“The Night Window”

 “The Night Window” by Dean Koontz is the fifth and final book in the “Jane Hawk” series. In a masterpiece of construction, Koontz writes a story within the story to familiarize new readers with the good, the bad, and the Hamlet List. However, the series really explodes when read in order. All five books take place over a little less than a month, so the pace is intense, the action powerful, and the suspense penetrating. Koontz wraps up the series with intense action on every page. With technology advancing at a remarkable pace, Jane Hawk finds that nowhere is safe. Descriptions hint at the impending chaos. “People are dazzled by high tech, but there’s a dark side, dark and darker. What horror isn’t possible today … it’ll be possible tomorrow.”

The title “The Night Window”   provides a subtle undercurrent. “The triple-pane floor-to-ceiling windows of Hollister’s study frame the rising plain to the west, the foothills, and the distant Rocky Mountains that were long ago born from the earth in cataclysm, now dark and majestic against a sullen sky. It is a view to match the man who stands at this wall of glass.”

Koontz is a master of word use and illustration, and his writing has a unique lyrical quality. After all, who but Koontz could describe a library as “The wisdom of millennia and numerous cultures was stacked on a grid maze of shelves flanking dimly lighted aisles in which no one searched for knowledge, all as quiet as an undiscovered pharaoh’s tomb in a pyramid drifted over by a thousand feet of sand.”

Readers are never far from the tension, and cannot forget trauma to come. “Meanwhile, there are mundane tasks to perform, obligations to address. For one thing, there is someone who needs to be killed.” Meticulously chosen words draw visual pictures that pull readers into the action, drama, and peril that surrounds Jane Hawk. Alternating points of view follow characters through the mundane and the murderous. As each character is introduced readers, get background information and character descriptions to allow an initial evaluation of each one’s participation, however, roles can change dramatically.

“The Night Window” brings to a close this saga of Jane Hawk, and readers eagerly wait for the next drama to begin. Even Koontz’s characters speak to his creative process “Life is a tapestry of tragedy and comedy, terror and fortitude, despair and joy, and it’s routinely more colorful and crazy than anything I— or anyone— could invent.”

The Jane Hawk books tend to be long, but every word has function, purpose, and beauty. I received a copy of “The Night Window” from Dean Koontz, Random House, and NetGalley. I recommend the entire series.