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Sole Survivor: A Novel Paperback – July 31, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780345533449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345533449
  • ASIN: 0345533445
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (647 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Joe Carpenter, the hero of Dean Koontz's newest novel, Sole Survivor, is a man nearly paralyzed by grief. One year earlier, his wife and two children had been among the 230 victims of a plane crash that left no survivors. So when Joe encounters a woman who claims to have been aboard that plane and survived the catastrophe, and then she almost immediately disappears, he is understandably riled up. In the course of trying to track this woman down, Joe finds himself entangled in a web of shadowy conspiracy and perilous secrets.

In this latest book, Koontz pumps up the volume and gives his readers what they've come to expect from him: an expert mix of cover ups, cults, bizarre suicides, and a shocking twist at the end that keeps Sole Survivor racing along from one improbable but undeniably thrilling event to the next. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA. Joe Carpenter's life stops with the deaths of his beloved wife and two young daughters in an airplane crash surrounded by mystery?350 dead and no survivors. Marking the first anniversary of the disaster with a visit to their graves, Joe encounters a young woman taking pictures of their tombstones. She tells him her name is Rose and that she survived the crash that killed his family. Before Joe can continue the conversation, they are attacked by two gunmen. As Rose flees for her life, Joe knows he must discover the truth of what happened to the fatal flight and the reason for the cover-up. His search leads him to relatives of other crash victims?most of whom commit bizarre suicides and all of whom have been contacted by Rose. His investigation reveals that Rose was in possession of government secrets that could change the world once she exposed them. Koontz has readers so totally involved that even Joe's impossible dream, that a member of his family may have survived the crash under Rose's protection, seems possible. A spellbinding novel.?Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Middle School, Burke, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

Customer Reviews

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  • "Writing" 126
  • "Characters" 59
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

348 of 381 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Cochran on November 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Length: 3:19 Mins
Amy Redwing operates Golden Heart, a Golden Retriever rescue service, that brings her to the home of abused housewife and mother Janet Brockman. Amy and her close friend Brian McCarthy rescue Janet, her two kids, and their retriever Nicki from Janet's abusive husband. Immediately, Amy recognizes a seemingly supernatural connection with Nicki, the golden retriever.

And soon thereafter, Amy discovers that she is being followed.

The power of this novel lies in the genuine compassion that Dean Koontz exhibits through Amy and her love for and near obsession to rescue both people and dogs from abuse and neglect.

If there's a weakness to this novel it's that Amy can come across as unintentionally self-righteous and holier than thou.

Regardless, it's clear that Dean Koontz is a mature writer, and his desire to bring together the suspense-writing strengths of his early career with matters close to his heart are on full display in The Darkest Evening of the Year.

This novel contains a couple of plot twists that are really, really cool, and the textured layers of the characters, their multiple names and the depths of their backgrounds indicate that Koontz is onto something profound in this novel.... namely the existence of a soul and how that soul transmits through multiple lives.

This is a profound novel from a writer who has mastered the elements of suspense, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Stacey Cochran
Author of CLAWS available for 80 Cents
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By TMStyles VINE VOICE on December 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This novel is certainly dividing Koontz fans as evidenced by these reviews. I sense some of that might be attributed to the fact that "The Darkest Evening of the Year" seems bifurcated to me into a suspense thriller on the surface where a true morality play between good and evil occurs and a secondary storyline that focuses on educating the reader about the plight of abandoned and endangered dogs and the agencies and people who are dedicated to rescuing them. I suspect Koontz used this story to pay homage to his family's beloved Trixie (his own golden who recently died from cancer)and to assuage the pain of herloss...certainly his touching dedication written to his wife Gerda would lead to that conclusion if nothing else.

Amy Redwing rescues dogs and attempts to develop a relationship with Brian McCarthy while hiding a troubled past. Brian has unresolved baggage of his own and sometimes helps Amy in her rescues and is present when she bravely stands up to an abusive bully and, in the process, extricates the man's wife, children, and golden retriever, Nickie from the home.

Nickie and Amy become inseparable after a seemingly supernatural connection and Nickie becomes a major protagonist for the rest of the story with links to both Amy's and Brian's pasts. Just what or who is Nickie and does she have special powers (as have some dogs in previous Koontz novels)? How is she linked to Amy's past and Brian's future?

The suspense in the novel is keenly felt due mainly to Koontz's extreme characterizations. The good guys are almost one dimenionally good and, of course, are kind to and love dogs. The bad guys are unredeemedly evil and, inexplicably want dogs (especially Nickie) "killed good and hard". There is no middle ground here...
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 30, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recently picked up this book for four reasons:

1. It was on sale

2. I'd just finished reading "The Husband"

3. I needed light entertainment for a long flight

4. I was in a hurry and it was conveniently stacked near to the register

It was only during the boarding process that I glanced at the back cover, and discovered my faux pas, which did not escape the notice of a literate cabin attendant who gave me "the look".

Okay, maybe a novel about a plane crash is not ideal for a five hour flight, but I'm not superstitious that way (knock wood). Unfortunately, this is a typical Dean Koontz book - it starts off smoothly, gains momentum, takes off and gets moving at high speed, and just when you're enjoying the flight, it suddenly goes crazily off course, crashes and burns.

A crime reporter loses his wife and two daughters in a bizarre plane crash that kills everybody on board. A year later he's still in depression, but then he meets a woman who apparently survived the crash. He starts tracking her down, and relatives of the other victims suddenly start committing suicide under very strange circumstances. When he eventually finds her, things get even weirder, and we're back to secret labs, mad scientists and illegal experiments, mixed with cults, conspiracies and magic pictures.

Enjoy the ride while it lasts, but beware of the sudden stop.

Rated: 3.5 stars

Amanda Richards, August 30, 2006
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Lori Haggett on August 18, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If anyone were to try and describe this book as a bore, I couldn't conceive any reason why. This book held me completely spellbound. The book starts off with Joe experiencing these unusual chain of events on the one year anniversary of his wife and childrens plane crash. As the days progresses he comes into contact with families who had also lost their loved ones on this devestating flight, but as soon as he does come into contact with them, they begin to parish themselves due to unexplainable suicide and deaths. So what secrets does this "Sole Survivor" have? And will Joe feel these answers justify his loss? I know this book kept me captivated right down to the last page, and Joe's last decision.
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