usually the exception.
I haven't read House of Thunder yet. I'll have to pick it up.