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Dark Rivers of the Heart

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  14,595 Ratings  ·  379 Reviews
Spencer Grant is physically and emotionally scarred. An outsider, he often sits for hours in bars just to avoid being alone - and to tell his story to someone who won't remember it the next morning. But last night he met Valerie and something about her melted his isolation.

Then she doesn't turn up for work and he finds her home abandoned, with a strange message fixed to th
Paperback, 728 pages
Published November 2nd 1995 by Headline Book Publishing (first published 1994)
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Aug 05, 2008 Daniella rated it did not like it  ·  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
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
Matt Barker
Feb 28, 2010 Matt Barker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 19, 2010 Johnny rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
On the road that I have taken,
one day, walking, I awaken,
amazed to see where I have come,
where I'm going, where I'm from.
-The Book of Counted Sorrows

I didn't really like this when I first read it 2006. I tried to re-read it with the Koontzland - Dean Koontz group in 2011, when it was chosen as a group read but I just couldn't get into it so I put it aside. In 2017, I successfully completed Dark Rivers of the Heart with the Koontzland - Dean Koontz Group. I must admit that this is among the mos
Patrick Kiernan
A good story but far too long this was the second group read for Koontzland
Adam Burton
Jul 25, 2008 Adam Burton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 19, 2010 wally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: koontz
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
Oct 11, 2014 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 24, 2013 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2010 Shaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rebecca McNutt
Pretty good book, Dean Koontz usually writes very interesting novels. :)
Jordan Lombard
Could not put this down. It had me on the edge of my seat all the way through. I also appreciated that the ending was realistic, and that not everything was tied up in a neat little bow.
Tricia Douglas
Apr 09, 2017 Tricia Douglas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, thriller
It's been a while since I've read a Dean Koontz novel. I don't know how I could have missed this one! Spencer Grant has a mysterious past that the reader only slowly learns about. He is in love with a woman he knows little about and is being chased by people who want him dead. This book is fast-paced and exciting. Every chapter adds more depth to the story and builds on the character of Spencer Grant and his violent past. I think I need to go back and reread more of Koontz's novels. Excellent wr ...more
Dec 02, 2013 Bob rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dark Rivers of the Heart is a monumental test of human endurance. It gets so boring by the halfway point that any sane reader would drink liquid cyanide before bringing themselves to finish this book. At first it seems interesting. Agency and high tech stuff, what could go wrong? Everything. I wouldn't be surprised if the editor face rolled the keyboard somewhere near page 562. The combination of this book’s terrible quality and it being a required reading, with deadlines, creates a nightmare fo ...more
Ally Atherton
Dec 08, 2011 Ally Atherton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Michael Bohli
Nov 20, 2016 Michael Bohli rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016

Das habe ich nun davon, dass ich mich daran gemacht habe, alle Bücher die seit Jahren im Regal verstauben nun doch zu lesen. Vor ca. 15 Jahren verfiel ich den Geschichten von Stephen King und lernte darum auch Dean Koontz kennen. Auch er gilt als Meister der Spannung und oft unheimlichen Geschichten. "Dunkle Flüsse des Herzens" soll ein super Thriller sein, voller Nervenkitzel und Aufregung. Und vielleicht hätte ich dies im Alter von 15 auch so beurteilt. Jahre und viele Überlegungen sp
Aug 31, 2011 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
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
Ако с "Непознати" (1986г) Кунц става истински писател, то с "Тъмните Реки на Сърцето" (1994г) той става улегнал писател. Става наистина зрял, макар и без да напуска попрището на булевардната литература.

В "Тъмните Реки на Сърцето" освен стандартното вече за него безкрайно напрежение и милиони описателни детайли, започват да се появяват определени дикенсоновски (в нашата част на света биха били "вазовски" но всеки стъпва върху своята си класика) нюанси тук-
Aug 05, 2011 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 02, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 07, 2009 Raesaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 12, 2011 Greathornedowl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a poorly written stalker's fantasy. The characters are week and the main message seems to be if you stalk a girl she and are a weird brain damaged conspiracy freak, she'll fall in love with you. I almost didn't finish reading this book, but then I just wanted to see if there was something to it. I don't know how this book got sold to a publisher.

The characters are little more than stick figures.
Jo Ann
May 18, 2012 Jo Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 01, 2013 Corey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good book, I didn't think it was Koontz's best work, but it's worth reading if you like him. It didn't seem to be much of a horror novel but more of a chase novel, it's about a man named Spencer Grant who meets a woman who is on the run from a corrupt top secret organization who wants her dead. Spencer also starts to have memories from his dark past and he tries to remember.

In a way this book kind of reminds me of the Jason Bourne films.
Julie Reed
Jul 09, 2011 Julie Reed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
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.
Lynn Manning
Jun 04, 2008 Lynn Manning rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 25, 2011 Alondra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 05, 2016 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorites by Dean Koontz. He wrote this book in 1994, and even then it was frightening to think this kind of thing could happen. Now it is even more possible with modern technology and the information we are willing to share with the world.
Adam Light
this is, in my opinion, one of Koontz's best. Suspenseful, high tech and full of interesting characters. I was glued to it. I definitely recommend it.
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Koontzland - Dean...: Dark Rivers of The Heart (Group Read - May 2017) 81 26 May 27, 2017 09:31AM  
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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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