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Dark Rivers of the Heart

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  12,050 ratings  ·  301 reviews
Do you dare step through the red door?
Spencer Grant had no idea what drew him to the bar with the red door. He thought he would just sit down, have a slow beer or two, and talk to a stranger. He couldn't know that it would lead to a narrow escape from a bungalow targeted by a SWAT team. Or that it would leave him a wanted man. Now he is on the run from mysterious and ruth
Paperback, 576 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Bantam (first published 1994)
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Matt Barker
Another great book by Dean Koontz. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. The books are great, the humor is welcome, and they usually keep me reading until late into the night.

Publisher's Summary

Spencer Grant had no idea what drew him to the bar with the red door. He thought he would just sit down, have a slow beer or two, and talk to a stranger. He couldn't know that it would lead to a narrow escape from a bungalow targeted by a SWAT team. Or that it would leave him a wanted man.

Nov 02, 2008 Daniella rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only die hard Koontz fans
This book is made of fail.

I tried three separate times to finish reading Dark Rivers, but unfortunately, it simply couldn't hold my interest. At first, it seemed to have all the ear-marks of a fun, fast-paced, suspensful read. A man with a dark secret; a mysterious woman on the run from a secret, amoral government agency; a sociopathic serial killer cum secret government agent hot on their trail--all in all, this book could have been good. Hell, with its incorporation of high technology and cons
Adam Burton
Ugh. I tried, really tried to like this. A number of friends, whom I consider readers of taste, recommended Koontz. I listened to an audiobook of this. Bleah. I mean, the plot was interesting enough to keep me until the end of the story, but the writing was god-awful. The style kept changing between a stereotypical "taut thriller" no-frills Hemingwayesque voice and this bizarre, baroque, almost delirious pseudo-poetry. Maybe that was a conscious technique (I hope so for his sake), but I found it ...more
heh heh!

there's a blurb, one of many, from the orlando sentinel: "as it appears, george orwell was ten years late, and it is left to dean koontz to add the finishing touches to an orwellian future that is here and now. one of his best novels."

i chuckle because of so many takes i've read from others who flam-beau koontz for his vision...ha ha ha ha! i mean, i've often wondered if when our elected newbies get to where they're going if they're not taken into a room, w/o any windows or doors....wor
GREAT READ! This one comes highly recommended. also check out From the Corner of His Eye Large Print and Life Expectancy After this sample you will be hooked and will surely want more. This Koontz addiction is like crack.
Having read the first 150 pages, I'm officially done with this novel. I usually have good luck with Koontz, but this is one of the exceptions. Reasons why I just can't bring myself to finish it are as follows:

1.) The story is so shrouded in mystery that it's hard to have a good understanding of what's happening and why. I'm sure it eventually all becomes clear, but I find it hard to get into a story when I don't even know the motivation of the main character.

2.) The cheese factor. Dean Koontz is
Karen San Diego
Definitely my most favorite book - Koontz or not.
Critics of this book (I have just read some of the reviews) are quite understandable.I am a Filipino,but I am also a patronizer of the American politics.Many may say I do not know much,for I don't live under the American government,but they must also remember that this novel is not based on a true story.It's fiction,and everything is real and possible in a work of fiction.They can't criticize a fiction novel using reality as a basis,it's going to
Ally Atherton
One man walks into a bar with a red door, looking for the woman who could save his life. The same man is walking around with a scar and the weight of the world on his shoulders. Spencer Grant is trying desperately to forget his past but also to remember the one thing that is stopping him from moving on. The day he walks through the red door is the same day he finds himself being hunted by men in helicopters and on a perilous journey for his life through Las Vegas and the over stretched arms of t ...more
I read this book several times as a teenager and it remains one of my favorite Koontz books. Tons of adventure, suspense, unexpected plot twists and two protagonists I really liked...and some antagonists who were entertainingly malicious.

The romance angle seems a bit unrealistic by today's standards, but it is admittedly realistic when it comes to the loneliness that so many people feel, going through their everyday lives, searching for someone to share it all with. That's a recurring theme in a
I have not read a Dean Koontz book for years and I loved it! The story is slowly revealed bringing past present and future into play all to the end of the book with a climatic ending, and unlike many books of this nature, it is not all together predictable in what will happen. The characters are all very interesting and intriguing. I enjoyed many of the tid bits of information that were related to true events added to the story and the info at the end of the book really added to the ending, maki ...more
Mar 24, 2013 Maria rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery/Suspense fans
Shelves: suspense
Dean Koontz has done it again. I have a love/hate relationship with most of his books. He reaches out and grabs you by the throat and drags you through the white-knuckle adventure and doesn't let you go until the last page. His writing is so much more spell-binding than other people in his genre. The "hate" part is that I can't get anything done when I'm engrossed in his books. My business goes to pot, my house doesn't get cleaned. And after I escape, wrung-out and exhausted, I look around and a ...more
Aug 07, 2009 Raesaun rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Raesaun by: friend
I think the movement of the story was pretty cool. Though I do feel bad for the past that Spencer had. Just sad.

The good thing is that it all gets a little better in the end.

Koontz is a great writer, but after reading a few books, it gets a bit boring that he has the whole "its-almost-the-same-as-my-last-story-but-with-a-few-changes-in-character-and-situation-maybe-a-pinch-of-spirituality-for-fun-and-maybe-a-change-in-city-or-state" thing he's got going on.

But otherwise, he's awesome.

Like supe
The novel is pure Koontz: a pure hero, a beautiful heroine with a heart of gold, and a more than lovable dog — all caught up in an impossible adventure as they try to get away from the forces aligned against them, with subplots from their past gradually becoming visible as explanations of how they came to wind up in this situation.

This book is unusual for Koontz in that this time there is nothing supernatural occurring in it, but there is the usual amount of tense drama as the protagonist finds
Victoria Gonzales
My family are big Dean Koontz fans and to tell you the truth I didn't think much about Koontz until I got bored and had nothing to read after I got my mom her new Koontz book Innocence and saw this one what our dogs had gotten into and decided to read it. I fell in love with this book on the first chapter and Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors. His book was full of twist and turns to where you are caught in the book every time you will be losing interest he throws something into the book ...more
Jo Ann
Besides a compelling plot and believable and sympathetic characters, this novel has a deeper meaning. It is a type of cautionary tale of a government gone awry, and fascists enabled by technology to control those they have promised to serve. When this was written in 1994 the Branch Davidian fiasco and the massacre at Ruby Ridge had occurred. I was starting to realize that the government was not my friend, something that Mr. Koontz knew and expressed so vividly.
Stacie Morgan
I don't read a whole lot of Dean Koontz books because they often times deal with really wierd situations that give me the heebie-jeebies (and I don't like having the heebie-jeebies), so I choose his books with care. While this story did make me cringe with the demented, whacked-out sense of "compassion" held by Roy Miro, I still enjoyed the story. I really liked Spencer Grant but found it a little difficult believing his "love" and attraction for Valerie/Ellie. The "why" behind it wasn't delved ...more
Lynn Manning
Jun 17, 2008 Lynn Manning rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lynn by: Kevin Nordstrom
This book just didn't do it for me. I'm a huge Koontz fan and I was pretty disappointed with this one. There were parts I really enjoyed and felt had the intensity that most of his novels have.. but MOST of the book moved too slow for me. I also didn't feel any closer at the end. I wouldn't recommend this book of his.
Julie Reed
This is my first Dean Koontz book and I went right out and bought another one after I finished this one. I like his style. Hardly a boring moment in this book which is a lot for me to say as I get bored very easily. He writes spooky, thrilling, and creepy really well! Can't wait to read more of him.
By far my favorite Koontz novel. Much better story-line than typical Koontz. I love most of his earlier works, because the stories usually went off in an oddball way without a typical 'happy ending'.. which is more believable.
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I didn't really like this when I first read it. I recently tried to re-read it with the Koontzland - Dean Koontz group when it was chosen as a group read but I just couldn't get into it so I'm putting it aside.
Tammy Lewandowski
This was such a compelling story. Loved it!
I read the German edition "Dunkle Flüsse des Herzens"
Es waren schon immer die Künstler und Kreativen, die vor den sich anbahnenden Entwicklungen in ihren Werken warnten. Und sie waren es auch, die unter jeder Form von Diktatur am meisten zu leiden hatten, wurden sie doch als politisch Gefangene gleichgestellt mit Verbrechern.

Ich habe vor kurzem den Roman "Dunkle Flüsse des Herzens" (Dark Rivers of the Heart) von Dean Koontz beendet, und zwar die Ausgabe von 1994. Und was ich darin gefunden habe,
I’m a massive Koontz fan, I love pretty much every book I have read by him, yet I am of the firm belief that his older work is much better than his more recent work. I admit that the Odd Thomas series is my favourite, but collectively his older work scores higher ratings than his more recent work – for me, that is.

So, that means you’re going to hear a number of the same comments about this one as with his other work.

As always, Koontz creates a collection of great characters (yep, even those with
Dec 29, 2014 Maki rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maki by: Jupiter Waves
For there being a good four different plot lines going on in this book, it got off to a realllllly slow start. The first half of this book just dragged, and with so much to be introduced and set up, it shouldn't have. Then, after the book hit its stride around the halfway mark, everything went absolutely insane and all of the plot lines began to converge. It was rather disconcerting to have the plot hit me in the face after something like twenty pages describing the flood Spencer got stuck in, a ...more
Dark Rivers of the Heart (1994)

There's really not much that could be said about "Dark Rivers" that hasn't been said. It doesn't really break any new background; if you've read Koontz before you won't be surprised by anything.

The protagonist, Spencer Grant (who of course has a haunted past) travels with his dog Rocky (who has good reasons not to dwell on the past too) in search of a woman, Valerie, whom he fell in love with...after chatting with her for 20 minutes in a bar. Spencer arrives at the
A large (487 pages) tome which, while enjoyable, is not among his best. AND it's more of a "thriller" than his more usual "horror" fare; the horror aspects are underlying, and indeed are mostly in the form of misuse of governmental power, property-forfeiture laws, downright evil people (although with some personality, I must admit) and a lot of contemporary (well, 1994-ish)technology. Mr. Koontz appears to have a political agenda (spelled out in his Afterward). The more overt horror comes closer ...more
Tina ♥ Bookaholic
I like Koontzs writing style, 'cause its easy to read and the suspense ist great.
Brutal and psychopatic storyline and characters - but I liked it :)
Great book and great development throughout the story. My first Koontz and I really liked it.
For those who liked to be scared.

Spencer Grant kennt seine Vergangenheit nicht. Er liebt eine Frau, von der er fast nichts weiß. Und er wird gnadenlos von einem Unbekannten namens Todesengel verfolgt. Doch der schlimmste Feind steckt in ihm se
It's kind of refreshing having a Koontz novel with a dog that isn't all-powerful and smarter than your average human.

As much as I loved this book, I was still frustrated by a good chunk of it. Spencer's character was just scarred and flawed enough to make his obsession with Valerie believable and tolerable. Valerie herself, once the reader gets a chance to know her, is smart, determined, a little cold, but also one tough chick. Roy took a little getting used to. He's such a strange, out-there ch
Alex Gherzo
This was the third Dean Koontz book I read and it wasn't nearly as good as Watchers or Lightning. Spencer, the main character, is too much of an enigma to be very interesting (sometimes this works, like in The Bourne Identity, but not here) and he wasn't given enough character traits to make him come alive (talking to his dog isn't enough). Also, I didn't buy that he fell in love with "Valerie" overnight. Maybe if that night were depicted in the book, but we just have to take Spencer's (and Koon ...more
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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.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na
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“They said there was no rest for the wicked. In fact, there was rest neither for the virtuous nor the wicked, nor for guys like Billy, who were uncommitted regarding the whole idea of virtue versus wickedness and who were just trying to do their jobs.” 6 likes
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