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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

I haven't read a Dean Koontz novel in years, but the blurb for The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk #2) caught my attention.  Although I have not read The Silent Corner, which precedes TWR, Koontz includes enough background to make this an easy read.

TWR is a fast-paced, action-driven novel about conspiracies,
hi-jacked science, nanotechnology, and the lack of privacy that is now an ever-present part of the human condition.

Jane Hawk is a rogue FBI agent on the run, pursued by the very agencies people believe can keep them safe.  The conspiracy involves the mega-wealthy and has devotees in many branches of government.  Jane finds it difficult to find trustworthy allies; she has a few who are willing to protect her son and provide aide, but she needs someone who can expose the conspiracy.  

Jane finds an unexpected ally in Luther Tillman, sheriff of a small town that has just experienced a deadly suicide attack.  Luther can't understand why 40-year-old Cora suddenly becomes... not only willing to commit suicide, but willing to take dozens of innocents with her.  After a government agent shuts down the investigation and Cora's house is burned down, Luther begins reading Cora's journals. Cora's repeated phrases about a spider in her brain and the phrase "Play Manchurian with me" set Luther on his own investigation.

Suicides, nanotechnology, and mind-control?

Is it scary?  Yes.  Believable?  I'm not sure, but science can always be abused, and there are always people who think they know what is best for others.  In a world where technology reveals everything about an individual's personal and financial life and there is no way to go completely off-grid because one way or another technology will find you, what if the next step is nanotechnology implanted in your brain? 

Not a book of any depth, no fully developed characters, plenty of violence--The Whispering Room is guaranteed to make readers uneasy.  TWR must be read for what it is--action and suspense, combined with paranoia-inducing fears about the future.

Koontz' clever use of The Manchurian Candidate was my favorite part of the novel.  

Read in Sept.  Blog review scheduled for Nov. 8
P.S.  I came back to this scheduled review after reading an interview with Franklin Foer about his new book World Without Mind.  Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Franklin Foer: Let’s get apocalyptic. I worry that we’re headed to a world of total surveillance—and that the presence of watchful eyes will inhibit us from thinking original, subversive thoughts. I worry that we’re outsourcing too many of our mental activities to machines—and these machines are run by a small handful of monopolistic corporations. I worry that we’re creating an economy that squeezes producers of knowledge—the journalists, the novelists, the essayists, who produce the words that help us make sense of the world. I worry that the big technology companies use their surveillance of us to create a portrait of our mind, and that they exploit their intimate knowledge of us to keep us clicking and watching. In short, I worry that we’re headed to a world without contemplation, a world lacking in originality and depth.

Check here for another interview with Mr. Foer.  

 While Mr. Foer's argument is not quite the same as the novel's premise, it is interesting.  Some of Foer's concerns have bothered us me for some time, but we I have become pretty cocooned by Amazon, FB, and Google, relying on Google daily.  It is difficult to let go of the conveniences provided...right?  

Read in Sept.  Blog review scheduled for Nov. 8.

NetGalley/Random House

Techno-thriller.  Nov. 21, 2017.  Print length:  528 pages.  


  1. I have not read Koontz in quite a while. This seems a bit more of a departure from his previous books. Wasn't he writing mainly horror? See, it has been a while since I've read one of his books!

    1. He was writing mainly horror, but it has been so long since I've read a book by Koontz that I don't know when he began changing his narratives. :O

  2. It's been a LONG time since I read a book by Koontz. I used to read him a lot, but I haven't read any of his books in years. But this one sounds good! :)

    1. It was full of action and had an interesting premise.

  3. I used to read lots of Koontz's books back then and loved them. I think one reason why I've stopped reading them is his change of writing style and his storytelling. That said, this one sounds intriguing.

    1. The nanotechnology idea was interesting. Who knows what the future will bring!?!

  4. One of my favorite books of all time is WHISPERS. I think I must have read it back in the late 70s when I discovered the scariest books including The Shining, which in MHO were so much better than the movies based on the books.
    xx, Carol

    1. I've never read Whispers--wonder if there is a connection?