The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz – Book Review

The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz - Book cover

I had never read anything by Dean Koontz before, although I’ve started several of his books. Then I stopped each one after a few pages. No big deal. They were just too uninteresting. Then came the first installment of the Jane Hawk series, and I couldn’t put it down. Well, it’s as if Dean Koontz suddenly found his stride. If you’ve read it too, well, you’ve found yourself a great conspiracy thriller. And you’ve discovered that Jane is the counterpart to your role model, Jack Reacher (see Lee Child: Die Trying) – equally effective, less brutal, and much sexier. She’s just ruthless enough to keep the story believable.

A few scumbags got what they deserved in the first part, in “The Whispering Room”, and the rest will follow in the series. The plot runs on multiple threads, perhaps to avoid repetition, because let’s face it, Jane’s investigation is pretty much the same as reading the first part all over again. Which is actually not a problem. The other thread is fine too. Then the two storylines intersect at one point, and things slow down a bit, especially with the “December update” – you might raise an eyebrow at this, which seems a bit exaggerated even for a conspiracy thriller. The Dark Zone wasn’t exactly a pillar of credibility either, but it worked within its own framework. So, if you were plotting a conspiracy against USA, you’d be better off not complicating things too much and definitely not wasting valuable nano-thingamajigs on a bunch of useless average people. And you’d probably fail miserably in Jane’s rescue mission too, which is completely pointless and instantly impractical from the main mission’s perspective. Well, for you it would be. Not so much for Jane.

Fortunately, “The Whispering Room” finds its way back in the end. The final chapters are quite exciting, and before that, Bernie Riggowitz’s appearance adds some humor and compassionate goodwill to Jane’s seemingly hopeless crusade – although it’s another question whether Bernie’s amateur acting is the clumsiest scene in the book. Whatever, Bernie’s inclusion still ends up on the positive side overall.

Another thing you might notice is that Koontz’s book tries to be much more literary compared to the first part. Emphasis on the word TRIES. He mainly achieves this by placing AT LEAST two lengthy and convoluted analogies on every page, which eventually makes your eyes start to glaze over at the sight of “as if” and “like” every now and then. What’s the point anyway? Casting pearls before swine? The Jane Hawk series is still just an average thriller. Okay, a little better than that.


The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk #2) by Dean Koontz
528 pages, Paperback
Published in 2018 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

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