Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the Southern California organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. Among dog lovers, she's a legend for the risks she'll take to save an animal from abuse. Among her friends, Amy's heedless devotion is often cause for concern. To widower Brian McCarthy, whose commitment she can't allow herself to return, Amy's behavior is far more puzzling and hides a shattering secret.
No one is surprised when Amy risks her life to save Nickie, nor when she takes the female golden into her home. The bond between Amy and Nickie is immediate and uncanny. Even her two other goldens, Fred and Ethel, recognize Nickie as special, a natural alpha. But the instant joy Nickie brings is shadowed by a series of eerie incidents: An ominous stranger. A mysterious home invasion. And the unmistakable sense that someone is watching Amy's every move, and that, whoever it is, he's not alone.
Someone has come back to turn Amy into the desperate, hunted creature she's always been there to save. But now there's no one to save Amy and those she loves.
From its breathtaking opening scene to its shocking climax, The Darkest Evening of the Year is Dean Koontz at his finest.
©2007 Dean Koontz; (P)2007 Random House, Inc.
"With a magician's expertise, Koontz sets his multiple story lines spinning forward, jumping from one cliffhanger to the next....[T]his is a compulsively readable book that inexorably pulls the reader along." (The Boston Globe)
I am a long time fan of Dean Koontz. I have read most of his works, and I'd have to say this one was a little disappointing -- especially the ending. I agree with the first reviewer that he did his homework concerning animal rescue, but I thought the tearjerk parts were deliberately overdone and unnecessary to the plot. I don't want to be a "spoiler", so I won't say anymore on the subject.
I will say, however, it was nothing like "Watchers", "Dark Rivers of the Heart", or even "Dragon Tears". I gave it 3 stars because anything Mr. Koontz writes is worth 2 automatically.
Each time I am in possession of a Dean Koontz book, I am excited like a child at Christmas awaiting the opening of a gift. This book was such a treat. Not far into the book I sat back, smiled and sighed very contentedly--knowing this was going to be a gem of a tale--he was already describing, with tender understanding, a subject dear to my heart--He was writing about Goldens.
As with other of his books, Dean Koontz weaves the words as if magic interlaced each sentence. And with a keen knowledge gained only from personal experience of the mysteries of life, the author describes the wondrous and how it can influence our lives.
Goldens are like the brightest star, blazing through the darkness of night, and they are like a sun that outshines the day. They burn so intensely, so brightly. And for some, that blaze is for only a short time on this planet. Well, at least they get to spend more time in Heaven if their stay here is not as long as we'd like it to be. In nature there must always be a balance. Perhaps their stay is weighed with the goodness that fills them. It is said one cannot get enough of a good thing--Goldens are that good thing to me.
I think our furry family members have the capacity for deep compassion, love, and concern for beings of all types, human and otherwise. I believe it goes beyond human understanding--because what they give comes from a heart that is pure, a spirit that is guileless, and a soul that operates on a level higher than anything close to human.
I am convinced Goldens unfurl their wings when we are not looking. Have you ever noticed an expression they have, especially when they smile, that gives hint to something wondrous and grand? As if they have the most incredible gift they are hiding behind their back but you can tell they want so very much to show you what it is. Well, when I see that expression I could swear I feel the flutter of their wings in my heart. Thank you for supporting Golden Rescue.
I have long been a Dean Koonz fan and have looked forward to all new releases. I thought that this book was off to a good start, but little did I realize that if I wasn't a rabid golden retriever fan that this book would soon lose all sense of credibility and appeal. Honestly Dean- a golden retriever "angel"? I frankly was gagging at the insipidness by the end. What a vapid disappointment!
Ok, blame it on me. I should have listened to some of this before I paid for it. The violence and foul language was such that I couldn't even get through the first 5 mins. I COULD NOT TAKE IT.
I'm a fan of Dean Koontz so half way through this I had to go back and check to see if possibly it had been ghosted by another author. If you were looking for an uplifting, spiritual dog book, this might be ok, but it's title should be something akin to "Lassie Come Home" and not listed as a thriller or mystery. It was too preachy and simply so unbelievable to be distracting. Also, a bad reading--the reader did not handle the male characters at all well to the point of distraction. I would have quick half-way through, but against my nature and I was curious, but didn't enjoy the book at all.
So good, I simply wanted to read "The Darkest Evening of the Year" all over again; and I probably will in the near future. (I just recently reread/listened to "From the Corner of His Eye" - the third read of this one! :-) ) There's no one that I know of who's beter, but I'll enjoy the search to try to disprove this, with the help of this great audio service!
The book starts slow, a lot of synonyms used at nauseum really slows the story down at first. The story picks up and becomes really interesting and starts to tighten up and speed up as the book progresses. The ending is rediculous. King and Koontz, masterfull storytellers, have of late seem to have lost the ability or have not put much effort into good endings.
Long commutes have turned me into a dedicated Audible fan. Looking at my stats I can't believe I have 825 titles in my Library.
If you love dogs, especially that wonderful gift to humankind known as the Golden Retriever and if you like a good good vs evil mystery then this book will satisfy in spades.
Money well spent and several commutes that weren't long enough.
Even though I am a Koontz fan, I have noticed that his recent stories are very preachy as to what types of people are good and worthy and what type are bad, wrong and unworthy. The bad guys in this book are extremely evil, even ridiculously so. Give me a break, Dean! Lets get a little real here. Tbe good guys and bad guys you have created are just way out there.
I do enjoy his dog characters as I am a dog lover. Golden retrievers are near saints and geniuses in his books...what about pitbull mixes (my dog)?? lol
I managed to get to the end of this silly book but was disappointed with it overall.
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