Oh, Dean Koontz, I just can’t kick you. I picked up one of your novels sometime in middle school — False Memory, I believe, which on re-read was wildly inappropriate for an 11-year-old but probably better than all the Robin Cook and Michael Palmer I was also reading at the time. I’ve read all your books, most of them more than once, and as soon as a new one hits paperback, it’s sitting on the overburdened Dean Koontz shelf of my bookshelf. Between you and Stephen King, 1/4 of my books are shelved with the Ks. But I keep reading Koontz because his books are entertaining (in silly way–you can’t take these things seriously or you’ll hate them).
“Death was everywhere, he was legion, and you couldn’t escape his attention, but in some places he manifested in greater numbers than in others.”
77 Shadow Street begins as kind of a haunted house/hotel sort of tale. A bunch of wealthy people live in the apartments of the Pendleton, converted in the 1970s from a fancy ass mansion after a string of deaths throughout the last couple hundred years. Something happens every 38 years, and we’re about due for another event. There’s a motley crew of characters, including a precious child, an autistic child, some cute old ladies, a contract killer who reminded me intensely of the guy from Koontz’s Bad Place, a drunk senator and some others. Some team up when the event happens, others get taken over to the dark side, and a bunch of shit goes down. The narration at times, especially the words of The One, who pops up every once in a while spouting nonsense, is overblown and goofy. The book takes a wild turn from haunted house, however, and the twisty-ness of that made the novel for me.
Look, we don’t read Dean Koontz to expand our minds or learn new things. We read Dean Koontz because we have a six hour car drive to entertain ourselves on. And this book is perfect for that.