Wednesday, May 9, 2018

✱✱ Book Review ✱✱ The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz

The Crooked Staircase
Jane Hawk Series #3
by Dean Koontz 

Jane Hawk—who dazzled readers in The Silent Corner and The Whispering Room—faces the fight of her life, against the threat of a lifetime, in this electrifying new thriller by #1 New York Times bestselling suspense master Dean Koontz.
“I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead.”
Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom—and free will—of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane’s enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was.

Jane’s ruthless pursuers can’t stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern Southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

Momma Says: 3 stars⭐⭐⭐

I enjoyed the first two Jane Hawk novels, and was looking forward to this one. Given the length and blurb for this one, along with the way book 2 ended, I thought we would finally get some resolution to Jane's quest for justice. Sadly, that didn't happen. Instead, I now have more questions without answers.
The premise for Jane's story is quite terrifying. The very idea that people could be controlled to the point of suicide, plus the many other ways that the technology is used is more spine-tingling than any of the things that go bump in the night. The problem is that this one seemed to be an almost watered down version compared to the first two books in the series. The edge of your seat tension that was so prevalent in book 2 was missing here. In addition to that we get Jane, who was quite the heroine in beginning but becomes rather unbelievable in this third book in the series. She seems to know everything about everything and borders on invincible. 
The story becomes drawn out with overly descriptive prose that sometimes seems to go nowhere. I'm all for setting a scene and painting a picture for the reader, but Koontz went a bit over the top with it here. At a certain point, it began to feel like so much filler and it became more distraction than anything else. We do get some gripping story and even some action in between those descriptions, but in the end, this one was just too easy to set aside. Dean Koontz has proven himself a master at nail-biting suspense, but I didn't find much of that this time around.
To sum it up, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either, and given the time I've vested in Jane Hawk's story, I will read the next book, which hopefully is more story than filler and brings some resolution.

❃❃ARC provided by NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine

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