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The Crooked Staircase: A Jane Hawk Novel Hardcover – May 8, 2018
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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“An absorbing thriller full of fresh touches . . . Writing his unusual heroine, [Dean] Koontz keeps the pages alive with attitude as well as action. . . . For [Jane] Hawk, who is as fearless as she is beautiful, no obstacle is too great, especially with the well-being of her hidden-away five-year-old son on her mind.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Spellbinding . . . Beautifully plotted and written with notable care and flare . . . The Hawk series . . . is among [Dean Koontz’s] best work.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Unrelenting . . . [Jane] rivets readers’ attention. . . . Michael Crichton fans and thriller aficionados who appreciate a fierce female protagonist . . . should be urged to meet Jane Hawk.”—Library Journal
“With his unforgettable Jane Hawk books, master storyteller Koontz has really tapped into the amorphous feelings of anxiety and fear that much of the world is currently experiencing. In book three, the web of lies, treachery and death continues to creep ever closer to Jane; her iron determination to expose and destroy this growing evil burns ever brighter. . . . Keep the lights on when reading this, the creepy factor is off the charts!”—RT Book Reviews
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, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.
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Mr. Koontz has crafted a good story, and there are plenty of thriller elements to it. I realize the author was trying to generate tension by having the chapters rotate from character to character. Sometimes this worked, but the constant flipping felt artificial after a while, and the tension that could have been built became ho-hum as I felt more whipsawed back and forth rather than caught up in the separate storylines. This was especially emphasized when a chapter took less than a minute to read, and the powerful lines that might have worked with longer chapters became lost in the massive pile of chapter endings.
Losing interest may have caused me to have the time to notice other things that bothered me. The description of weapons –using the full catalog name and part of the description, right down to magazine capacity – sounded more like it was copied from the manufacturer. No sense in alerting us to how many bullets the gun can shoot if it never has a bearing on the story. I did think the author did a good job of involving the reader with his characters so that we cared whether or not something bad happened to them.
The bad cop duo of Jergens and Dubose was interesting in the beginning, but the constant banter began to repeat and by the end fell into a pit of banality. I felt that the choice of the ultra-evil villain stretched my usually flexible limits of credibility, and to realize that the entire series is built upon this person was a disappointment for me.
However, what really turned me off was the cliffhanger-like ending. Creating a successful series that goes on and on has been done (the 14-book Wheel of Time series begun by Robert Jordan comes to mind), but there needs to be a semi-conclusion, not a weak ending that leaves me incredulous when I turn the page to find an ad for the next book. I guess I will never find out what happens to Jane Hawk, because my interest died with the book three non-ending. Two stars.
I read the first and second of Mr. Koontz’s books in this series and really enjoyed them, primarily owing to his return to the writing style that harvested his notoriety. I had read a review in which the reviewer commented that the first book in the series gratefully saw Dean Koontz return to the mannerisms and style of his early prose. And, indeed, with the first two books that was very much the case and I thoroughly enjoyed them.
But “The Crooked Staircase” did not continue that return-style of writing. The book is of a protracted length and the story just meandered along with not much happening. And the ending . . . well, there wasn’t one. In fact, the whole series needs to be brought to a denouement with the next offering or certainly with the 5th book, if one is planned.
I shall definitely read the 4th book in the series, “The Forbidden Door,” when it comes out in early October of this year with the hope that Mr. Koontz leaves behind his over-focus on depiction, similes, and metaphors. 3-stars for “The Crooked Staircase.”
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