ARC Review - Dean Koontz, THE WHISPERING ROOM

The Whispering Room - Dean Koontz
Release Date: 11.21.17

Picking up immediately after the action of this novel's predecessor, The Silent CornerThe Whispering Room — Dean Koontz's latest thriller — hits the ground running. Jane Hawk, blacklisted CIA agent, is still on the run and working hard to solve the massive conspiracy she uncovered in Koontz's previous release. Certain people have been chosen to kill themselves, for no apparent reason . . . except to manage the gene pool, perhaps? 

In a lot of ways, this book feels like the antithesis of The Silent Corner. I thought that book was exciting, fresh. It was a techno thriller that, for the most part, felt original and believable. I read it in three days and gave it a glowing review. The Whispering Room . . . is a sequel. Bringing nothing new to the table, this is Silent Corner redux. Jane is a boring cipher here; before, I thought she was perhaps one of Koontz's finest creations. Everything that interesting about her before is not really present here. Like Koontz's 2005 novel Forever Odd, this is a sequel that saps all the energy and vitality from its main character. And the villains . . .? I'm going to be totally honest and say I'm not exactly sure who the villains were in this one, aside from the mysterious "government agents" Koontz LOVES to use this century, to varying degrees. 

In essence, this is a chase novel. There's no character development — it's all action: running, gunfights, boom boom boom. And at one point Jane helps children from an orphanage of sorts, in a scene straight out of Brother Odd. Laaaame. 

Yeah, this book is pretty terrible. I dreaded reading it every day, which is why it took me so long to finish. It was just a big bore, that's all. Constant action isn't for me. I like world building and character development. I will give it two stars for its first 25% or so, which did hook me in. And, as usual, Koontz's prose is professional and without error. 

Overall, this is a disappointment. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Bantam for the ARC, which was given in exchange for an honest review.