The Whispering Room
A JANE HAWK NOVEL (2)
By Dean Koontz
Publication Date November 21, 2017
Synopsis from Publisher:
These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better.
In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide—and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals—Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue—and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive—in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough.
Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.
Assumptions can be a detriment to a bibliophile. I try not to make assumptions when looking for my newest crime fiction read but I do. I see a book, the name of the author and automatically associate that author with a certain genre and move on to another book. I was curious when The Silent Corner (book one in the Jane Hawk series) by Dean Koontz kept popping up in my searches for new crime fiction reads. When I finally read the synopsis, I was intrigued and bought the book. I was pleasantly surprised and I found a new heroine to add to my list of favorites. The Whispering Room is a page turning, action packed, edge of your seat, crime fiction story with a realistic and plausible science fiction twist.
The Whispering Room picks right up where we last saw Jane in The Silent Corner. She realizes she has enough intel to expose the evil intentions of the Techno Arcadians, but she still needs more. Jane fears the info she has can be distorted and the true goal of the Techno Arcadians underestimated. Jane continues on her quest to stop the horrendous and demented plan that has killed her husband, countless others, and continues to pose a serious danger to America.
My first observation is the way Jane seems to have settled into her new role as a fugitive/outlaw. She is now comfortable doing things she would not have been comfortable doing before. She feels her morality deteriorating and is sometimes shocked by her actions and thoughts. Jane also realizes she is in a war not a battle. She no longer believes she will clear her husband’s name and bring down the Techno Arcadians in a couple of months.
The story is fast paced but sometimes seems a little labored. In some chapters Koontz fits in some details and background from The Silent Corner. These sections seem to slow the pace of the book. I will say that my previous read was The Silent Corner, so I am familiar with the backstory and the characters. This may be the reason the book seems slower at times but these details are needed if you are starting the series with The Whispering Room rather than The Silent Corner.
There is a particular scene in the book that struck a chord with me. Jane is in her motel room alone and trying to figure out her next move. She thinks the best way to expose the Techno Arcadians is through the internet. She continues thinking of the early days of the internet. When it was growing at a fast rate, too fast to be regulated and edited, back when the law was not equipped to deal with internet crimes such as identity fraud. Jane refers to the early internet as the Wild West. She realizes that posting this info may not have the affect she wants. The info she has can be edited or removed as soon as it is uploaded. In the early days of the internet, the goal was a free and fast exchange of information. Information you would not find in a newspaper or on TV because it was reviewed and edited before it was distributed or aired. It started out as good thing, a way to get the truth to the public. I wonder if this war Jane is embroiled in started out like the internet, with good intentions gone terribly bad. We will have to wait and see.
As with The Silent Corner, The Whispering Room is filled with lyrical phrases and paragraphs. Descriptions of places and the feelings of the characters are given with loads of expressive and symbolic passages. Some readers may think this is distracting but I thought it gave a balance against Jane’s tough personality and the evil intentions of the Techno Arcadians.
The Whispering Room is a great follow up to The Silent Corner. You never really know what Jane is up to until her plan is executed. This adds action and anxiety to the story. Koontz makes sure new readers of the series have all the pertinent details from The Silent Corner but I do recommend starting with The Silent Corner. There are some stories in the first book that need to be read in order to fully appreciate Jane and her motives for finding the truth. If you are in the mood for a speedy, twisty, and suspenseful read, please add The Whispering Room to your to be read list.
**Thanks to Bantam and Netgalley for my review copy.**
Murder and Moore Rating:
4 out of 5 stars