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 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.
Please Note: While it goes without saying that most of the books I review in the Mystery, Thriller & Suspense genre contain content that may be disturbing to some, The Crooked Staircase contains themes that may be especially triggering - specifically rape and/or sexual abuse. Please read at your own discretion.
I have long been a fan of Dean Koontz and his genre-bending ways, and techno-thriller The Crooked Staircase, the third book in the Jane Hawk series, is no exception. Our unwitting heroine, Jane Hawk, is one badass Mama bear, embarking on a one-woman mission to save the world. At times, she’s too good to be true - is there nothing she can’t do?
The story is told in three different timelines - we have Jane, rogue ex FBI agent going after a secret organization known as The Arcadians. Then we have twin brother and sister, both authors, who have been targetted by the organization and while initially escaping their fate, they are eventually forced to commit an atrocity at the command. Finally, we have the Washingtons, a married couple who have charge of Jane’s young son.
To say this is a wild ride would be an understatement. The Crooked Staircase is fast-paced, often violent, sometimes heartbreaking, always dark and terrifying. We’re swept from one scenario to another, always with Koontz’ masterful story-telling to both immerse and guide us, and I had trouble putting it down ... until the end when I came very close to firing my Kindle Oasis across the room in frustration at the cliffhanger! Ugh! I had to convince myself that Mr. Koontz hasn’t become one of “those” authors who spread a story over three or four short books instead of the one it should’ve been. Even the included excerpt from the next in the series didn’t help too much, though it did allow me to breathe again by at least offering some hope for certain characters. I guess it’s going to be one of those “wait and see” things.
If you’re into strong female leads and terrifying government conspiracies, then The Crooked Staircase is one you should definitely pick up.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be out back digging a bunker. Y’know. Just in case.
I was provided this book for free by Bantam (via Netgalley) in return for my honest opinion. Please note that some links in this book may be affiliate links to help us keep the lights on :)