The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz

I was forced to put this one down five times: work, kids, sleep, sleep, kids. Each was a painful separation.

Dean Koontz’s The Crooked Staircase continues Jane Hawk’s mission against the Techo Arcadians, a group of rogue government and private egomaniacs, who forced her husband to commit suicide using nanorobotics injected into his brain. She is determined to take down this sinister group whose prime directive is to cull the herd of any person who may have the power to influence the whole. The book opens with Hawk hunting a man who has a connection to upper echelons of the evil faction.

In a genre crowded with male protagonists, Jane Hawk is an important departure from the norm. Every edition of the series only serves to deepen her character as Koontz adds more details of her background throughout. Koontz’s experience in the genre shows in his practiced style of short cliffhanger chapters. He is also adept in the details. Weapons, automobiles, surveillance, nanotechnology: all are well-researched and seamlessly included in the narrative.

Several threads are developed in the book; the main two being Jane’s objective and the Arcadian’s pursuit. There is another one that is well-developed, but the rug seems to be pulled from under the reader without consequence. This is the only real criticism I have of the book.

Overall, this is a very good book in a great series by a master of the genre.

4 out of 5 stars

Comes out on May 8th, 2018.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House, and Mr. Koontz for the advanced copy for review.

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