©2009 Dean Koontz; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"Koontz it's not"
If you are a fan of Mary Higgins Clark (a very good writer in her own way) you will love this book. If you are a Koontz fan, you won't. I understood more after hearing the afterword but I was very disappointed, nevertheless.
If you're into adventure/romance novels you will probably like this. I wouldn't have downloaded it if I knew what kind of book it is. I guess it's good for the type of story. It is a rewrite of a 1976 story Koontz wrote. I wish the publisher's note told us that this isn't a typical Koontz book, I feel misled and disappointed. As far as I'm concerned, it was a waste of a credit.
"Weak 3 stars."
It kept my interest, but it wasn’t as enjoyable as I had hoped.
Joanna left England twelve years ago and now owns and sings in a Japanese nightclub. She has nightmares about being strapped to a bed, injected with substances, and being violated by a man with a metal hand. Alex owns a private investigating firm in the U.S. He was hired twelve years ago to find a missing woman. He sees Joanna while on vacation in Japan and believes Joanna might be that woman.
I believe this was the author’s first attempt at romantic suspense. It was written in 1979 and renewed/revised in 1995. The romantic part was too schmaltzy for me. Alex meets Joanna, they talk, and suddenly he feels love. He has this “need and desire to share his life with her.” This was too much too soon. I need more reasonable relationship development. There are several sex scenes. They are briefly referred to with no details, for example “They made love together twice.” I’m not complaining - just informing.
Joanna’s character was the naysayer for Alex’s thoughts which became tiring. He would have a premonition or a gut feeling, and she would say something similar to that’s just intuition, it’s not true. When he suggested something about Joanna’s past, she immediately dismissed it saying that’s not true, when she should have said, it’s possible or I don’t know. The result was he was always the smart one. She was always the wrong one. It rubbed me wrong. Maybe I wanted more balance to her - something interesting besides being beautiful and a good singer. One might argue she was weak because she had a past trauma. But so did Alex. He was abused by alcoholic parents.
I was annoyed with stupid actions on the part of Alex. Bad guys are following them. Bad guys hurt someone and kill someone else. Yet Alex decides he and Joanna should go after the bad guys alone. He had a lead to a bad guy’s location. He should have sent a team of armed and skilled undercover investigators. But no, he and Joanna go there alone and something bad happens.
Regarding stupidity, I have to say there was a surprise and some justification for it at the end. It was an intellectual justification. But it made the rest of the book frustrating with Alex and Joanna doing stupid things and being victims.
The narrator was Tanya Eby. Too often I felt her interpretations were off. When a situation was stressful or tense, she sounded as if she were amused or overly positive. She reminded me of actresses in the movies in the 1950s.
Genre: romantic mystery suspense.
Ending: good for the good guys.
"Story is ok but...."
The story is ok but the reader's inability to pronounce things correctly made me nuts. There are many references of places and things that the wealthy enjoy, such as Hermes and St. Moritz that the reader simply mangled. The Japanese pronunciation was questionable as well. If the reader cannot pronounce words and names correctly, it is INCREDIBLY distracting. Doesn't anyone check this sort of thing? Isn't there some sort of quality check for this kind of problem?
"The Key to Midnight"
It was fair but not outstanding. I was expecting more than I got so I gave the book a 3 star. It was just good enough you wanted to finish but not the book you could not put down or one that you are sad when you finish.
"Didn't I just read this?!?"
I like Koontz, but those who read alot of his books will realize that many times alot of his books have the same exact concept!
When you just happen to read 2 or 3 of his books that share the same concept, you begin thinking, what the hell?
For example...this book, and The House of Thunder....same concept. But as for the book, it does keep you interested, but as the end nears, just like typical Koontz books, there's some crazy conspirital explanation for all of it. But again, its amazing how some of his books share the same themes.
"Good early Koontz"
Unfortunately, I recently listened to another of Koontz' books that dealt with a very similar theme, so I didn't enjoy this as much as I otherwise would have. But still, it was well written, well performed, and had a satisfying surprise at the end.
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