Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Dark Rivers of the Heart" by Dean Koontz

Once again I revisit a past novel by Dean Koontz. In "Dark Rivers..." (published in 1994) Koontz not only uses his greatest character molds but uses cases from the "real world" to make a story chilling. The character molds are a man that is a former cop/military as the lead character, a love interest of a woman with a shady past and the villain, an agent of a shadow government. Oh, and we can't forget a loyal canine.

In this book Spencer Grant has a mysterious past which involves a father who is a psychopathic murderer and artist and a large scar on his face. Spencer's companion is Rocky, a mutt who's past also seems shaky in that he is a very timid (at times) dog. Spencer falls for a mysterious woman, Valerie, who works at a bar called "The Red Door." (the name of the bar becomes important later in the novel). When Valerie doesn't show up for work Spencer suspects something. He goes to her home to find it "never lived in" and as he explores the house the only decoration he finds is a photo of a cockroach nailed to the wall. Just as he's examining the photo a stun grenade shatters the window and a S.W.A.T, team or what appears to be a S.W.A.T. team, attacks the house. Spencer escapes the house and thus begins his life on the run and trying to find this mysterious Valerie.

Valerie it turns out is on the run from a rogue/secret arm of the government after trying to expose them. This shadow agency is made to cover up errors from other agencies. Koontz uses real world flubs from agencies as the background to make this story believable. Flubs such as, "Ruby Ridge & David Koresh." In what could be a Texx Marrs conspiracy book, Dean Koontz creates a novel of never ending edge of your seat action.

Koontz also takes the time at the end of the book to point out that the technologies discussed in the book are real as well as the forfeiture laws of the government. Throughout the book one gets creeped out by the possibilities of how "Big Brother" is always watching. But then at the end when the real truth is found out it makes the book more creepy.

But don't let that disturb you, this book has got lots of action and the great Koontz creepy factor.

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