Author: Dean Koontz
Title: What The Night Knows
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
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 fourteen-year-old boy.
Half a continent away and two decades later, someone is murdering families again, recreating 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 fourteen 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.
My Thoughts (spoiler alert)
Alton Turner Blackwood, a psychopath was killed twenty years ago by detective John Calvino. You see, at the age of fourteen John snuck out of the house at night, but this one night when he returned he discovered his family had been butchered by Blackwood. John lived with that guilt his entire life. But twenty years later, on the anniversary night of the massacre, Blackwood plans to get revenge on John and his family.
The beginning of the book had me enthralled as we followed a paranoid John who studied murder cases that brought back too many memories. But when his suspicions start pointing to a dead murderer committing the crimes, he soon realizes the lives of his wife and children are at risk.
It is the last quarter of the book that really held my attention. Each member of the family experienced different ghostly activities and tried to deal with them on their own, until the end where each sub-plot seamlessly weaved together.
My biggest qualm is that the middle was quite long and dragged out. As a standalone book, I enjoyed the thrill, though I didn’t really get scared, hence I don’t classify this book as horror.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a character driven story with an evil supernatural being intent on revenge, then ‘What The Night Knows’ is for you.