The Key to Midnight
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The Key to Midnight

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  17,218 ratings  ·  169 reviews
Joanna Rand left the U.S. ten years ago to sing in a Japanese nightclub. Ever since, she's been plagued with nightmares of terror. There is only one man can help her -- Alex Hunter. Ten years ago he saw her picture in the papers -- as a senator's daughter who had disappeared. Now he has to bring her memories back to her, memories of a past more terrifying than they dreamed...more
Mass Market Paperback, 419 pages
Published June 1st 1995 by Berkley (first published 1979)
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Elena Cvetkovska
The book is cringe worthy.Seriously, there were passages when I was genuinely embarrassed for Koontz.The characters are as deep as a puddle of rain water left in the wake of a light early autumn rain, and as one dimensional as a drawing on a piece of baking paper made by a bored housewife while waiting for her pie to finish baking,this is of course in the spirit of "Koontzian adjectivism" which should be new genre in literature.

Behold ladies and gentlemen, the following quotes may cause intensiv...more
Johnny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tom
Oh, curse you, Dean Koontz! *shakes fist*

For years, every time I pick up a Dean Koontz novel, I swear I'm not going to get obsessed with it. Every time, I end up reading it in a night or two.

"The Key to Midnight" was originally published in 1979 under the pseudonym, Leigh Nichols. In the Afterword, Koontz describes how he went back in 1995, with the intention of just giving it a little polish, when he ended up excising a great deal of it, then adding yet more. Then, he pretty much rewrote the wh...more
Nicholas Beck
This novel was certainly interesting to say the least. A thrilling book about a woman, Joanna Rand, who had terrible nightmares of a man with a claw hand. When Alex Hunter arrives in Kyoto, Japan, he instantly recognizes Joanna as a missing girl from twelve years previously. The daughter of a United States senator. The two are set on a path of discovery to find the source of her chilling nightmares. As well as the reason why she was chosen to be implanted in a new life.

The book takes many unexpe...more
Atlantis
This was the first Dean Koontz novel I have read (at least that is what my memory is telling me) and this book was very disturbing. I think what really tossed it over the edge for me was the author's "Afterword" at the end of the book and I quote:

"It's a simple tale, not a substantive one, that just wants to be liked and to give you a little fun. There's nothing wrong with a book like that; no writer must try to be Dostoyevsky every time he picks up a pen. Most people would agree that writing su...more
Brittany
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Maciek
I'm torn between three and four stars. This is an early Koontz title (originally written back in 1979 - this is a partial rewrite from 1996). It's your TV movie of the week that you loved as a kid - a woman with a shadowy past meets an attractive male investigator, and together they try to find the key to midnight - to understand her dreams, where the man with steel fingers fills a hypodermic syringe...
It's a nice, short book with several little twists and typical Koontz characters. I enjoyed th...more
Shawnee Bowlin
Although The Key to Midnight was not one of my favorite Koontz books, I did find it interesting because of my own curiosity about the mind. It's always intrigued, as well as scared me, that our minds can so easily be twisted into something we can't comprehend and our thoughts can be shoved away and replaced with programmed information.
Koontz did surprise me towards the end with the twist on the father and the surprise with Alex. I thought it was worth the read, although a bit tedious. I wanted...more
Christine US
I'm not sure how so many people seemed to love this book. I found it dated, irritating, and it left me just not caring at many points. In 1979, I'm sure all the brainwashing was viewed the "scary future" for government intrigue and sabotage. Now, there are far scarier things people are finding ways to do to each other.
I do, however, feel like I learned things about Japan & Japanese culture I never would have known otherwise. I hope those items are at least real so I dont' feel like it was a...more
Jeff
So far it's Ok. But it;s the first book in a while where I've actually thought about skipping to the end. It starts out really slow. There is a lot of detail about Japan as the story takes place there. It's a quick and dirty read, and a pretty flimsy story. But it's keeping me engaged--which is nice.
And now its finished. Nice and quick denoument in the final two chapters. Definitely one of hiw earlier writings--as I saw some of the same elements I just read in Lightning.
Pretty lame excuse for...more
Lynda
Joanna Rand restaurateur and nightclub singer at Moonglow Lounge in Kyoto Japan was terrified by the reoccurring nightmare she endured for many years. Vacationing Alex Hunter a demanding boss of a large security and private investigation firm was drawn to Joanna. Alex realized Joanna had no clue she was reported missing and known by another name. Joanna’s missing memories intrigued Alex and together they searched for clues to prove her identity and to find justice by locating the ones responsibl...more
Julie Powell
Yes, I am a fan of Dean Koontz, and yes, he's my favourite author so I knew I'd enjoy this story. It's actually one I hadn't read under his previous name so it was a joy to read something new.

It's full of twists, turns and mysteries with great, believable characters playing out a chilling plot.

I never give spoilers but will say that this is another recommended read.
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
In this book, Dean pretends to be a woman and writes a romantic mystery. I thought it was intriguing but personally prefer The House of Thunder which is a variation on a similar theme and also written by that same fake woman named Leigh Nichols.

The Key to Midnight features some intense scenes and interesting twists.
Alex (Al)
Just read it for the tenth time this year for Christmas because it's so bloody good! I finally bought it. I think the librarians were getting annoyed I kept putting myself on the waiting list after checking it out all the time. ;]
Charles
I don't remember this one terribly well. One of Koontz's earlier ones, I think. Not bad but not his best. Of course, his best is really really good.
Míriam Puim
opinião aqui :)
Jessica
The descriptions of Japan from this novel made me want to travel there and immerse myself in the culture, the people, and the food. Especially the food!

Joanna was right - she could be cold. That she tried to push Alex away, when he knew that he was doing what was best in trying to help her, confirmed that thought. And Alex, bless his little heart, was just stubborn and curious enough to keep pushing back, and was finally able to succeed where every other man in Joanna's life had failed - he was...more
Jeffrey Borrowdale
The Key to Midnight is an early Leigh Nichols book, written in 1979, rewritten and updated in 1995. The genre is what one might call a romantic suspense spy thriller, reminiscent of Koontz's earlier Nichols book, House of Thunder. The point of view goes back and forth between the female and male protagonists, as a romance develops between them. Joanna Rand is the owner and star performer in a swing music and dance club in Kyoto, Japan. Alex Hunter is a wealthy security business owner on vacation...more
Jane Stewart
Weak 3 stars. It kept my interest, but it wasn’t as enjoyable as I had hoped.

STORY BRIEF:
Joanna left England twelve years ago and now owns and sings in a Japanese nightclub. She has nightmares about being strapped to a bed, injected with substances, and being violated by a man with a metal hand. Alex owns a private investigating firm in the U.S. He was hired twelve years ago to find a missing woman. He sees Joanna while on vacation in Japan and believes Joanna might be that woman.

REVIEWER’S OPIN...more
Darlene
This version is the rewrite version under his own name rather than the pseudonym Leigh Nichols. Regrettably, I cannot compare the two, for I did not read the original release.

Mr. Koontz has this to say:The Key to Midnight was the first novel…under the pen name Leigh Nichols, which I no longer use.” “[The Key to Midnight:] was meant to be my stab at an action-suspense-romance novel with a background of international intrigue…”

My vote says he succeeded.

Another reason I read Dean Koontz, beside...more
Graceann
This is a novel first released in 1979 under the Leigh Nichols pseudonym, and then updated and re-released in 1995. Koontz wanted to try espionage and international intrigue, which was not the genre for which his fans knew him. To a large extent, I believe he succeeded here.

Joanna Rand is a singer and club owner in Kyoto. Things are okay for her, except that every night, she has an awful nightmare about a man with a metal hand. She also is susceptible to terrible panic attacks and depressions,...more
Angela~twistedmind~
This is a re-release, first written under the pseudonym Leigh Nichols. Wow! Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone! Never have I encountered a Koontz novel with so much romance. Did I say 'romance'? Oh, yeah. Romance.
While the book was a good read it was not one of Koontz's better efforts. I would never have guessed this was a Koontz novel. It was not only strange territory, but the writing was what I can only call 'cookie-cutter'. Usually Koontz has his own unique way of writing and you c...more
Mollysusie
Wow ... Dean Koontz sure can describe things! And describe them again and again and again and again and again and again in exactly the same way over and over and over and over and over and over again. And just when the main characters finally, *finally*, hook up ... fade to black. What! The! Froof?! Seriously, I had to read about the description of a silver gilded midnight blue mirror twelve times (and I still don't understand how it can be reflective) but I don't even get a little onamonapia wh...more
Patricia Rockwell
One of Koontz's best because it is so straight-forward--no weird animals or bizarre skills that the protagonist possesses. Just a nice, neat detective, action-thriller. This one takes place primarily in Japan and Koontz knows the culture and people well and recreates the place in such a way that you feel you'd like to visit if you don't feel you are there already. Main character Joanne Rand owns a bar in Japan and is having an extremely bad repeating dream--or is it a dream? Private investigator...more
Julie
I love Dean Koontz and I particularly love his older books, which this is one of the books that he wrote under his womanly pen name Leigh Nichols. This story takes place mostly in Kyoto, Japan which in itself was a greay setting, totally different than the norm. It was nice to read about Japanese customs, food and the overall Japanese atmosphere. Koontz captured it well even though he had never been at the time he wrote this novel. It's a really great story about a woman who had her past stolen...more
Janice
This book is a rewritten version written by Dean Koontz under the pseudonym Leigh Nichols. It is very well written although, according to Koontz, not in his usual style. It is suspenseful but not eerily so as in other books I have read by Koontz. If you like Koontz but have somehow missed this book I highly recommend it. If you love Japan you will enjoy the scenes there.
Mrs. TB
Joanna has been living on Japan for ten years. She has no family and remembers little of her past. She doesn't let anyone become close to her. And then one night, when she's singing at her club, a man comes in who is scrutinizing her a little too carefully. He knows who she is- the missing daughter of a US senator. But Joanna doesn't remember anything about her former life. Her only terrifying previous memory is of a man with a hypodermic needle and a metal hand, taunting her. What is Joanna's s...more
Joel Gomes
'The Key to Midnight' foi um de quatro romances que Dean Koontz escreveu sob o pseudónimo Leigh Nichols, dos quais eu li (e não gostei muito) 'The House of Thunder'. Embora lidando com temas semelhantes, gostei mais da abordagem feita neste pois assume logo de início do que se trata. Em 'The House of Thunder' eram avançadas várias hipóteses, sempre (ou quase sempre) no domínio do sobrenatural e do fantástico, quando tudo não passava de-- É melhor não contar mais.

Em 'The Key to Midnight' há surpr...more
Athena
The subject matter was definitely a new route for Koontz, as mentioned in the Afterword, and the story contained some of the typical Koontz attributes, so it was very well written and thought out. As a horror fan I focused more on the horror aspect which was minimal for a Koontz novel, but still creepy with characters like the ingenius Dr. Zombie and his brilliant, yet warped methods regarding the human mind. Joanna Rand, successful nighclub owner and singer, is living comfortably in Japan until...more
Rebeka Bergin
I picked up this book while I was procrastinating once whilst tidying my bedroom. My dad loves Dean Koontz and had a huge collection in my room. I can assure you my room didn't get tidied that day because I couldn't part myself from this book!
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Koontzland - Dean...: The Key to Midnight (Group Read - November 2013) 158 80 Nov 14, 2013 07:09PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Leigh Nichols is a pen name of Dean R. Koontz / Dean Koontz.
More about Leigh Nichols...
The Eyes of Darkness The Servants of Twilight Twilight Eyes Shadow Fires The House of Thunder

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“He is different, and there will be many people you love who will be unhappy with you. You don’t want them to feel you’ve dishonored them. Yes, I know how it is. But life is short. A chance for great happiness doesn’t come along all that often.” 13 likes
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