The Silent Corner: A Novel of Suspense, Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz has initiated a new and interesting character series with this book featuring a former FBI agent named Jane Hawke. Her Marine Colonel husband has committed suicide, apparently with nothing leading up to it and leaving an obscure note. Jane has discovered a pattern with similar deaths. She’s now traversing the country to interview survivors trying to understand what is happening. While she’s hunting for answers it soon becomes clear that she is also being hunted, and by a very sophisticated and well-funded someone.

Koontz has created a tough and resourceful hero in this book, and while the book comes to a solid conclusion it’s clear that there’s room for more books down the line. Knowing that she’s being hunted she has stashed her son with family; has sold her house and is funding her search on the proceeds; and is gradually uncovering a plot of mind control that was developed out of medical research.

It’s rare to find a female character with some of the attributes of a Jason Bourne, and it’s a pleasure to read. Despite her tough, gun-wielding skills Koontz manages to imbue Hawke with a sensitivity that is often missed in similar characters. She also has a knowledge of how law enforcement and criminal worlds work to keep her moving toward her target while avoiding lots of close calls. Like most Koontz books there’s a ton of action with a well-rounded and compelling lead character. Hawke also manages to bring in some help from some interesting side characters.

The technology used at the center of the plot is well past anything available today, but books have been built around more questionable tech with no terrible harm. Koontz makes it seem realistic and the impact is a frightening idea. As the “McGuffin” of the book it keeps the action flowing and gives Jane Hawke more than enough motivation to kick butt through nearly 450 pages of prime Koontz prose.