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Dark Rivers of the Heart: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Dean Koontz
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (262 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $2.00 (20%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Dean Koontz's The City.

A man and a woman meet by chance in a bar. Suddenly they are fleeing the long arm of a clandestine and increasingly powerful renegade government agency -- the woman hunted for the information she possesses, the man mistaken as her comrade in a burgeoning resistance movement.

The architect of the chase is a man of uncommon madness and cruelty -- ruthless, possibly psychotic, and equipped with a vast technological arsenal. He is the brazen face of an insidiously fascistic future. And he is virtually unstoppable. But he has never before come up against the likes of his current quarry. Both of them are survivors of singularly horrific pasts. Both have long been emboldened by their experiences to fight with reckless courage for their own freedom. Now they are plunged into a struggle for the freedom of their country, and for the sanctity of their own lives.

Dark Rivers of the Heart is an electrifying thriller that steers us along the razor edge of a familiar, terrifying reality.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Koontz's tale of a man, a woman and a dog on the run from a high-tech rogue government agency was a PW bestseller for nine weeks.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Spencer Grant is on the run from a nameless, violent government agency. His goal is to keep away from his pursuers long enough to find the woman he met the night before, who appears to be their real target. Spencer has no idea why they want to kill Valerie Keene, but his brief acquaintance with her has convinced him that the killers have no good reason for wanting her dead. With his game but fearful dog, Rocky, Spencer leads the killers on a frustrating chase. By the end of the story, Spencer must confront his own personal demons as well as the bizarre sociopathic agent leading the hunt. The government's activities-especially the incredible surveillance techniques that Koontz, in an afterword, claims are currently being used-help create an atmosphere of intense paranoia and fear. This superb suspense novel will surely delight the author's many fans.
--A.M.B. Amantia, Population Action International, Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1126 KB
  • Print Length: 578 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345533038
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (June 29, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000T8F51C
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,258 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Koontz formula at its best December 3, 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Here's the typical Dean Koontz novel*: (1) an emotionally tortured, often widowed ex-military or ex-law enforcement guy (2) meets an equally emotionally damaged, often divorced or widowed woman (3) who together encounter Something Unusual (could be teleportation, alien encounters, time travel, or genetically engineered animals), and (4) in the course of understanding/unraveling the Something Unusual, heal each other.
The two best variations on this formula are "Watchers" and "Dark Rivers of the Heart." To give away the Something Unusual here would take away too much fun, but suffice it to say that there's a psychotic government (?) assassin running loose with a license to kill, more or less.
What distinguishes "Dark Rivers" is that the paranoid atmosphere Koontz generates is palpable, and exists even when you are reading chapters devoted to the assassin. Second, Koontz's writing really shines at parts; the first chapter -- go ahead, read it -- resonates with emotional depth; you really feel the loneliness and desperate hope of the hero. The sequence set in Utah with the assassin's ruminations on how to fit in with the Mormon police officers is unexpectedly (but no doubt intentionally) funny.
While the book is not as explicitly violent as some of his other works ("Phantoms" and "Hideaway" come to mind), there are some disturbingly nasty scenes, particularly near the conclusion, so readers with weak stomachs should proceed cautiously.
* Admittedly, the Moonlight Bay novels ("Fear Nothing" and "Seize the Night") have diverged a bit from this.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A river runs through it... September 5, 2000
By blender
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the few Koontz novels I've read that doesn't have some sort of strange monster (man-made or alien) in it. However, the suspense and drama does not lack for the absence of a monster, as Koontz ably portrays man as the ultimate evil to himself.
Spencer Grant has spent the better half of his lifetime erasing his past, eliminating the connections to the evil, the monster, who gave him life. The ghost of his father's past haunts him everywhere he goes, having left its mark on him in the form of a cicatricial scar that runs from his ear to his chin. Spencer has not found the life that he so desperately needs to find, although he has found himself to be good at many things in life.
In his search for the missing memories of the event that changed everything in his life, Spencer finds himself at the Red Door bar, and strikes up a conversation with Valerie Keane. Something between them just "clicks", and Spencer returns the next night to see her once more...and thus begins the incredible journey that brings Spencer face to face with his past, and his future.
Koontz' characters in Dark Rivers of the Heart are well-conceived and colorful. The plot never suffered throughout, as Koontz switches perspectives from Roy Miro, to Spencer, to Valerie, to Eve, and so on.
What is probably the scariest concept of this novel is that the property forfeiture laws that the secret agency makes use of are actually on the books and in effect today, perhaps not to the extent abused by Tom Summerton and the agency, but real nonetheless.
Fast-paced, engaging, and thrilling, though not the "chiller" novel one would expect from Koontz.
Peace Out.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This time, Koontz nails it December 31, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Okay, confession time: I've been a bit hard on Dean Koontz in some of my other reviews. The downside of being able to write good suspense is that your fans get their hopes up, and then you've got a lot of expectations to live up to.
With respect to _Dark Rivers of the Heart_, though, it's simply not an issue. This novel is dynamite (and a rare exception to the general rule that Koontz's best books tend to be found among the ones with the single-word titles). It's not only one of his most riveting "chase" novels, but also a cautionary tale about creeping fascism that sadly couldn't be more relevant -- even a decade after its release.
Some will assume that Koontz has concocted an exaggerated scenario in Chapter Twelve, in which an innocent local cop is framed by a psychotic federal agent. Surely the government can't confiscate your house and your bank accounts merely by implying that you're involved with drugs, without convicting you of (or even charging you with) a crime. Can it?
Yes. It can. It happens all the time. All you need to do is to make the wrong enemies (or own the wrong land, as millionaire Donald Scott found out just before he was shot to death in a bogus drug raid). Koontz has done his homework, and he has used the power of popular fiction to expose open secrets that are simply too scary for most of us -- whether we're liberal or conservative -- to think about. Bravo.
The Orlando Sentinel writes: "As it appears, George Orwell was ten years late, and it is left to Dean Koontz to add the finishing touches to an Orwellian future that is here and now. One of his best novels." While I'm not yet prepared to place Koontz in the same class as Orwell, there is obvious synchronicity. Hear them both now, or believe them both later.
Pheasants and dragons!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite Dean Koontz book
This is my favorite Dean Koontz book -- period. I read it many, many years ago and was blown away. It has villains whose depravity is so great, they are among the vilest... Read more
Published 16 days ago by dch822
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favorites!!
Published 24 days ago by Idaho_Ranger
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
The book is fiction but seems to reflect some of the political problems our country is currently having. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Beau Bear
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read.
It's Koontz, nothing else needs be said, except I think he can see into the future.
Published 2 months ago by E. Susan Barger
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener
I give this book 5 stars because it was a good book from beginning to end. I have read several of Dean Koontz's novels and find his stories quite intriguing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pennie
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a great read. I have a friend in Australia that ...
It was a great read. I have a friend in Australia that we read a book together and this was his pick. We both had fun discussing it.
Published 3 months ago by Carlene Eastlund
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Drags on a bit in some areas.
Published 4 months ago by Linda Killinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
arrived promptly and as described
Published 4 months ago by Lee A. Burt
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my all-time favorite Dean Koontz book
This is my all-time favorite Dean Koontz book. I've read it 4 or 5 times and will most likely read it plenty more times.
Published 4 months ago by Matthew Scott Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed this book - - - and the way Dean Koontz' mind works.
Published 4 months ago by Margaret Cane
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More About the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

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Dark River of the heart or Twilight Eyes
Twilight eyes, without a doubt. It's one of my favorites. :)
May 23, 2008 by Amanda Young |  See all 3 posts
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