“The Whispering Room” (Bantam), by Dean Koontz
Jane Hawk, the compelling heroine of “The Silent Corner,” returns in another terrifying Dean Koontz conspiracy thriller, “The Whispering Room.”
Jane knows her husband didn’t commit suicide but proving it has been a challenge. She uncovered an evil plot to brainwash people to commit horrific acts, but her attempt to destroy the villain behind everything came with a horrible cost. She no longer has her job at the FBI and is a wanted fugitive. She keeps her son stashed away to protect him. Jane now roams the country to derail the mastermind and his nefarious plans.
A beloved schoolteacher on leave due to migraines is the latest to fall under the vicious mind games. She has dreams of walking through fire, and one afternoon she sets her vehicle on fire and drives through a hotel lobby. A sheriff uncovers her journals and sees a woman crying for help. When Jane learns of the incident, she knows the people she’s trying to eliminate are responsible. She has already gone rogue, and knowing her son is safe, she has nothing to lose by going after the culprits.
When one of her targets tells her, “You’re dead already. They’ll all know about you in the whispering room,” Jane knows she has to learn what his cryptic phrase means even though it obviously will be a trap to take her out of the picture.
The character of Jane Hawk is arguably the best character Koontz has created. Knowledge of “The Silent Corner” helps put some of the narrative in perspective, but it’s not necessary to fall under the author’s spell. It’s clear that another story featuring her quest for ultimate justice is on the horizon, and hopefully there will be even more after that.
Simply put, wow.