A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz- Feature and Review


"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.



The Crooked Staircase (Jane Hawk, #3)The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz is a 2018 Bantam publication.

Our vigilante superhero Jane Hawk is back. With each chapter of the series, Jane’s adversaries become more difficult to conquer, more diabolical, and evil.

This is one of the biggest challenges to date. The Techno-Arcadians- and the mastermind- Booth Hendrickson are whom Jane has zeroed in on. On this stop she must deal with Booth’s brother, Simon- a truly charming chap, who picks a female target, romances them, then proceeds to rip their world apart, just for kicks and giggles.

Jane is out to prove her husband did not commit suicide, to restore his good name, and to keep her son safe, but the deeper she dives into these murky waters, she realizes that the mind control program threatens the entire world as we know it.

With the government on her tail as well as the Arcadians, Jane must always be one step ahead- and she manages to do so with aplomb.

This is one of the most chilling installments in the series. The Crooked Staircase, once it is broken down and explained is horrifying!!

There are a few sub-plots at play here as well, and Jane’s son is in more vulnerable than he’s been since this adventure started, adding even more tension to the atmosphere.

With thrillers like this one several things must be explored. First, is it plausible? Well, truthfully, I’m not a conspiracy nut- but I like them in fictional books. But, what drew me to this series in the first place was that I honestly don’t doubt the possibility that mind control is something that governments have attempted, and with the climate we are in currently, I don’t know if I could discount the theory that rich, powerful, tech savvy men who seek to control the world would really try something like this. Do I have to suspend belief? Of course. It’s fiction, and there are plenty of aspects to the story that could only happen in books, could only come from the imagination of an author whose made a career out of dreaming up fantastical tales. Still, there is enough truth here to plant a few uneasy thoughts in my mind.

This book has the best storyline to date, but the book has some issues- all of them are purely personal pet peeves. Short chapters tend to create the illusion of reading a lengthy book, such as this one, at a faster clip. However, I loathe them and find them distracting and annoying.

I also hated the ending. I know there is another installment coming, but it’s not just the cliffhanger aspect- which I really, really, really despise, but the way the book just stopped. There really isn’t an ‘ending’ to it at all. This is annoying to the extreme, but because this series has more positives than negatives I will let it pass, but I hope it doesn't become a habit.

Overall, despite a few personal misgivings, this is a stellar installment in the series and I’m waiting with bated breath for the next book in the series!!





“We’re rewriting the play, and the play is this country, the world, the future. We break Jane’s heart, we’ll also break her will.”
She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stands between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal.
But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her running to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden . . . for now.
As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.




Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

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