Friday, 12 August 2011

Dean Koontz – What the Night Knows (with bonus story Darkness Under the Sun)

Detective John Calvino’s family were brutally murdered by a serial killer when he was a teenager. John survived and managed to kill the killer. Now, twenty years on he has a family of his own and is leading a very happy life. Then a family is murdered in circumstances very similar to those of the killer twenty years ago. John is convinced that his family are in danger but how can he explain it to people when the killer is long dead.

To me this book seemed a little more like classic Koontz compared to his other recent work. I think this is a good thing. I read this book quite slowly but that was more to do with life getting in the way of reading than any fault of the book.

I liked the characters, they were all a little too perfect but I can live with that. The story was entertaining and well paced although it did require a little suspension of disbelief at times (which is not a problem for me, it is fiction after all).

I remain convinced that I would easily be able to detect Dean Koontz’s writing in a “blind” reading, he has a very distinctive style of writing and often incorporates regular themes into his books many of which were present in this book.

The bonus story, Darkness Under the Sun is a prequel to the events of What the Night Knows. I really enjoyed the story and thought it added a lot to the book. If you are going to buy this book then I would strongly recommend finding one of the editions with the story included.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Stacia Kane – Unholy Magic

Unholy Magic is book two in the Downside Ghosts series. It picks up shortly after the events of Unholy Ghosts. Chess is assigned a new task from the church looking into a reported haunting in a celebrity’s house. At the same time local drug dealer and pimp Bump wants her to investigate the deaths of several prostitutes from the area who seem to have been killed by a ghost.

I think I enjoyed this book more than the first one. In this book we get to know a little more about the characters which I found interesting. Chess is managing to mess her life up even more than she was before and her drug dependence seems to be worsening. I did have one small issue and that is if her drug addiction is as bad as it’s supposed to be then I’m sure someone from the church would have noticed by now.

The storyline in this book was a good mix of the ghosts / murdering plot and the personal lives of the main characters. I thought it was well paced and it kept me thoroughly entertained throughout. It has left me really looking forward to reading the third book.