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Darkest Evening of the Year [Paperback]

Dean Koontz
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Obviously the other reviewer was expecting something totally different than what he got...which rather confuses me because while Dean Koontz is usually shelved in the horror section of book stores, his books are often only partly horror. The fact he picked the book up simply being an animal lover shows that he barely gave this book a chance in my opinion.

While not one of the more supernaturally involved books of Dean's, it is a great and twisty thriller, tying together many seemingly unconnectable people together into a life or death situation, along the way revealing hidden secrets and histories and atrocities (what happens to the main character alone is one of the more shocking things I've ever read in a Koontz book) and finding out along the way that all animals are precious and very special in their own ways.

He also manages to tie in quite a few gunfights as well and much backstabbing and double crossing between multiple bad guys (more so than The Husband had) and keeps you wondering exactly what will happen to everyone, and the end has a pretty interesting twist that will make most readers question their own humanity...or make you do what the other reviewer did...I suggest the close minded stay far away from this book.

While I much prefer his more supernatural other worldly books and planet wide catastrophes, this book is a very good read and will keep you very enthralled from beginning to end. If this is your first Koontz book, keep in mind a lot of his books are a lot weirder than this one :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars UN-SCARY AND ULTIMATELY UNENJOYABLE July 12 2010
By Buggy TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR for a book club challenge. although admittedly it had been sitting on my TBR shelf for a couple of years, I was happy to finally find a reason to stop passing it over (in favour of vampire romance and testosterone filled Navy Seals) and get into a good horror novel. Unfortunately I now wished I'd left it sitting on the shelf because this was not in any way an enjoyable read and ultimately a real struggle to finish. To start with I didn't enjoy Koontz's style of writing, he seemed to take for-ever and a whole lot of adjectives to get across what he was trying to say and I found myself skimming almost immediately just to get on with the story;

"The pleasantly warm morning was freshened by a breeze as light as a caress, and the feathery fronds of queen palms cast shadows that resembled the plumed tails of the Golden's." Um, yeah.

For something in the horror genre I also found this to be very un-scary, the plot revolving more around reincarnation and weird feelings then anything truly horrifying. Thankfully the chapters were short, containing several alternating POV's most of which involved hit men who were all trying to kill each other. The main antagonist, Moongirl was a nasty piece of work and our hero Amy Redwing had an interesting past that slowly got revealed however I never truly got a feel for her. So I kept plugging along thinking this has to improve, Koontz is hugely popular, what am I missing? Well upon completion I came away rather underwhelmed and realized I wasn't missing anything.

The only good thing in this story would have to be the Golden Retrievers that Koontz knows well and obviously loves. His dog descriptions and mannerisms of the breed were spot on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Will the real Dean Koontz please come back? June 28 2009
By David S
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book starts so well, with effective character development and an increasing expectation of the supernatural. Starring another gifted Golden Retriever, this is sadly no "Watchers".

The story grips you effectively throughout and then suddenly in the last 60 pages all the loose ends are tied up in a neat little bow. As another reviewer commented, it really does feel like Koontz was crafting away and suddenly was told he needed to get this to the publisher in 24 hours. The latter part of the book just feels too rushed and too easy. In previous books, Koontz would have taken things from the final scene at the lighthouse to a further final confrontation with Harrow or Moonglow. It was just too convenient that everything could be cleared up so neatly in one final scene of a few pages. If you want a book that has some of the feel of the start of this novel but really shows you how it should have been, try "Dark rivers of the Heart".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great until the end. May 17 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Darkest Evening of the Year had so much promise with every turned page. It had me spell bound wondering what would happen next and then all of a sudden it ended. I could just picture the publisher giving Koontz a call urging him to wrap it up and send it out. I felt entirely ripped off by the ending.
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW !! - One of Koontz's best July 2 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The story focuses on a man named Joe Carpenter who lost his wife and two daughters in a plane crash. A year after the crash, Joe has quit his job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Post, and done nothing with his life except sit around and mourn the loss of his family. One day Joe pays a visit to the graves of his wife and daughters only to discover a strange women taking pictures of their graves. When Joe apporaches her, the woman claims to be the sole survivor of the crash that killed Joe's family. Before, Joe can find out who she is or what is going on, he is forced to flee the scene when mysterious men begin shooting at the woman, who also manages to get away. Joe becomes convinced that the crash that killed his family was anything but ordinary, and sets out to discover who the woman is, and how she could have survived. Unfortunately, things only get worse for Joe when he begins to realize that he has stumbled into a conspiracy regarding the crash, and that the people involved are willing to kill to keep their secrets safe.
I have been a fan of Dean Koontz's work for many years now. While I usually enjoy most of his books, there are some that are better than others. Sole Survivor was a book that I always put off reading, because it has always received mixed reviews. I finally decided to put my doubts aside and read the book. After I finished with Sole Survivor, I wanted to start over and immediately read the book again, because I did not want it to end. This may be one of the best books Koontz has ever written. Koontz manages to get you hooked into the story right away, because he does a great job at establishing the hero of the story Joe Carpenter and what he is going through.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A little Wierd
Dean Koontz is just a little to weird for great enjoyment. However he can keep you on edge and that is good.
Published 9 months ago by John Marsden
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!!!
I'm not a huge Dean Koontz fan but this book is awesome!!! I let a friend borrow it and she kept it so I wanted another!!!
Published 16 months ago by LEDK
4.0 out of 5 stars Dogs > people
Seemed like the best and worst of Dean Koontz in this book. The worst represented by Koontz's love letters to dogs; the best represented by his plotting. Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2012 by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars This is apparently one of Koontz' top ten books --- I would concur!
Oh my, what a great read...the suspense, the anticipation, the possible ramifications, the odd supernatural mood --- this book is put together so well. Read more
Published on May 12 2012 by Pat the cat
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites.
I really enjoyed reading The Darkest evening of the Year. It has Koontz typical band of bizarre characters and mystic events. Read more
Published on June 15 2011 by J Reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Not That Interesting
I'm not going to rehash the storyline as many others have done in their reviews.
I found this book stale. Read more
Published on March 21 2010 by A Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Great novel
The multiple story lines are great, it's the kind of book you can't stop reading until you reach the last page. It was touching. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2009 by F. Perron
2.0 out of 5 stars Another weak ending
Dean Koontz is a supremely talented author, but I'm starting to think he needs someone else to write the last chapter. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2009 by Peter Marrier
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak and Ridiculous
Dean Koontz has put a Golden retriever as his canine heroine at the center of this novel. Nickie is a rescued dog with seemingly supernatural abilities to save children from harms... Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2009 by Toni Osborne
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