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What the Night Knows (What The Night Knows #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  15,742 Ratings  ·  1,557 Reviews

In the late summer of a long-ago year, Alton Turner Blackwood brutally murdered four families. His savage spree ended only when he himself was killed by the last survivor of the last family, a fourteen-year-old boy.

Half a continent away and two decades later, someone is murdering families again, re-creating in detail Blackwood’s crimes. Homici
ebook, 448 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Bantam (first published 2010)
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I was going to just say this is terrible and stay away, but didn't want to be lazy.

Honestly this book was a waste of time. At around the 50 percent mark I started to skim in self defense. At the 75 percent mark I was actively hoping the family in this book would die since that at least would rise to interesting. At the 100 percent mark I loathed everything and that included Legos (do not ask, I beg of you) and golden retrievers.

I refuse to go back and look up people's names so just know the mai
While not as horrible as some of Koontz's latest offerings, What The Night Knows is still pretty bad when compared to his other output, and rather terrible when compared to the output of others.

It actually starts really promising, with an interesting premise and a good opening chapters. I've read them earlier, when they were availible to preview before publication. It turns out after these first four chapters the novel goes downhill and crashes at the end.

There is nothing here that wasn't done b
May 17, 2016 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
2.5 Stars
Not one of his best I must admit. Overall it was an entertaining story but ultimately left me feeling more unsatisfied than satisfied.

John is a homicide detective who lost his entire family to a serial killer when he was a teenager 20 years earlier. He killed Alton Turner Blackwood that night, but Blackwood is back. Using the bodies of less than wholesome people, he uses person after person until his ultimate goal can be completed... Revenge on John and his family. And to finish the kil
Andreia Fernandes
Andreia Fernandes rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2016
Deb Mj
Feb 17, 2011 Deb Mj rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I used to love Dean Koontz. Watchers still ranks as my all-time favorite book, and I thought Strangers, along with some of his other earlier works, was fantastic. However, it's been years since I could summon any enthusiasm for his writing. I'm not willing to totally write him off, so I keep reading the new books in the hope that one of them will rekindle the flame. Unfortunately, this offering wasn't able to do that.

There are some good parts to this. About midway through, I became quite enthus
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Four years later I read this book again with an open mind and actually enjoyed the story. It is always interesting to see how books affect us at different times in our lives.

What the Night Knows is written well and is very creepy. This will never be among my favorite Dean Koontz books, but it no longer ranks alongside Your Heart Belongs to Me as the worst of Dean Koontz's books. The children lighten and liven the story and I love the fantasy world element. The one thing that stands out to me the
Amy Boukair
Jan 25, 2011 Amy Boukair rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dean, Dean, Dean... what am I going to do with you??? I have (had) been a fan since the beginning, and am sorely disappointed in this one. I had even sworn you off years ago, but still find myself coming back hoping that maybe, just maybe, this next one will redeem you. Sadly, and again, this is not the case. Sure, you worked in all of your trademark items: 1) Golden Retriever (I have one of those), 2) child with a disability (I have one of those too), 3) Average Joe fighting the big baddie, etc ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
What can i say about this book well yes i enjoyed the storyline & yes turning page after page as to find out how it was going to end BUT for me it was a bit silly with some parts of Koontz Writing style left a bit to be desired It had madness mayhem horror suspense but this was way below his writings of his early novels.
not one of his best unfortunately
Feb 02, 2011 Mel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librarybooks
Detective John Calvino shot the Bell Ringer Killer Alton Turner Blackwood who murdered his family at age 14. Several years later, John is investigating the murders of a boy who was a copycat of the killer not knowing that the Bell Ringer Killer's Spirit has returned to collect on his promise to kill his family. Can John stop the deadly thread before it is too late? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good Supernatural horror story. If you are fans of horror ghost stories, defini
Laura Jennings
It's been a long time since I outright DIDN'T hate a Koontz novel; the guy used to be one of my favorite authors and fell from my good graces a while ago. After the reprehensibly bad Breathless and Darkest Evening of the Year, and not-quite-as-terrible-but-still-bad Your Heart Belongs To Me and Relentless, What The Night Knows is not god-awful, but still a pretty weak novel. SPOILERS HEREIN.
I can air my minor grievances first. It's obvious that Mr. Koontz does not have kids, or understand how ki
Aug 28, 2011 Hev rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, what shall I say? I don't necessarily think this is a BAD book, it's just often quite irritating.

While I was still reading it (I think I was about half way through)I browsed a few reviews and was quite surprised by the number of one- or two-star ratings it had received. It started well - a good premise, some atmospheric writing and a lot of potential seemed to reside within.

Sure there were some parts which were not very believable or did not sit quite right - a policeman with a perfect hous
Mike (the Paladin)
Well, I say here as I have about a couple of other Koontz books of late, I don't know if it's the book or me. Maybe I've just read too many books or too many Koontz books... Whatever the reason, the last several books by Mr. Koontz have left me cold.

I list several of Mr. Koontz' books among my favorites, One Door Away from Heaven,By the Light of the Moon, The Taking, these and many others I like greatly. But the last several, not at all.

Here we went again. I was interested. the book opened with
Sarah Anne
When John Calvino was 14 he shot and killed a man who had just murdered his mother, father, and two sisters. This was the fourth family to die at the hands of this man, Alton Turner Blackwood. This book picks up 20 years later when the murders are being recreated through Blackwood's possession of "horses" that he uses to do his will.

Calvino, now a homicide detective, talks to the boy who actually committed the murders of the first family in the present day and realizes that not only are the murd
Oct 06, 2010 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I was lucky enough to win an advance copy of this from Good Reads--Thank you! Dean Koontz is one of my favorite writers, and I couldn't wait to read his latest.

After finishing, I find it's hard to review. The idea was good, it had a really creepy scary idea and an awesome bad guy. But it could have been so much better. You get to know some characters really well, and others are glossed over. Sadly, some of the others are not unimportant characters, so a little more info on them would have been t
Calvin Dean
Mar 12, 2015 Calvin Dean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Darkness Under the Sun by Dean Koontz, the next logical book is What the Night Knows. In this novel, Koontz picks up where ‘Darkness’ leaves off. It’s been twenty years since 14-year-old John Calvino killed mass murderer Alton Blackwood in self defense. Now Calvino is a detective investigating another 14-year-old who killed his family for no apparent reason, and Calvino cannot ignore the similarities between the two murders, so what if they’re 20 years removed from one another. Th ...more
Mar 27, 2015 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz is a very exciting, scary book. Dean Koontz has written a story which is so full of suspence that it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. However, this is certainly not for the, be warned!
Feb 07, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the past 6 years, my wife has bought me the newest Dean Koontz book for both my birthday in the middle of the year and Christmas. I've enjoyed reading his books and appreciated him releasing them on my holiday schedule. Unfortunately, over the past several years his books have gone downhill. He might have hit an all-time low with Relentless. It felt like Koontz was often mailing it in. Finally, I asked my wife to stop giving me the books. I would still read them, but didn't think they were w ...more
Jul 17, 2012 Teresa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book, 2012
Ok. I know that if I pick up a Dean Koontz book to read I'm going to be reading to a formula. I guess when you write as many books as he does it's almost impossible not to do so. In this story we have the beautiful and talented wife who has rescued her husband from his traumatic past and taught him to love and trust again. The handsome husband who experienced terrible events in his childhood but has come through it and is now the knight in shining armour for those whose lives are touched by dark ...more
Jan 02, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gift card for Christmas brought this book into my home. I had recently sworn not to buy Koontz books until they got a little better, but my excitement over this won out.

And yay, this one is so much better. Koontz managed to completely creep me out, make me question strange noises in my home and do double takes at shadows. The climax of the book occurred at work on my lunch hour and he made me come so close to taking an extended lunch just to finish. Kudos, Mr. Koontz!

John Calvino is a homicide
Angie Crew
Jul 14, 2012 Angie Crew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What in HADES has happened to my favorite author?????? I just can't keep track of all the disappointments I have had from Koontz in the last few years. I am a die hard fan and have been reading and collecting Dean for almost 30 years!!! Where did the master go??? Everytime I see a new title come out with his name, I gasp. I can't wait to get my hands on it and I pray each time that I will be sucked into a great story like Lightening, The Husband, Dark Rivers of the Heart, Servents of Twilght, St ...more
DNF at 50%

I am not one to give up on a book easily. I will almost always finish reading it, even if I don't particularly like it. But I just couldn't do it this time.

I didn't feel like there was much substance to this at all. I wasn't really attached to the characters, and the story felt kind of silly. Don't get me wrong, I love the horror genre, and Dean Koontz can be great (Odd Thomas was awesome), but this book just didn't do it for me.
Nov 25, 2015 Jo-Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara ★
I love Dean Koontz but some of his books are fantastic while others are just ridiculous. Unfortunately this one falls closer to the ridiculous than the fantastic. John Calvino is a detective who goes off on a tangent (well he actually starts working a case that is not his and gets put on unpaid leave so he can work on it undisturbed???). His family is completely unrealistic. His beautiful perfect wife doesn't even bat an eyelash when John tells her he's lied to her for almost 2 was f ...more
Karen B.
Dec 01, 2011 Karen B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is perhaps my fourth reading of this book and what I love about Koontz's writing is that I can always re-read it and find something different that hits me in a particular way. Koontz often tackles the subject of good vs. evil. In this novel we meet Alton Turner Blackwood, a man full of evil, who twenty years before had murdered four families in gruesome horrible ways. The fourth of these was the Calvino family and it appeared that run of evil was over because the son/brother, John Calvino, ...more
Jan 14, 2011 Vince rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was painful, and not in that moving, tear-jerking kind of way. It was painful because I have been a fan of Koontz since I was a teenager and now watching him churn out the crap he's been writing for the past few years is like watching a beloved elderly relative slowly become senile and forget his or her children. Yeah, it's painful like that.

I've been willing to overlook the formulaic plots Koontz produces because they've been entertaining, familiar and comfortable; it's been that whol
Nick Davies
Jan 13, 2016 Nick Davies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This book had sat on my TBR shelf for several years, next to a Dan Brown and another couple of books I bought in a little too much haste (albeit cheaply) and then passed over picking up and starting on numerous occasions. I suppose I wanted to get this out of the way and off my shelves, whilst testing Dean Koontz's books once more - having barely read him in the past decade and having been disappointed when I did.

Though not as awful as the dreadful 'Relentless', this was pretty bad. The plot sur
Jan 03, 2011 wally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: koontz, favorites
intense. ten stars.

incredible story!

john calvino, a 30-something detective, is living the dream, a wife, three kids (two girls and a boy, lucky man), but he is also tormented by his past. he killed a man in self-defense, and he is racked by the guilt he feels from being the lone survivor--the rest of his family was brutally murdered by a madman.

dwelling on the past, worrying that past, there comes a point in the story where he asks himself, "had he, by his obsession, invited the spirit to hound
I was getting my hair colored yesterday and the lady in the next chair at the salon saw that I was reading What the Night Knows and got really excited. Dean Koontz is her favorite writer of all time. I think it nearly broke her heart to learn that the book wasn't going to be released until December 28. I was fortunate enough to win this mesmerizing novel through FirstReads.

As a reader, I've recently started straying outside my usual favorite SF&F genre. I've explored some mystery/thrillers,
Feb 01, 2011 Ellyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Dean Koontz's early work and read through all of them in a pretty short time frame, but I've struggled with him lately. I haven't liked the plots and language of recent books and I had hoped that this one would change my mind because I read mostly good professional reviews. While I was able to get through it quickly, I found it to be relentlessly dark and depressing. And while I was able to suspend disbelief about the supernatural elements, indeed they were the stuff of nightmar ...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
More about Dean Koontz...

Other Books in the Series

What The Night Knows (2 books)
  • Darkness Under the Sun

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“All these girls swooning over hunky vampires, what they really want is to give away their freedom, to be controlled and told what to do and not have to think -- and never die, of course. It's sick is what it is. I don't want to be a forever-young living corpse.” 22 likes
“Time doesn’t, as advertised, heal all wounds. Although the wrenching immediacy of grief eventually passed, the settled sorrow that replaced it might in its own way be even more intense.” 13 likes
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