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The Key to Midnight

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  21,722 Ratings  ·  211 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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Watchers by Dean KoontzOdd Thomas by Dean KoontzIntensity by Dean KoontzLightning by Dean KoontzLife Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Best Dean Koontz Books
46th out of 76 books — 768 voters
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Best Horror Novels
242nd out of 1,395 books — 4,269 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Edward Lorn
May 01, 2016 Edward Lorn rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People whose encyclopedia collection outnumber their porn collection.
Recommended to Edward by: Ghandi
Shelves: paperbacks
(UPDATE: I first uploaded an unedited version of this review. Everything should be fixed now. My apologies for the slip up.)

Buddy read with De-to-the-lee. While this is not one of Koontz's Black/Neon Berkeley books, it is one of his earliest novels. It was first published in 1975 under one of his more popular pen names, Leigh Nichols.

Koontz-Alert Checklist (Every Dean Koontz book has at least one of the following ten things.)

1. Blond lead/love interest - Yup
2. Dog(s) - Nope
3. Government conspir
Apr 30, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-2015
I really enjoyed this book; however, it wasn't a "typical" Dean Koontz... It is from back in 1979 and was quite engaging... a romantic twist and an international location added to enjoyment of the story... A Cold War theme that may have read more meaningfully in the late 70's / early 80's, but all in all suspenseful and enjoyable!!!
Elena Cvetkovska
Oct 07, 2012 Elena Cvetkovska rated it liked it
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
Jan 09, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it
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
Nov 19, 2010 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2013 Atlantis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nicholas Beck
Dec 11, 2010 Nicholas Beck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: koontz
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
Jul 26, 2013 Brittany rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Shawnee Bowlin
Mar 21, 2013 Shawnee Bowlin rated it liked it
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
Christine US
Dec 09, 2010 Christine US rated it did not like it
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
Nov 18, 2010 Jeff rated it liked it
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
Gloria Piper
Mar 31, 2016 Gloria Piper rated it really liked it
This is one of Koontz's earlier novels, when he wrote under a pen name.

Joanna Rand runs a successful high quality night club in Japan, where she is also its prime singer. When Alex Hunter, an investigator on vacation, sees her, he's sure he's seen her before, under a different name. Positive she's a U.S. senator's daughter who disappeared ten years ago, he takes up this dead case and tries to find out why she disappeared. But Joanna denies she's anyone else than Joanna, complete with the memori
May 13, 2014 Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
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
Sridhar Babu
Dec 17, 2015 Sridhar Babu rated it really liked it
Joanna Rand ( Lisa Chelgrin), Alex Hunter, Mariko Inamura, Tom Chelgrin, Ignacio Carrera, Anson Peterson and others..
Kyoto (Japan), London city (England) and Saint Moritz(Swiss)..

Joanna Rand, could never escape from the strange dream that haunted her night after night. After leaving America long back, she becomes a singer in Japanese nightclub at Kyoto. Every night she dreams a single disturbing image of a man with steel finge
Julie Powell
Dec 30, 2013 Julie Powell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jacqueline Wagenstein
„Ключът към полунощ“ ни запознава с Алекс Хънтър – един безподобен герой, който се изплъзва с взети под наем коли от преследващи го мощни джагуари, пренася нелегално оръжия през граници и митнически проверки и демонстрира безпогрешен инстинкт за самосъхранение. За разлика от Чък Норис, Алекс е собственик на частна охранителна фирма и е развивал тези свои умения в продължение на двайсетина години. А повод да ги приложи му дава случайната среща с отвлечената преди много време дъщеря на известен и ...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Dec 15, 2013 Dustin Crazy little brown owl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: AL, ALF and Alex
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.
Dec 25, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book for the most part, but I found the ending a bit of a letdown.
I am always creeped out by the premise of mind control or brainwashing (one reason I found Jessica Jones to be so creepy), so I enjoyed reading Koontz's take on that.
But, mainly because of the very ending, I give this more a 3.5 than a 4 stars.

However, I did love Koontz's afterword in the edition I have and this line in particular: "It is a simple tale, not a substantive one, that just wants to be liked and to give
Sep 29, 2014 Gaelyn rated it liked it
Perhaps it is because it is an older novel, but this novel seemed to emphasize more descriptive style and locale rather than heart-racing plot. Perhaps I am used to stories coming a bit more fast-paced and having more twists and turns. Still, I enjoyed this novel for what it was and appreciated the moments when Koontz was more descriptive and spent time with his characters. Still, despite taking a lot of time to get to know the two mains AND even getting perspective from some of the antagonists, ...more
May 19, 2015 Milena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Обичам да чета криминални романи от време на време, защото ми действат разтоварващо. Обичам да ги чета и заради онзи трепет, примесен с любопитството да разбереш какво се случва на финала, дали авторът в крайна сметка ще успее да те изненада .

Помня, че започнах преди години първо с Джон Гришам, а след това преминах към Дейвид Балдачи, чиято „Лотария“ още ми е в главата като сюжет. По някое време помня, че прочетох нещо и на Дийн Кунц. Не помня заглавието, но се впечатлих и си отбелязах наум да с
Петър Панчев
Ключът към мистериите на Кунц:
Цялото ревю тук:

От доста време разглеждам книгите на Дийн Кунц, които излизат на български. Те се роят безспирно като децата на свръхплодовита майка, използваща молитви вместо презервативи. Ако човек започне да ги сортира, нищо чудно да направи нещо като Менделеева таблица. Имам предвид невероятното разнообразие от романи, писани сякаш от различни хора. В това има известна истина, защото Кунц е използвал не един псевдоним в
Jul 26, 2010 Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
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.
Feb 15, 2014 Míriam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5stars
opinião aqui :)
May 20, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it
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
Jeffrey Borrowdale
Jan 28, 2011 Jeffrey Borrowdale rated it liked it
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.

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.

Aug 03, 2009 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 10, 2012 Graceann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
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,
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please add the ISBN numbers for this book 1 5 Dec 20, 2014 06:45AM  
Koontzland - Dean...: The Key to Midnight (Group Read - November 2013) 123 86 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...

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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.” 14 likes
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