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The Silent Corner

Review

The Silent Corner

The silent corner is defined as such: “Those who are truly off the grid and cannot be tracked by any technology, yet are able to move about freely and use the Internet, are said to be in the silent corner.”

It is in this unique realm that Jane Hawk resides. It took the suicide of Jane's husband Nick, a completely unexpected act, to spur her into action, which has revealed to her a startling fact. It seems that suicides have increased at an alarming rate all around the country. Even more disturbing is the amount of unexpected suicides by talented, apparently happy and important people. Nothing will stop Jane until she has a legitimate answer as to why her husband and so many thousands of others have suddenly been compelled to die at their own hands.

"...timely and hard-hitting.... I am excited to learn that THE SILENT CORNER is the start of a series for the strong heroine Jane Hawk, and I eagerly await the next adventure from her place in the silent corner."

THE SILENT CORNER is timely and hard-hitting. It will catch many of Dean Koontz's fans by surprise --- those who are accustomed to his thrillers featuring “gifted” children or “magical” dogs, usually Golden Retrievers. The stars of this novel are flesh-and-blood people dealing with real problems. However, it harkens back to an old Koontz plotline, specifically the nameless, faceless group of evil people who are behind the conspiracy his protagonist is trying to beat.

Jane is in a really bad place since Nick’s shocking death. She is on a leave of absence from her role as an FBI agent, and feels as if nature was colluding with humanity in enterprises wicked and destructive. Although young, her skills are formidable, and she utilizes all of them to begin her quest of avenging her husband.

When Jane discovers the alarming figures of the suicides happening nationwide, she starts on a journey to meet with other survivors who lost loved ones to suicide around the country. Her mission has not gone unnoticed. She has angered some really scary people --- the same individuals who are behind the suicide conspiracy she has unearthed. Once readers learn more about the identity and motives of this group, they will have to check themselves for the many chills running up their spines.

At one point, Jane asks a question: Can programmed dreams be used to somehow make the dreamer actually desire to kill himself? If so, why would someone go to that extent to eliminate seemingly innocent people? Answers lie deep within the place known simply as the facility. Jane picks up some help along the way in the form of burly ex-Special Forces member Dougal Trahern, who seeks to avenge the suicide death of his half-sister.

My favorite scene in the novel, and perhaps one of the more powerful Koontz has ever written, involves a visit to Nick’s parents’ house by FBI agent Nathan Silverman. It doesn't take them long to realize that Silverman's visit is less than honorable. They firmly avow that they are behind Jane's pursuit for justice in the name of Nick and express how disgusted they were at the threats made against Jane and her young son, Travis. Silverman is determined to find and somehow silence the rogue agent, and his mission is completely at the behest of some powerful and dangerous people.

The tone of this story is unlike most of Dean Koontz’s prior novels. Had I not known he was the author, I would have believed it to be a political thriller penned by Brad Thor or Brad Meltzer. Koontz has matured as a writer. This feels strange to say since the man has been writing quality fiction --- under his own name as well as several pseudonyms and in various genres --- since the late 1960s. I am excited to learn that THE SILENT CORNER is the start of a series for the strong heroine Jane Hawk, and I eagerly await the next adventure from her place in the silent corner.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on June 22, 2017

The Silent Corner
by Dean Koontz

  • Publication Date: June 20, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0345545990
  • ISBN-13: 9780345545992