Book Reviews, Dean Koontz

Dark Rivers of the Heart

When Spencer Grant falls in love, he had to do it with the single woman found in the middle of a conspiracy. She is hunted, now so is he.

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This book was written in 1995 and has a staggering 795 pages promising action, adventure and a boy meets girl story.

“As usual, Koontz’s writing is flawless….DARK RIVERS OF THE HEART is exciting, entertaining, and thoughtful.”—Denver Post

“A believable high-tech thriller.”—The New York Times

“A humdinger of a chase novel…DARK RIVERS OF THE HEART deserves to go to no.1 on the bestseller list.”—Entertainment Weekly

“A fresh surprise on virtually every page…and a pyrotechnic denouement full of marvelous mayhem.”—Washington Post

“Viscerally exciting…An extended, tense tour de force…An expertly crafted, ornate suspenser…Koontz fans will love it.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Jules’s Review

Book cover
Rating: 3/5
Similar to “The Good Guy” I’ve read earlier this year, this 600+ pages deals with a man and a woman on the run from a very techy super spy super bad-ass agent.
The difference lies with the technical details involved (hi-jacking of army satelites, hacking into the Ministery of Defense, secret agents, gadgets and powerful toys, like the super computer MAMA which can go anywhere and find out anything about anyone).
The only thing it cannot find is the past of a man called Stephen Grant – a batman with a computer is how he calls himself.
This man had become obsessed with a woman he met by chance in a restaurant and he ends up pursuing her and his troubled past in a race to stay alive.
The bad guy is Roy Miro, a psychopath with a dream of a better world, without handicapped people, poverty and even imperfect babies. He is looking for perfection and becomes obsessive with other people’s body parts:

  • his boss’ voluptuous lips
  • a tarot card reader’s hands (which he cuts of and carries with him as a good luck charm)
  • a woman’s nose which he sees in a SWAT-like ambush of a house

He is granted 60% perfection and a near-enough soul match in a Vegas female agent who is as cold-hearted and ruthless as he is.

The book is interesting. It’s a tale about obsession about perfection and being understood by the other humans.
And the mess it can get you into.

The romance in it is sweet and short punctuated by a few “I love you” and a resolve to be with each other until the end.

Favourite scenes: The erotic sheet scenes nearing voyeurism. The woman’s superb computer skills. The technology used.
Least favourite scenes: The Rocky dog who suddenly finds its courage when you least expect it. I don’t buy it. A coward dog is always a cowardly dog.
I also found the 340 pages of bullshit from the beginning of the book a bit tiring. It could have all been written in at most 20 pages.


About the author

Dean Koontz

DeanKoontzBorn: 9-Jul-1945
When he was a senior in college, Dean Koontz won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and has been writing ever since. His books are published in 38 languages. He has sold 400,000,000 copies, a figure that currently increases by more than 17 million copies per year.

Twelve of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list (One Door Away From Heaven, From the Corner of His Eye, Midnight, Cold Fire, The Bad Place, Hideaway, Dragon Tears, Intensity, Sole Survivor, The Husband, Odd Hours, and Relentless), making him one of only a dozen writers ever to have achieved that milestone. Fourteen of his books have risen to the number one position in paperback. His books have also been major bestsellers in countries as diverse as Japan and Sweden.

The New York Times has called his writing “psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying.” The New Orleans Times-Picayune said Koontz is, “at times lyrical without ever being naive or romantic. [He creates] a grotesque world, much like that of Flannery O’Conner or Walker Percy … scary, worthwhile reading.” Rolling Stone has hailed him as “America’s most popular suspense novelist.”

Dean Koontz was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Shippensburg State College (now Shippensburg University), and his first job after graduation was with the Appalachian Poverty Program, where he was expected to counsel and tutor underprivileged children on a one-to-one basis. His first day on the job, he discovered that the previous occupier of his position had been beaten up by the very kids he had been trying to help and had landed in the hospital for several weeks. The following year was filled with challenge but also tension, and Koontz was more highly motivated than ever to build a career as a writer. He wrote nights and weekends, which he continued to do after leaving the poverty program and going to work as an English teacher in a suburban school district outside Harrisburg. After a year and a half in that position, his wife, Gerda, made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: “I’ll support you for five years,” she said, “and if you can’t make it as a writer in that time, you’ll never make it.” By the end of those five years, Gerda had quit her job to run the business end of her husband’s writing career.

Dean Koontz lives with his wife, Gerda, and the enduring spirit of their golden retriever, Trixie, in southern California.

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