Darkness Under the Sun is a short novella that introduces, Alton Turner Blackwood, the brutal killer in his novel What the Night Knows, which was also published in 2010. The novella brings Blackwood to a small town where he terrorizes a teenaged boy. Unwittingly the boy precipitates a ruthless change in Blackwood’s murderous compulsion. Although Blackwood moves on quickly, he also leaves a lasting impact on the boy.
I was Death, harvesting lives. I knew my destiny was epic. Yet I killed one at a time, one at a time, one at a time. If my killing spree had been music—and it was music to me—you could rightly call it the simplest folk song. But I had set out to create a symphony of death, an immortal opera of terror.
Then an unexpected encounter suddenly led me to understand that to fulfill my promise, to unleash my full potential, to compose truly memorable crescendos of destruction, I must kill entire families, use them first as I wished and then slaughter them. In killing any family, I was killing my own, which deserved to die.
Inspiration can come from surprising sources. A child showed me the way.
—from the journal of Alton Turner Blackwood
There once was a killer who knew the night, its secrets and rhythms. How to hide within its shadows. When to hunt.
He roamed from town to town, city to city, choosing his prey for their beauty and innocence. His cruelties were infinite, his humanity long since forfeit. But still . . . he had not yet discovered how to make his special mark among monsters, how to come fully alive as Death.
This is the story of how he learned those things, and of what we might do to ensure that he does not visit us.
I saw this intriguing little novella for my kindle, and after reading the sample, quickly bought the rest of the story. I do mean that I BOUGHT it. Everything, hook, line, and sinker. Trust me, this is the best Koontz in 15 years. I so much enjoyed it, I pre-ordered the new novel based just on this prequel! That is how impressive this story is.
I won’t ruin it by hashing out the plot and the characters, even as deliciously evil as it is and they are, but I will tell you that you will not be disappointed. Also, I read in a recent interview with Koontz that his villain came to him in a dream, and was so terrifying that he had to write it down and use him in these tales.
Howie wasn’t afraid of darkness. He had learned young that the dangers in bright daylight were worse than anything that might wait in the dark, that the bogeyman could have a kind face and a winning smile.