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Publisher's Summary

In the late summer of a long-ago year, a killer arrived in a small city. His name was Alton Turner Blackwood, and in the space of a few months he brutally murdered four families. His savage spree ended only when he himself was killed by the last survivor of the last family, a 14-year-old boy.

Half a continent away and two decades later, someone is murdering families again, re-creating in detail Blackwood’s crimes. Homicide detective John Calvino is certain that his own family — his wife and three children — will be targets in the fourth crime, just as his parents and sisters were victims on that distant night when he was 14 and killed their slayer.

As a detective, John is a man of reason who deals in cold facts. But an extraordinary experience convinces him that sometimes death is not a one-way journey, that sometimes the dead return.

Here is a ghost story like no other you have read. In the Calvinos, Dean Koontz brings to life a family that might be your own, in a war for their survival against an adversary more malevolent than any he has yet created, with their own home the battleground. Of all his acclaimed novels, none exceeds What the Night Knows in power, in chilling suspense, and in sheer mesmerizing storytelling.

©2010 Dean Koontz (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Dean Koontz... has the power to scare the daylights out of us.” (People)
“Koontz seems to know us, our deepest foibles and fears.” (USA Today)
“Koontz writes first-rate suspense, scary and stylish.” (Los Angeles Times)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

One of the better Koontz books

Yes, he's wordy and overly descriptive. It's his style. If you don't like it, don't read a Koontz book. But if you do like his style and his books, you will love this book. I didn't find it predictable at all. The narrator was perfect and drew me into the story and kept me totally entertained. I'm ready to start listening to it all over again.

39 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Koontz is back!

I have read all of the Koontz books,new and old, and was disappointed in the last few but "What the night knows" brought back the Koontz I love to read or listen to. Very enjoyable.

49 of 53 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Derek B.
  • A strange midwestern city, United States
  • 02-20-11


This was a very good book. If you have read a lot of Dean Koontz books then you are used to the super-natural aspect that they sometimes have. I would suggest not reading them if you can not free up your mind a little because some on them, like this one, require an open mind for a part or two! If you can do that just a little then this book won't disapoint, but if you have to understand the science behind every aspect of a book then you will have a moment or 3 that will have you unhappy. Again, I loved this book and I look forward to the next one.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Connie
  • Shawnee, KS, United States
  • 01-13-11

Finally, a Dean Koontz that reads as a Dean Koontz

I have been a Dean Koontz fan for more years than I can count. I had been disappointed in some of his newer stuff, and preperred to re-read his older stories.
Finally! Here is a new one that was suspensful, great storyline and the dialog was believable. However, in some places in the story, I did get a little confused but was able to catch up quickly.

I felt this was Vintage Koontz and it was very enjoyable. I may read it again next week!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

nice surprise

Although I know Koontz can be somewhat redundant in his plots, I thought this was an entertaining and fresh approach to his supernatural narrative. I have been disappointed by some of his recent work, but thoroughly enjoyed this story. Wordy, yes at times, but not irrelevantly so. Kept my interest, and not particularly predictable, in my opinion, except for the "good will win out over evil" theme that is Koontz's trademark. If you want something else, something less traditional good/evil, read Stephen King.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Back In Fine Form

The last Koontz novel I listened to was way below his standards. Great idea, poorly executed.

This one has plenty of energy and plenty of twists...a lot of supernatural activity...and definitely draws you in. If I could have changed one thing, I would have made it slightly less grisly...especially as some of the victims are kids. But I still really liked it, and will probably be back to listen to it again at some point.

Stephen Weber does a fairly good job of narration. He's not in the class of Patton and Guidall...but he's also a big better than average. He didn't distract from the story as so many narrators do. Solid overall.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Bob
  • North Lauderdale, FL, United States
  • 01-08-11

He's back

What a disturbing book. I wonder how he thinks up story lines like this. The old Dean Koontz is definitely back. It is well written and narrated. If you want to be terrorized, this book is for you.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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As Ambitious as a Dung Beetle

Some authors scare you by having things jump out at you and sometimes Koontz does that. This is another one of those books where the victim knows ahead of time he is going to be a victim, he even knows the time and place, yet he can't seem to do anything about it. What could be more agonizing then the expectation of horror?

Koontz develops characters that you love and root for. Three children are in this book, a thirteen, Eleven and Eight year old. Koontz remembers the perfect love of a 13 year old boy, before he knows lust. The eleven year old girl, who fantasizes about being a princess and how children seem to think that good things are just going to happen to them. The hero of the story is the eight year old, who has more common sense then any of them. It seems also that Koontz is mourning the lost of a favorite dog in this story. There is a conversation on faith and the enemy within.

A voice is given to evil and Koontz explores again inbreeding.

The important thing about Koontz is that he entertains, first and foremost. With most of his books you will not get bored. There seems to be two types of Koontz fans, those who love the Odd series and those who love his other works best. I fall in the latter.

Here are my favorite Koontz books in order: The Bad Place, Lightning, Frankenstein: Lost Souls, Frankenstein: Prodigal Son, What The Night Knows, Phantoms, Darkness Under The Sun, Dragon Tears, By the LIght Of The Moon, and Life Expectancy.

32 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Suzn F
  • Fletcher, VT, US
  • 01-08-11

Koontz fan... but....

I really love this author, he has written some of my all time favorite mysteries. This time however, I must agree with some of the other disappointed reviewers. Although the plot was fairly interesting on it's own, I agree that this story has some of the same aspects of the more recent novels, perfect marriage, perfect kids, rich rich family, fancy house with extra security, etc, etc. The novel lacked depth and intrigue for me, sorry. I too found it all too predictable and would be happy to welcome back Odd Thomas or something new that would remind us all of why we love this author so much. This novel pales in comparison to From the Corner of his Eye in my opinion. Still, I'm glad to have listened.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • Sarasota, FL, United States
  • 01-07-11

Dean Koontz is Back!

After a couple of disappointing offerings, Mr. Koontz has once again produced a story that is fresh, has a plot we all can follow and carries it through to the end. I give it four stars here because, in my opinion, he is generally (when on his game) a four star writer - with the notable exception of Watchers, the 5-star book that made me a lifelong Koontz fan - and that is Okay! His work is interesting, uncomplicated and fun to read. Thanks Dean!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Ian
  • 01-26-11

Great Listen

I'm still slightly nervous when I hear noises around the house, I finished the book three days ago!
I couldn't stop listening, one of the best ghost stories I've heard. I've had mixed success with Dean Koontz books but this will definitely get me buying more.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kaggy
  • 12-14-13


Okay I should have known what to expect. I am after all no stranger to the horror genre. There was nothing however in this story that got me hooked and it was all a bit too silly for me to want to read it to the end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 04-16-11

What on earth!

I bought this book after reading 'Watchers' again by Dean Kootz.
I've read quite a few of his books and although most are somewhat difficult to get into on the whole they've been thoroughly enjoyable.
So I wasn't too concerned when this book started meandering around, well, I got about a third way into part 2 of the book and started to think what on earth is going on, I kept going back through the book listening again trying to make some sense of it till I suddenly realised that I didn't care what happened.
And that's where I am todate, the first audible book that I haven't finished.
My opinion is it's a complete waste of time and money.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Cassar
  • 06-11-16

Not one of his best

Not one of Koontz best writings.
I found it rather full and confusing at times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Caroline
  • 02-11-11


Its been a lot of years since I had read a Dean Koontz book. I just wanted something a little different. Amazed how good the book was, I really was gripped to my seat and could not stop listening.

Good characters, good story, brilliantly read

I have now gone and purchased some more dean koontz

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Baradun
  • 04-01-11

Gruesome but good

This story is a thriller with supernatural and horror elements. Fans of Koontz will enjoy it though it is a bit more gruesome than many of his books. A gripping tale and well read.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Adaline
  • 07-09-15

Slow to start but worth staying the course.

It took me several attempts to get through this book. The first half is boring, drifting, and difficult. However, the second part more than makes up for this, in my opinion.
As soon as it took off, it was nailbitingly thrilling. As in most Koontz books, the end was unpredictable.
It's definitely not one of his best, and I am sad to say that I have another few in my library waiting to be finished.
I think he is losing his magic touch.
However, if you can endure the first half of this strange tell, the second part will reward your persistence.
The narration is excellent.

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  • Mr
  • 06-21-13

Mystiriously Entertaining

What did you like most about What the Night Knows?

I enjoyed this book throughout. Although this is the first Dean Koontz book I have come across, I must say it is well written and narrated. The build up toward the tense parts of the story, are also good. Although favourite part has to be the ending. When the family realize that they have a polterguist stalking their house.

What was one of the most memorable moments of What the Night Knows?

The ending. When the family realize that they have a polterguist stalking their house.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A mysterious bone chilling thriller.

  • Overall
  • Derek
  • 04-22-11

Koontz quality

I first got hooked on Koontz's deft storytelling skill after his novella Black River, and this is another fine release. As with some of his other works, I find myself wanting to hear it faster than it is read - it is so exciting. Well worth getting!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 04-16-11

What the Night Knows (Unabridged)" by Dean Koontz

yet another great book from Dean Koontz, good story line with twists through out. kept my attention all the way through the book. Loved it. 10/10

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  • Martine
  • 02-06-17


I loved listening to this, many late nights, I found it very hard to turn off!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful