11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Slow Burner That Keeps The Heat On,
This review is from: 77 Shadow Street (Hardcover)Dean Koontz's latest offering is set in luxurious appartments converted in the 1970's from The Pendleton, a palatial residence built by a tycoon in Victorian times on top of Shadow Hill. The residents are an odd mix of individuals, some interesting and likeable, some less so. Each of the many characters is introduced with a vividly painted portrayal of their current perceptions and beliefs for the future. They include a successful songwriter who is the mother of an ambitious 8 year old boy (Winny),two elderly ladies and their housekeeper, a retired attorney turned amateur Pendleton historian, a hitman, a financial advisor,a would-be writer with an autistic daughter (Iris), a deranged scientist, a corrupt ex-senator, good and bad security guards amongst many others. The depth of the descriptions rather labours the first half of the book and begs the question of the reader as to where the narrative is going especially as there are no readily identifiable lead figures to take the story forward and become engaged with .A distinct lack of character interaction is disappointing with any occurring reported by the author rather than directly quoted.
The residents of the building are exposed to eerie, chilling experiences in a 38 year cyclical fashion. Creepy shadows, unidentifiable sounds, CCTV images that cannot relate to the confines of the building. These phenomena get progressively more perverse and genuinely frightening and are graphically described by Koontz. The myriad of characters tend to bounce off each other which can make the tale confusing. Perseverance is recommended as the second half of the book picks up and develops what had hitherto been a thin plot. This becomes clearer as the relationships between the characters so elaborately introduced earlier come together tying some loose ends. Twists and turns with further revelations lead to an ending that I found unexpected (others may disagree).
This is a longish book,but kept my interest. I was intrigued as to how the book would unravel. Digs by the author on inhumanities and uncertainty of use of scientific developments are hinted at. I have only read a handful of Dean Koontz's books. This seems a somewhat different style with a blend of supernatural horror with a tad of science fiction added. My daughter brought this to read on a flight back from New York. She fell asleep half-way through and couldn't be bothered to read the rest. She would have given it two stars on what she had digested (she is a prolific reader). I confess that I enjoyed it overall.