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What the Night Knows

What the Night Knows

Written by Dean Koontz

Narrated by Steven Weber


What the Night Knows

Written by Dean Koontz

Narrated by Steven Weber

ratings:
4/5 (102 ratings)
Length:
12 hours
Released:
Dec 28, 2010
ISBN:
9781441818393
Format:
Audiobook

Description

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, re-creating 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.

"Dean Koontz...has the power to scare the daylights out of us." -People

"Koontz seems to know us, our deepest foibles and fears." -USA Today

"Koontz writes first-rate suspense, scary and stylish." -Los Angeles Times

"A master at spinning dark tales...Koontz knows how to dial up the terror." -Associated Press

Released:
Dec 28, 2010
ISBN:
9781441818393
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Dean Koontz is the author of more than a dozen New York Times No. 1 bestsellers. His books have sold over 500 million copies worldwide, and his work is published in 38 languages. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania and lives with his wife Gerda, and their dog Elsa, in southern California. Dean Koontz is the author of more than a dozen New York Times No. 1 bestsellers. His books have sold over 500 million copies worldwide, and his work is published in 38 languages. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania and lives with his wife Gerda, and their dog Elsa, in southern California.

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Reviews

What people think about What the Night Knows

4.1
102 ratings / 52 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    Not that good
  • (3/5)
    A story about a perfect American family haunted by a malevolence from hubby's past. Sometimes, I just wanted to say: "don't dooo iiittt" as the little girls giddily and naively invite the demon. The smash conclusion is predictable, except for a little twist. Where's my next Koontz book?
  • (2/5)
    I think I got an abridged version of this. Mine was on audio and just over an hour long. It felt like huge parts were missing and now I know why.
  • (3/5)
    I was worried this was going to be another best damn dog of the year saves the day book. But it's not. It's a best *dead* damn dog saves the day book. It seems ever since poor Koontz Golden Retriever passed all he can write are angel doggies (with secret portal transport skills!) saving their owners from a fate worse than death. I can sympathize having two dogs myself. But still. REALLY. If a serial killer were to break into my house in the dead of night, Charlie (my rhodesian ridgeback who I call Rabbit the Lion Hunter) would give his loyal almighty god like "WOOF!" three times, tuck his tail and run for the hills... until he got stuck to a cactus. Hagsy the lab would probably just run happy circles around the house inciting some kind of magic spell hoping to induce giant squash (her fav vegetable) that would rise up and squish malevolent intruders and probably me, then she'd follow Charlie. Cute, but no angels.

    I will say, the book is closer to the roots of horror & suspense of his older works, which is why i fell inlove with Koontz in the first place. But it's at times preachy and I feel he can cut back on his moral of the story narration thing. I am/was curious why he did so much of the narration in this particular book and would love to hear others opinions. Perhaps he was aiming for small bits of old fashion narration similar to what Dickens or Defoe did in their works (especially considering how often he brought up Lousia May Alcott's Little Women)? If so, very cool idea. However, the mix of the modern jive with old time narration just didn't work for me here (maybe if he cut back on the modern dudeness slang of it all). But I like the risk of it. It means although he's been at the #1 slot for years he's still stretching out of his comfort zone. In today's environment when it seems so many stick to the same formula over and over, I find this wonderfully refreshing, even when one falls flat on their face.
  • (4/5)
    It's been a while since I've picked up a Dean Koontz's book that I enjoyed reading so much. I'm not refering to his most recent works in particularly - although some say they have been decreasing in quality -, nor am I saying that I didn't appreciate the ones I've read.

    I didn't have that much expectations about this one, which was probably the reason why I liked it so much. It's one of his most suspenseful novels that I've read, and also one of the most entertaining ones.
  • (5/5)
    great story...even greater narrator. i highly recommend this book. Excellent
  • (4/5)
    I've been a fan of Koontz for a long time. Saying that, it has been years since I've read one of his books (even though I own a fair amount of his titles in my personal library). I really enjoyed this one. It had that level of creepiness that I've come to expect from Koontz. The murderer is one of the worst I've read in a long time. The level of evil in this character is unfathomable. When that evil becomes supernatural is when it really gets scary. This rating might have been five stars, but the ending was a tad too pat and I think the first half of the book was much more exciting than the second half. In all though, this is a book I would recommend, especially to Koontz fans.
  • (4/5)
    Great book the characters in the book are so well painted I truly didn’t want the book to end.
  • (5/5)
    Another great! Lots of twists and kept me guessing
  • (1/5)
    This book had it all ..if you are into pedophilia..child murder, rape and debasement, then add in incest and you pretty much have it all. I think Dean Koontz has become unhinged since his dog died, golden retrievers in his books get boring with its repetition I'm done reading his trash.
  • (4/5)
    Alton Turner Blackwood murdered four families in horrific ways almost twenty years ago. Twenty years later a young man is incarcerated after murdering his own family in a similar manner. The pattern of the crimes is familiar to Detective John Calvino because on that long ago night his was the fourth family murdered and he was the one who killed Alton Turner Blackwood to put an end to the murder spree.

    Through a journal shared throughout the book the reader is privy to the workings of a dysfunctional family and the making of a mass murderer. Through the memories of John Calvino the reader glimpses the rebuilding of a fragile life and the makings of a loving family. When these two things collide … the reader must let go of everything rational and wander through the improbable with our characters.

    I have been a fan of Mr. Koontz for many, many years and with the exception of the Odd Thomas and Frankenstein series have found his last few books lacking. Not unenjoyable, but not really edge of your seat suspenseful either. What The Night Knows is seeing something blur out of the corner of your eye, having an inkling that something is around the corner, wondering if the wind contains more than just blowing leaves. I liked this one.
  • (5/5)
    Koontz has his mojo back!!This book kept me hooked from page one all the way thru to the end just like his earlier books did.I recommend this book to anyone who is a Koontz fan and loved his earlier writing.
  • (1/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Abysmal. One of the worst books ever. What started out as a very interesting premise - a dead serial killer possessing someone and making him kill his family - turned out to be a haphazard, beyond silly revenge story with nonsensical victims, idiotic killings and illogical - and bountiful - killers.

    The protagonists are - of course - the perfect family. Husband is a cop. Wife is a prolific artist, beautiful, intelligent, tough. She home schools their three brilliant beautiful perfect precocious children. Their household help is perfect. Their dead dog is perfect. By the end I wanted them all dead.

    Thankfully I borrowed this from the library, and did not pay for it. I just wish I had my time back, and this awful book scraped from my memory.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    I loved this book. Couldn't put it down. It has EVERYTHING a reader could possibly want - family, true love between husband and wife, murder, mystery, and a little touch of supernatural mixed in.
  • (4/5)
    I seem to be reading quite a bit of Dean Koontz's novels lately. Fortunately, he tends to be an excellent writer, since there are so many of his books out there (more than 60). What the Night Knows is an effective thriller about a murderer who comes back from the dead to kill the one person he failed to kill in his first lifetime - which person had, 20 years earlier, killed the murderer.John Calvino is a homicide detective. As a young teen, Calvino narrowly escaped being killed by the psychopath who murdered Calvino's parents, then molested and murdered his two sisters. Twenty years later, Detective Calvino hears of a gruesome murder of a family, and becomes convinced that the killer (a teen-aged member of the family) had been possessed by the spirit of the killer of Calvino's family. The race is on, as Calvino tries to stop the spirit from going on another rampage of murder, the last of which would be of Calvino and his family: wife Nicolette, 14-year-old Zachary, 11-year-old Naomi and 8-year-old Minette.The story development is really taut and very nicely structured by Koontz, as I've come to expect from him. To my mind, Koontz is one of the very best horror/thriller writers producing today, and this book is in keeping with his usual nearly immaculate style. If anything detracts from the compelling nature of the story, it would be the way he develops the three Calvino children. They seem far too precocious to be as far too clueless as they seem to be - but this is only a minor quibble.The ending to the story is, when you reflect on it, the most unlikely ending, but the only ending that could resolve the problem of a murderous spirit.Koontz has rapidly become one of my favorite authors. I recommend his work without reservation.
  • (3/5)
    If nothing else I am a man of my word; after reading my first Koontz novel some time back which I didn't like, I did offer to read one again and duly did so with this one. The story follows Detective Calvino who starts (unofficially) investigating a gruesome murder in which a 14 year-old slays, and I use the term lightly, his entire family. It mirrors similar murders from 20 years before which raises some nightmares for Calvino.With what proved to be a gripping concept of horror story-telling this book dives right into the worst man can do to his fellow human-beings and if you have a low threshold for depravity, this might not be you. However, in saying that while I enjoyed the story the horror and gruesomeness was way too far and between as it was interspersed with some psychological mind-fucking and God-awful biographies on Calvino's wife and kids...no family is that perfect, not even the Keatons.While you expect some way out concepts and crazy shit in the paranormal, I have to say that the ending was like a king hit, but one that didn't connect right. It was bullshit way to finish the book...but I won't spoil it.All in all a goodie but at times dull and drawn out. However it may well have sparked interest in reading another Koontz book, I just wish it would get a bit more scary. I guess it can't be easy writing in the same genre as Stephen King...
  • (4/5)
    One of the best Dean Koontz books I've read in a while. It's the story of homicide Detective John Calvino, married with 3 children, who has a tragedy in his past which is coming back to haunt him.As a teenager, his entire family is murdered by a real sicko and then killed by John himself. Now, 20 years later, history seems to be repeating itself as his own family is being stalked by what appears to be the same serial killer. This book is scary and creepy without being unbelievable. I felt compelled to keep reading even when I just wanted to go to sleep!
  • (3/5)
    This is the first Dean Koontz novel that I have sort of enjoyed in a while. And I still can't give it a full 2 thumbs up.Detective John Calvino has stumbled across the murder of an entire family that is eerily similar to the way his own family was slaughtered when John was just 14. It's not his case, but he starts investigating on his own, anyway. He visits the teenage son who was convicted of the murders, the family home and people who knew the family. The detail is too precise to be just a copycat. The murderer knows things John never even told the police. And the son believed to have committed the horrific crimes wasn't born when John's family was killed, so he couldn't know. Could this be something paranormal? Dean Koontz used to be one of my favorite authors. Phantoms was one of the first horror books I read as a teen, and I slept with the lights on for weeks! Koontz's early writing is phenomenal. I wish I could read it again for the first time. I stopped reading his books in the early 90's when all of them started sounding alike. I picked up his first Frankenstein novel a couple of years ago, and it was just like his old stuff. I couldn't read the second book fast enough! Then he decided that he didn't like working in collaboration so he wrote the third installment alone. That third book is absolute #1 on my "hated it" list. It wasn't just a bad story, there was no story.This novel comes a long way from that "epic fail," but it's not anywhere near the caliber I would expect from a seasoned author like Dean Koontz. I was caught up in the suspense in the beginning as I was trying to figure out what was happening. I think the expectation that something better was coming kept me interested until the end. The climax wasn't. But it wasn't as disappointing as it could have been.I think Koontz has been watching a lot of movies and reading other people's books because this novel used elements from several and mashed them altogether.John's three preteen children think and talk like academics. They are home-schooled, but I doubt home schooling will make an 8-year-old speak and behave like a 20-year-old. Even a smart 8-year-old can't rush emotional development.Also, speaking as a black reader, it's okay for white authors to not include black characters. If an author adds black characters for minuscule roles and those characters are stereotypes, the "diversity" is fake and obvious. *****Spoiler Alert******This super close family that talked about everything didn't talk about the weird things happening around the house that scared them. Even if the ghost was keeping them apart, once the adults figured that out, wouldn't they ask their super smart, highly mature, extremely emotionally developed kids if they had noticed anything odd or scary?I kept waiting for John to trust his partner and ask for help. Once the partner starts to believe, he's just gone. Why doesn't Koontz let him help?A child's Lego creation is the portal to the past? Really? That's the best you could come up with?******End of Spoiler******This book is no where near the 5 stars with exclamation points that his early work rated, but it doesn't rate the negative 10 I wanted to give to the third Frankenstein book, either. If you are a long time fan of Dean Koontz, you probably will not be impressed. If you have never read his early work, then you might like it.After re-reading my review, it sounds like I hated this book, but I didn't. I liked it okay, but I am soooo disappointed with Dean Koontz lately that I am judging him more harshly than I would a new author. :)
  • (3/5)
    In his latest novel, Dean Koontz has infused his signature ghostly touch with elements of the crime genre to create What the Night Knows. John Calvino is a Detective with three children living in a luxurious house courtesy of his wife's successful art career. When a murderer leaves specific items on each of the bodies after killing an entire family, John tries to butt in on the case. The case is remarkably similar to the slaying of his own family members when he was just a teenager. The more he investigates, the more John begins to fear for the safety of his family, and rightly so.My favourite parts of the thriller were the chapters following the three children and their reactions to the first signs something weird was going on in the house.Those who enjoy a thriller with a supernatural element will enjoy What the Night Knows. I always enjoy reading books by this author and can't hide the fact that I'm a fan of his writing and the thrill and shiver they often give me.
  • (4/5)
    Another solid Koontz novel. Little graphic in some parts but hey it is Dean Koontz after all. The bad guy is for sure bad and the good guy is definitely good and they have at it. Four Stars.
  • (3/5)
    Frankly, I had almost given up hope that Dean Koontz would ever produce a decent novel again. So obviously I was pleasantly surprised to see he is back on track now. The main ingredients are a family confronted with a killer of a different (or shall I say, changing) kind who sneaks into their lives through mirrors and familiar (yet changed) faces. The inevitable Golden Retriever will make an appearance too, of course. Admittedly not one of his best, Koontz sure wrote a good and solid suspense novel with paranormal elements. It is highly reminiscent of his earlier books with an eye for details in setting and amazing characters. His narrative is like in the olden days and not as awfully overdrawn as it was in "Your Heart Belongs to Me". Last but not least, I noticed some reviewers didn't approve of the characterization of the children and maybe I've been to precocious myself at a young age, but I found the depiction of the kids perfect the way it is.In short: Finally an enjoyable new novel after years of rather disappointing works, this book proves that Koontz has still got it!
  • (3/5)
    John is a homicide detective who found his family murdered and then killed the murdere himself. When a murder happens that is exactly like his families he realizes that the murderer Blackwood may be back and more unstopable then ever. I gave this story 2 1/2 stars because while it was quick to get interesting I also felt the ending,while exciting, used a week story line. I do recommend this to paranormal fans but probably just not my style of book. There are portions that are very exciting all the same.
  • (4/5)
    Don't blame Koontz for this mediocre review. I'm just not a huge fan of the supernatural/hauntings genre. So why did I even venture into this eerie world of ghosts? The reviews were so stellar, I thought I would give it a chance. I loved the first half of the book. Some of the earliest characters (I won't spoil it by delving into details) were among the most memorable. Kudos to Koontz for adding some creative twists to the hackneyed haunted house formula. There's no doubt that he's an amazingly talented storyteller. There are some scenes that will stay with me a while. Still, when the terror came to an end, it reaffirmed my belief that ghostly fiction just isn't my thing.
  • (4/5)
    What a magnificent tale, one that is reminiscent of Koontz's earlier writings. The characters are beautifully developed, the protagonist and the antagonist so descriptively alive on the pages. Like many of his stories before, the hero is unlikely, but that makes the story so much more fantastic: a real page-turner.
  • (3/5)
    I liked the first 320 pages of the book, but it felt like it was about 100 pages too short, the end/resolution comes too quick and too easily.
  • (4/5)
    Thousands of horror titles are published every year, only a tiny percentage of which are actually scary, and of those only a very small number indeed are also well written. Veteran horror-meister Dean Koontz has come up trumps with What the Night Knows, an eerie tale not recommended for the faint hearted. Why did Billy Lucas, a well-behaved 14-year-old, inexplicably slaughter his whole family? Detective John Calvino is determined to find out, especially as Billy’s crime exactly mirrors one that took place decades earlier. However, before he can discover the truth, Billy is dead and further killing sprees take place, each one coming closer and closer to Calvino’s family. Koontz terrifies and intrigues, thrills and fascinates, but best of all – and this will not be a spoiler to his legions of fans – his endings are always satisfactory, well constructed and upbeat. Great stuff!
  • (3/5)
    This novel bored me ....not enough suspense, or character develpment to make me care. Had to struggle through this. He was once one of my fave authors,{ Remember "INTENSITY"?} but I don't think i will be reading his stuff anytime soon.
  • (5/5)
    Remember the old supernatural Koontz novels? Before the prolific explosion of psychopath crime sprees, Koontz was the master of a different genre, with brooding and clever supernatural novels his forte. They still had psychopaths, usually on crime sprees, so it was all good. What the Night Knows is a long-overdue and welcome return to that era, souped up with an extra helping of new school violent crime.The earnest hero, a cop, has an almost perfect family, a good career history and a turbulent and violent past. When he encounters a self-confessed killer who knows something no-one else should know, it's evident that Koontz has gone all paranormal. As things start to go bump in the night, Koontz draws on his literary expertise, creating realistic and compelling scenarios as the horror escalates. Although one notch away from generating goosebumps, the immersion is decent and it remains enjoyable throughout, the story often expanding in unexpected ways.An easy to read page-turner, What the Night Knows offers enough originality and character development to keep it engaging until the last page. Welcome back!
  • (5/5)
    Dean Koontz really knows how to tell a story that grabs the reader and does not let go until the book ends. He is a master of pace, suspense and action that is visual to the point that chills the reader to the bone. This is a book that is nearly impossible to put down and in my opinion one of the best he has ever written.
  • (4/5)
    Creatively, this is a fantastic novel with a fresh premise. John Calvino is being stalked through the ages by a serial killer hellbent on destruction. This ghost, a freak sprung from the wholly psychotic and incestious Blackwood family, rides receptive human hosts, making the chosen host person a willing instrument to murder and mayhem. Deadly assaults threaten the Calvino family from every conceivable front. In the Koontz world, even a family member can be a conduit for this darkly compelled, relentless killer. It is a chilling premise that drives the novel to a furious pace.But I found the characters stereotypically drawn and incomplete creations. John Calvino lacked depth, inspite of the fact he had this hideous villian relentlessly stalking him. Oh, the John Calvino character loved his perfectly crafted family (complete with the ever loving marriage that thrives in the security of (apparently) endless financial security, coupled with the adoration of a beautiful and devoted spouse and charming, but uncanningly intelligent children. Who wouldn't love that life, but is interesting? At some point, I actually want to see some type of mistake or weakness or even give me a little hestitation). I think I have would found the book more satisfying to have characters walking around with some real baggage. Then again, perhaps the genious of Koontz is in his presentation of such people in stark complement to the deliciously evil Blackwood serial killer ghost, who definitely had issues.Read this one for the pure entertainment of the scare!