Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Review - What The Night Knows by Dean Koontz

Again, Koontz masterfully contrasts light and darkness.  It is amazing, the awful realms he can show us; thus enhancing the absolute brilliance of the light.  As always, his work is abundant with amusing conversations, wonderful descriptions and delightful characters.

This is a fascinating story as well.  A police detective, John Calvino, is a survivor of a horrible series of murders that included his entire family.  Now they're beginning again and he must stop the perpetrator before he loses his wife and children, like he had is parents and siblings.

These past few years Koontz seems to be bent on understanding his religious experience.  He seems to be a believer, has wonderful insights into human nature and seems at a loss to explain the miracles that seem to pervade our lives.  While his conclusions in this case are interesting, even compelling, they are far from satisfying and satisfactory.  Too bad he doesn't have a deeper understanding of The Plan of Salvation.

Still, he does get some things in spades.  This, for example:
"She knew terrible things happened to the best of people, to people far better than she would ever be, even people as good and innocent as Minette.  But she also knew that the power of the imagination could shape reality   Every day she made real on canvas the scenes that would be otherwise confined forever to her mind; therefore it seemed a half step in logic to believe that the imagination might directly influence reality."
I like that.  It speaks of reality being created first, spiritually.  Sometimes, though, imagination gets tangled up in worry and confusion.  Here is Koontz's beautifully descriptive expression of that notion:
"Naomi found herself for once in a situation where her galloping imagination seemed tethered, pawing at the ground with its hooves, stirring up nothing but dust."
Having previously described the church as having evolved into an institution of social connection and social activism and service, Koontz makes this telling observation:
"They (the church) were embarrassed by the old-fashioned idea of absolute Evil, of Evil personified, but the answer to this wasn't a food bank, he would not save his family and himself by throwing food at this thing, not by giving it a cot in a homeless shelter, not by social action, what he need here was some really effective antisocial action ... a miracle..."
I liked the idea that in our world of uncertainties, of ineffective, even crooked politicians, of crime, of calamity; sometimes all we can do is quit trusting in "the arm of the flesh" and call upon God to put forth His mighty hand and intervene.  A rather old fashioned notion, to be sure, at least by popular standards; but a very real and effective one.

I never come away disappointed with a Dean Koontz novel.  I'll be sad to remove the Book Darts and return this one to the library.  I'd rather own it.

Five Stars

1 comment:

Booklogged said...

Don't you have some birthday money left? It's cool that we like several of the same authors and can share our enthusiasm for their writing.

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