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The Forbidden Door: A Jane Hawk Novel

Review

The Forbidden Door: A Jane Hawk Novel

Jane Hawk was a well-regarded FBI agent until she ended up on the nation’s most wanted list. Falsely accused of mass murder, she is now on the run from a diabolical cabal that is plotting to turn society into a mindless group of robotic humans programmed to fulfill their goal of changing the world: “They will pacify contentious humanity, end poverty, create Utopia through technology.” A serum has been developed that, when injected into the bloodstream, travels within hours to the brain, spreading through neural pathways and robbing the victim of his or her free will. Known only to insiders as the Techno Arcadians, they are set to fulfill their purpose. Their primary targets are well-educated, successful adults who are considered to be the most resistant to a group-think society.

Jane first encountered this mind-blowing scheme in the first book of this gripping series, THE SILENT CORNER, when her husband and the father of their five-year-old son, Travis, suddenly and inexplicably committed suicide. A highly decorated Marine war hero, he had everything to live for and no indication of suicidal thoughts. She soon learned of others who also had unaccountably and abruptly killed themselves, some resulting in the mass killings of innocent bystanders. Jane applied her profiling skills to discover an alarming connection between the victims. In bringing her evidence to her superiors in Washington, she found herself perilously close to a terrifying truth. The Techno Arcadians had infiltrated not only the FBI, but also the CIA and Homeland Security. Her family and friends became prime targets, with Jane at the top of their hit list.

"Part of Koontz’s charm is that there is nearly always a dog involved in his stories as he is a generous supporter of pet rescue organizations.... THE FORBIDDEN DOOR features two gallant German Shepherds, faithful guardians of Jane’s son, who she has secured in a well-appointed bunker..."

In this fourth installment, THE FORBIDDEN DOOR, the net draws tighter. Jane has successfully escaped the Arcadians, some of whom were former trusted colleagues who have been injected. By using her skills to acquire falsified IDs, disguises and untraceable vehicles, she has stayed one step ahead of her pursuers. The Arcadians realize that trapping Jane and turning her into a mental zombie is not possible, but if they can hunt down her son and hold him hostage, she will be broken at last. So far, she has kept him from harm after the couple with whom she left him were murdered.

If one was to argue who the best is at leading the reader on a thrill ride, Dean Koontz or Stephen King, it could be a heated debate. A steady diet is way above my tolerance level, and I have skipped years of their work, but then been lured in when I’m in the mood for total escape. In deciding who is most able to distract you for hours once you open to that first page, the contest would end in a dead heat. This summer seemed to be the perfect time to burrow in under the AC, stick your nose in a book and leave the real world behind.

As I browsed the shelves in a used bookstore, relying on jacket blurbs, the Arizona monsoon season loomed. I picked up a well-read copy of THE SILENT CORNER and struck gold --- a Koontz chiller with a strong female protagonist! I devoured it in a weekend, then downloaded books two and three onto my Kindle, but was left dangling. When THE FORBIDDEN DOOR came up for review, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

I first encountered Koontz years ago with WATCHERS, which featured Einstein, an unforgettable golden retriever who had been subjected to medical research. That hellish practice is revisited in this series but now applies to humans.

Part of Koontz’s charm is that there is nearly always a dog involved in his stories as he is a generous supporter of pet rescue organizations. We recently adopted a terrier mix from Korea (a story for another time) who has stolen our hearts, and my husband and daughter volunteer at a no-kill shelter, so we’re softies on the subject. THE FORBIDDEN DOOR features two gallant German Shepherds, faithful guardians of Jane’s son, who she has secured in a well-appointed bunker under the care of an unlikely hero, an autistic computer genius in a remote corner of California desert.

Reviewed by Roz Shea on September 14, 2018

The Forbidden Door: A Jane Hawk Novel
by Dean Koontz

  • Publication Date: September 11, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0525483705
  • ISBN-13: 9780525483700