Just because I didn't post the review last week, didn't mean I slacked off on my book-a-week goal. It took me forever to get through Dean Koontz's The Darkest Evening of the Year because, and I'm not going to mince words here, this book was mediocre at best. When I was younger I read every Koontz book I could get my hands on as fast as I could. After I read everything I could borrow from a friend or purchase in paperback, I would anxiously anticipate the time each year his most recent hardcover would be released in the cheaper paperback form. Library? Yeah... Not for me. I still have an entire bookshelf devoted to my collection of his work. I even have a couple of the books he wrote for kids in hardcover. I loved Dean Koontz.
After reading Evening, I realize somewhere along the way, I must have outgrown him. Could it be that I have read so many excellent books by such a variety of writers that I'm jaded toward the very author I turned to for entertainment throughout my youth? I think the answer is yes. It took 345 pages to capture my interest. The book is 461 pages long. That is not a good thing. Koontz simply uses too many words to embellish the smallest, most insignificant details. What should be a subtle hint of the macabre is too blatantly evil - the dialogue between the "bad guys" is so bad it is practically comical. He builds the back stories of several characters just to eliminate them, why waste your reader's time? The climax - if you can even call that - is too neatly wrapped up and left me deeply dissatisfied.
Ultimately, Dean Koontz has a predictable formula to each of his books that essentially boils down to a dog, a lead character with a past and a romantic interest. It has just become so tiresome. I can honestly say this will likely be the last Dean Koontz book I crack. Luckily, it was purchased with a gift card and I didn't waste my heard earned coin on such drivel.