Book Reviews of The Darkest Evening of the Year

The Darkest Evening of the Year
The Darkest Evening of the Year
Author: Dean Koontz
ISBN-13: 9780553804829
ISBN-10: 0553804820
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 354
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 385

3.9 stars, based on 385 ratings
Publisher: Bantam
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

63 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
This book is truly a love story to Koontz's dog Trixie,who has passed.Mystery surrounds Amy,who is the founder of a Golden Rescue group.While this book is a bit thin on character development, since it is pretty much a 3 day slice of life, I will forgive.You never feel like you are missing anything,as the story moves so quickly.And above all, while this book may make you cry (if you care anything about dogs),it will leave you with a sense of hope and wonder.Which is exactly what he wants you to take from this experience.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I really loved this title, much more so than Mr. Koontz's last two releases, THE GOOD GUY and THE HUSBAND. Although this title follows in the same vein as regards to time (it only covers roughly 48-hours), it has characters who are easier to relate to and a chilling, supernatural-based storyline.

As the other reviewer mentions, it's a kind of memorial to Mr. Koontz's own Golden Retreiver, Trixie, who has passed away. In the book, a dog named Nickie is at the center of the story, along with the humans that she must protect.

This is an emotional thriller with some pretty messed-up bad guys, and if you like that type of story, you'll love this one, too!
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I am not sure who gave the book a half a star here, but to me it was at least a 4. So good that I stayed awake to finish it all in one sitting. Dean Koontz is often called the Master of Suspense, and in this book he once again keeps you on your toes. The plot is slightly predictable, however his ability to make you laugh while dealing with the tragedy of human nature, make you smile while you are on one page and cringe when you are on the next,continues to make him one of my favorite authors. It isn't his best work. It isn't his most unique story either. But it is a sweet story of redemption and faith.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
When my wife bought this book for me for Christmas, I thought it was about a non-fictional dog rescue organization that found homes for mistreated golden retrievers. What a surprise, while it did have the dog rescue org as a part of the story, it was so much more. It is Koontz at his best. I have read all of his novels and must say that this one ranks up there at the top. Don't pass this one up. You won't be able to put it down.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 266 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Creepy, odd and suspenseful with lots of surprises. Koontz is so obviously a Golden Retriever fan, and the idea of the dog-hero-angel was very cool. I found the child abuse and torture difficult, but didn't put the book down because, knowing Koontz, he'd find a positive way out of the darkness. And he did. Not one I'd lightly recommend, and not one of my favorite Koontz stories due to the child abuse.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 90 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I totally agree with AnitaC. I've been a big fan of Koontz for years now, but this one just didn't do it for me. I'll finish it, but only because it's the last book on my shelf right now; it certainly isn't because I'm enjoying it. Don't know how many times I've laid it down in frustration because of his penchant for paragraph after paragraph of rambling that goes no-where.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The best Koontz yet! If you hate dogs, this one's not for you. Otherwise it is a gripping story with typical Koontz suspense, but the addition of extra sentiment, a tribute to the canine companions who share our lives.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really loved this title, much more so than Mr. Koontz's last two releases, THE GOOD GUY and THE HUSBAND. Although this title follows in the same vein as regards to time (it only covers roughly 48-hours), it has characters who are easier to relate to and a chilling, supernatural-based storyline.

As the other reviewer mentions, it's a kind of memorial to Mr. Koontz's own Golden Retreiver, Trixie, who has passed away. In the book, a dog named Nickie is at the center of the story, along with the humans that she must protect.

This is an emotional thriller with some pretty messed-up bad guys, and if you like that type of story, you'll love this one, too!
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Maybe I'm just tired of Koontz, but I didn't like this book at all. The Golden Retriever rescue part was heartwarming, but the child abuse part was just too dark for me! Nice ending, but I was still left feeling that evil eclipsed good.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on
Helpful Score: 3
Scary stuff. Both the evil and good characters are well developed. Lots of Karma brought about by a beautiful dog.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 389 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This was a totally enjoyable read. I love Koontz but have been a bit disappointed in his last few books. This one was not disappointing! He has gone back to his supernatural twist and this book was great. The seemingly unrelated events that we follow lead to a very interesting climax, that while it is not totally a surprise, is interesting when it comes together.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
In keeping with Dean Koontz, the book is fragmented into different caricatures that come together in the end. It's a sit down and read in one day book.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 186 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
"Silence of the Lambs meets Marley and Me" is a great way to describe the book by Dean Koontz.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A little hard to stay focused on this one for me. I like the plot and it has kept me guessing for the most part. I don't care for the way it seems to jump around from one thing to the next. That's just my opinion though. I rarely spend more than a week reading a book even with my hectic lifestyle. This one is taking me a lot longer than usual to read.

Finally finished the book and boy am I glad I stuck with it. The last five or so chapters were by far the best of the book!
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 105 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I have recently read my first Dean Koontz novel and I truly like his style of writing. This book was my second dose of Dean Koontz and I was not disappointed. Having a passion for animals, I was drawn to the fact that he also shares the same passion. Both novels which I have read incorporate a golden retriever as one of the main characters and I am looking forward to reading many more of his publications. The Darkest Evening of the Year was very suspenseful and a bit on the eerie side. It was very enjoyable.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
While not an avid Koontz fan, I have read some of his books that I've enjoyed - including this one. There are many levels to this story that are cleverly woven together and keep you reading until the terrifying ending. Koontz writes about how we humans treat and mistreat our furry dog companions and also how we treat and mistreat each other and how in the end miracles do happen and good does overcome evil.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on
Helpful Score: 2
I passed over this book a few times at the store and library. As an avid Stephen King reader I'm hard-put to even try anything else. But, my mother-in-law actually gave me a copy of this book, and I began to read it, just to have something new to read, trying to actually broaden my literary horizons. Well...once you start reading this book, you cannot put it down, even when your eye-lids won't stay open of their own accord. And, all of the tidbits of reviews included with the book, inside the covers, DO NOT DO IT ANY JUSTICE. It's far more captivating, unique, and entertaining than, apparently can be put into words. So...if you like a mystery that keeps you guessing until the end, and one with a plot you've never came across before, then try The Darkest Evening of the Year. You won't be disappointed.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
It ended a little quickly for me, like a balloon suddenly unpinched and all the air let out, but otherwise this was a very engaging read. In the beginning I thought there might be a few too many characters and subplots, but they were all tied up nicely by the resolution. I've only read one of Koontz's books previously, and I do believe that this one outreached it. A quick read, it's a fine book with some true shining moments-- a great memorial piece to his own beloved dog.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 206 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this book in one evening - it totally kept my interest. Not only was it a tribute to his beloved dog and a cry against animal cruelty, he also spoke of child abuse and domestic violence. Having both children and dogs I appreciated that. How anyone can abuse helpless children or animals is beyond the comprehension of any sane individual and I think Mr Koontz makes that view perfectly clear in this book.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I can't start a Dean Koontz book unless I have several hours to spare. I have stayed up until dawn reading his books. Another great story told!
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 170 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book - i love dogs and my only wish was that it had more dog stuff and less of the 'bad, mean' people! It had suspense, it had mystery, pretty much all of the things you expect from Dean Koontz. it is a fast read, and keeps you interested in the story. I only wish the ending had more information, it ended quite abrubtly, and wrapped things up in a rushed way after investing so much time getting to know the people/dogs, i only wish it had more at the end in way of explanation. Dean Koontz is a master of good and evil, and this book is no exception.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is my first Koontz novel. If you're a dog lover you will love this book. I will read more of his books.
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Helpful Score: 1
I love Dean koonz, but I thought this book was an easy read. I finished it in 2 days and it wasn't as good as I thought it would be, allthough it was a decent story.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I liked this book because I really felt the connection the author had to not only the main characters but the supportive characters as well. Before I read this book I did not know that Dean Koontz had a golden retriever (her name is Trixie, if I remember right) but, as soon as I read this I knew he must have some kind of personal connection with the beautiful dogs. He really knows goldens and he proves it in this heart-warming story. This is a very good read, especially if you have a dog in your life.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 153 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A courageous woman unravels old mysteries with the help of her psychic and brave golden lab. She rescues abused labs, and in the process, helps herself and others. Had me rooting for her the whole way.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 70 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Whoa Dean Koontz has outdone himself in this fantastic web of intrigue and mystery. Suspenseful and action packed this is a roller coaster ride of tension and marvel which will have you second guessing your initial feel as the book begins to weave an intricate web of facts about the multiple characters and how their lives entwine.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book! I thought it was one of the best stories I've ever read by Dean Koontz. Although it's easy to figure out who the hero is going to be, I could not put the book down. It kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. I really liked the story. The villans were so evil and the main characters really grabbed your heart. I highly recommend the book.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The book starts off wonderfully. Koontz truly weaves a very intrigueing, suspenseful story. I became invested in the characters and began to care what happened to them. I also fell in love with the dog. Then the story crashes to a disappointing close. It feels rushed and - in my opinion- asks the reader to suspend belief a little too much. I was excited about the story at the beginning, but it just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I probably wouldn't recommend this book.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on
Helpful Score: 1
I listen to audio books while I work, and this one kept me working.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 55 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Dean Koontz is a master of suspense. In this outing he combines his loss and obvious affection for his late pet Golden Retriever with the cruelties of man. Well drawn characters and bitter sweet relationships combine to make a good read. Be warned soft hearted animal lovers.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Koontz is such a wonderful story teller and this is such a great story. Let's hope for a sequel.
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As usual I like his books.
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I really like the supernatural connection with the dog. Enjoyed it!
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 16 more book reviews
Personally, I thought it was terrible. Badly written, characters have lack of depth and are poorly developed, and the ending was so awful it made me mad. While it was fairly suspenseful, the bad things about the book really distracted me from any good. This was the first book I'd read of Koontz and I'm unlikely to read another.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 119 more book reviews
I did not care for this book at all. I have only read one other Dean Koontz book (that was Intensity 17 years ago). I generally enjoy a good thriller and I work with dogs so I thought it sounded like a good read. I was wrong. The story felt choppy-everything didn't start to come together until there were only 100 pages left. The dog involvement was supernatural and just didn't feel right. The child abuse is unnecessary and graphic. If you like Dean Koontz then you might like it, otherwise I wouldn't recommend it.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 37 more book reviews
When Amy Redwing rescues Nickie, a beautiful golden retriever, and takes her into her own home, it is clear that Nickie is a special animal. It also becomes clear that Amy has a past that is coming back to haunt her.

Not as horrifying as Koontz's other works, this book manages to be suspenseful while weaving a sweet tale of a woman and her love of dogs. Golden retrievers to be specific.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 27 more book reviews
Great reading! Koontz has outdone himself. Characters are crazy & incredable. I am a dog lover, and he brings Nickie (a very good dog) into the storyline in wonderful ways. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a Koontz reader as I am. It shows how magical and intertwined...and even cruel and bizare... this world can be. Loved it.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 33 more book reviews
I love Koontz books and this was one of my favorites. You can really tell by the way he writes how much he loves dogs and how much goldens are special to him. This is a heartwarming and scary story... yes both... If you like scary or thriller books and are an animal lover.. read this one!
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Koontz at his finest!
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 636 more book reviews
Oh, this was a very sweet book. I haven't read any of Koontz's novels recently, but this one struck me as very nice, much more wholesome than I remember his earlier books being. I loved that it was mostly about dogs - though it was a little sad that it was only Golden Retrievers - though it did make me think of Hannah. All in all, I really loved it. It made me teary-eyed, but still happy. From what I recall of his other books, I think I have enjoyed this one the most.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 112 more book reviews
Amy Redwing is a survivor of a haunted and terribly violent marriage, and she has made a new name for herself. Her boyfriend, Brian is also haunted by his past.
One day Amy rescues a golden retreiver from a violent drunk. The goldens name is Nikki, just like Amy's dead child.
Meanwhile, Brian is getting threatening emails from his ex, Vanessa. Venessa uses their daughter against Brian and she hates the little girl she named Piggy.
Eventually everything comes to a head. The rescue mission for dogs, the little girl who needs a loving home, Brian getting her back and the sadistic Vanessa and her boyfriend.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 20 more book reviews
The Darkest Evening of the Year

I found it to be a fast, fairly predictable read. I was hoping that Einstein or his kin from "Watchers" would make a reappearance, but no such luck. The focus of the book is Golden Retrieval Rescue and I almost wish he would have dropped the child abuse and the purely, evil people and focused on animal rescue, which has enough horror stories for several books. You don't ever forget that the book is about rescue efforts, still it would have been nice if the book were about the real rescue efforts of so many people. I type this as my most recent rescue is trying to help me type! So I may be a bit biased towards animal rescue!
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 3 more book reviews
Koontz's books are either great or just so so. Unfortunately I felt this book was on the lower end of his writing. It was a complete bore for the firt half of the book. After that it started finally to give you some key details about the characters that allowed him to quickly tie up the ending. Didn't seem well thought out..
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 3 more book reviews
Not one of Koontz's best. The plot is very loosely written, the onlt believable characters were the golden retrievers. The story requires more than his usual suspension of belief on the reader's part. The plot only holds together by wildly improbable coincidence and divine intervention.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 7 more book reviews
Love Dean Koontz, Love dogs. No brainer. Great book
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 30 more book reviews
I'm not a huge fan of Koontz, but I have liked the few books of his that I've read. There are 66 chapters. I liked this story until I reached the last page of chapter 65. Did not like where he took it from there. Chapter 66 feels rushed, like it had to be finished so he threw everything in altogether to tie up the ends. It just didn't work for me. Fans will love it. For me it's a meh.
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I thought this book was really good. Nice read
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I liked it.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 207 more book reviews
Not one of Dean Koontz's best. The book is pretty predictable, but it's a quick read. The story centers around a gal who devotes her live to rescuring retrievers (surprised??) and her architect boyfriend who goes on missions with her. Turns out that one of the retrievers she rescues has made appearances during several pivotal points in her past, and helped her through the rough times. The characters she battles are a freaky female and her lover (no surprise who he turned out to be). I'm not certain where the title fits in. Maybe I'll think about that later.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 3 more book reviews
Mr. Koontz is one of my favorites. i look forward to his books. however, this one was a disappointmnt to me. i'm sure if you enjoy stories with a supernatural twist, you'll find this one interesting. just not my cup of tea. doesn't deminish my looking forward to the next Dean Koontz story.
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I Loved this book!!
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This was the worst book I have ever read! It was full of violence and cruelty. I don't know why I read it from beginning to end. I'll never read another book written by this author. It was given to me by a friend who thought that the author was writing about dogs and his love for them.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 15 more book reviews
Not his best book-but still a very good read..
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I really enjoyed this book.
reviewed The Darkest Evening of the Year on + 10 more book reviews
This audio book was a gift, and chosen primarily because of the golden retriever theme, since I love goldens. I have to admit I do not believe I have ever read Koontz, nor will I again. The basic premise for the story line is good and the information and descriptions of goldens is wonderful. Throughout the story, however, there are VERY disturbing though processes, scenes and information shared that are unneccessary and serve only to promote child abuse (to the extreme of murder), senseless violence, including murder of people and animals, and deviant sex. I am disappointed that such a prestigous author in today's day and age has taken such an approach.
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Another great book from Koontz!!
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Not my favorite Dean Koontz.
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You can tell that Koontz is missing his own dog, this seemed like a tribute. Entertaining, but the end sort of just "ended".
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I had trouble getting into this story for some reason.
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This is not one of his best. I've always liked Koontz but he's getting more and more like Stephen King in that he wanders and doesn't always make connections.
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Didn't like how this book constantly jumped around, wasn't very suspenseful. One could practically guess the outcome. Seemed to take forever to get through.

Seemed like a very built up book that wasn't as good as it was made out to be.
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I really enjoyed this book, likable characters, tight interesting plot with lots of twists and dogs too.
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THIS IS NOT ONE OF MY FAVORITES,JUMPS AROUND TOO MUCH,KINDA HARD TO STAY FOCUS.