The Crooked Staircase (Jane Hawk, #3)
"I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead." Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she's breathing, she'll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom--and free will--of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane's husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane's enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was.Jane's ruthless pursuers can't stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

The Crooked Staircase (Jane Hawk, #3) Details

TitleThe Crooked Staircase (Jane Hawk, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 8th, 2018
PublisherBantam
ISBN-139780525483427
Rating
GenreThriller, Fiction, Mystery, Mystery Thriller

The Crooked Staircase (Jane Hawk, #3) Review

  • Yodamom
    January 1, 1970
    Fast, violent, deadly, with intense suspense.I think an ultimate fear is losing control of our own minds, or choices. This book dives into that fear and drags it into that dark place, then it adds rape, torture, sex salvery, and running for your life. It is intense. Jane the main character, rams though her targets, try to find her husbands killer, and save her son from an unspeakably horrific threat. The bad guys are so ruthless, my stomach churned during several scenes. Jane is an incredible ch Fast, violent, deadly, with intense suspense.I think an ultimate fear is losing control of our own minds, or choices. This book dives into that fear and drags it into that dark place, then it adds rape, torture, sex salvery, and running for your life. It is intense. Jane the main character, rams though her targets, try to find her husbands killer, and save her son from an unspeakably horrific threat. The bad guys are so ruthless, my stomach churned during several scenes. Jane is an incredible character, smart, and twisted enough to do what needs to be done.Why only 3 stars ? Several reasons. One, it was too dark, there was so little hope and too much taken away. It left me with a hopeless feeling, I didn't want to continue many times. Oi, to feel such despair it hurts. The threat to the child, was too much for me. I will not continue the series for fear of where Mr. Koontz will go with that. I can't go there, can't fear for that happening. Then there was the fact that this book had two separate time lines going on switching back and forth with each short chapter. I found that really disruptive. Finally the ending, it just stoped, like mid breath just stoped-cliffhanger extreme. I think it did what it was ment to do. It shocked, upset and drove adrenaline rushing through my body. It just wasn't my idea of an entertaining read.
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Jane Hawk and her one-woman war against the Techno Arcadians are back! If anything, this book is even more intense than the first two books. When I finished, I just wanted more. The ending was a cliffhanger so we know there is more to come.Jane's husband took his own life and Jane knows it is because he is being controlled by nanotechnology that is injected in people to control them as robots. They have a list of people who the Arcadians have decided are a risk to their planned controlled world. Jane Hawk and her one-woman war against the Techno Arcadians are back! If anything, this book is even more intense than the first two books. When I finished, I just wanted more. The ending was a cliffhanger so we know there is more to come.Jane's husband took his own life and Jane knows it is because he is being controlled by nanotechnology that is injected in people to control them as robots. They have a list of people who the Arcadians have decided are a risk to their planned controlled world. Jane has hidden her son with friends who she feels can protect him while she searches for more some of the conspirators who are high in command of this powerful group. In this installment Jane is after a high-ranking, very powerful official, Booth Hendrickson. He turns out to have quite an interesting history which leads her to The Crooked Staircase. While Jane is pursuing the Techno Arcadians, there is something going on with her son.I generally have enjoyed the Dean Koontz books I've read and I am really enjoying this series. Jane is a strong character who at times seems like a superhero. Thanks to Dean Koontz and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine through Netgalley for an advance copy of this book. I can hardly wait for the next Jane Hawk novel!
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! I pretty much inhaled this 3rd installment in the Jane Hawk novels. I've been a huge fan of Dean Koontz ever since I read Watchers decades ago. One of the things I love most about his books is that no matter how inherently evil his villains are, there is always someone that is good and honorable and full of love. His books are always filled with light and dark, hope and hopelessness... But usually, light, hope, and love conquers. Jane Hawk is not his usual protaganist, and is not always ful Wow! I pretty much inhaled this 3rd installment in the Jane Hawk novels. I've been a huge fan of Dean Koontz ever since I read Watchers decades ago. One of the things I love most about his books is that no matter how inherently evil his villains are, there is always someone that is good and honorable and full of love. His books are always filled with light and dark, hope and hopelessness... But usually, light, hope, and love conquers. Jane Hawk is not his usual protaganist, and is not always full of light, but the love she has for her 5 year old son, and for her friends, makes everything that she has to do to try to combat the evil Techno Arcadians worth it. She unerringly finds the pure hearted for help when needed. In The Crooked Staircase, ex-FBI agent Jane Hawk continues her quest to protect her son while trying to stop the heinous evil threatening to change the world. This 3rd book was my favorite so far and I could barely put it down. Although it ended quite abruptly with a cliffhanger, I still loved it. Jane is a serious kickass heroine and I can't get enough! The Forbidden Door can't get here soon enough!*Thanks to NetGalley and Bantam Publishing for an advanced copy!*
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  • OutlawPoet
    January 1, 1970
    Let me start by saying that, despite the 3-star rating, Jane Hawk is still my alter ego. Like her, I’d do anything (and I do mean anything) to defend the ones I love. Lol – I just think she looks better doing it!The book is so full of action and heartbreak. I tore through this in a couple of hours, wishing and hoping there was more once it was over. Readers should know that it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. I was so mad that that he left it there and so excited for the next book. (Seriously, I Let me start by saying that, despite the 3-star rating, Jane Hawk is still my alter ego. Like her, I’d do anything (and I do mean anything) to defend the ones I love. Lol – I just think she looks better doing it!The book is so full of action and heartbreak. I tore through this in a couple of hours, wishing and hoping there was more once it was over. Readers should know that it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. I was so mad that that he left it there and so excited for the next book. (Seriously, I can’t wait.)Our villains take on some new and very interesting dimensions, and we meet someone who is just stone-cold evil.So why the three stars?There’s a rather large subplot that I loved. It had characters that were simply iconic and who added immensely to the book. It’s dark, edgy, and riveting. And that subplot ends in a cinematic fury that so blisteringly intense that, were it on the big screen, the audience would gasp and then be utterly silent as they contemplated it.And that subplot was completely and totally unimportant.Seriously. It never connects with Jane. It never connects with our other important characters. The entire purpose of that subplot is to tell us that our baddies are still doing bad things.It’s utterly glorious and utterly disappointing because the whole time you’re reading it, you’re waiting for a connection – some import to it – that never comes. It’s an aside masquerading as an epic plot point.I still liked the book. I want – no, need! – the next book.But for God’s sake, if you’re going to entice your readers that much, don’t make it much ado about nothing.*ARC Provided via Net Galley
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    The Crooked Staircase is maybe my favorite in this series. Koontz is a master of suspense. Anyone who reads his books knows that but I think he outdid himself with this one. You are definitely in for a ride as Jane continues on her mission to expose and destroy those that are trying to enslave the world. She is ruthless and yet she does manage to hold on to her own humanity (I worry for her in this because Koontz takes her so very close to the edge). The weaving and timing of the stories in this The Crooked Staircase is maybe my favorite in this series. Koontz is a master of suspense. Anyone who reads his books knows that but I think he outdid himself with this one. You are definitely in for a ride as Jane continues on her mission to expose and destroy those that are trying to enslave the world. She is ruthless and yet she does manage to hold on to her own humanity (I worry for her in this because Koontz takes her so very close to the edge). The weaving and timing of the stories in this book is perfect. The suspense builds and you just have to hold on... At times, I had to just stop reading to let the dust settle.. It is hard to review this book without retelling it but suffice it to say that if you liked the first two, I think you will love this one.. The characters are strong and well defined, and the settings and descriptions are amazing. I will warn you that this is a serious business...not much in the way of humor that you usually find in Koontz stories. I did have a problem with the ending... Koontz builds the suspense and there is the knowledge of very real and immediate danger and then the book just ends! It is not like Koontz to leave you hanging like that but he just proved he is a master of that as well.The series is better with each book and The Silent Corner seems so long ago. Poor Jane gets no rest. Thank you, Dean Koontz, for continuing to write and change and grow. Thank you Netgalley and Random House for sharing this with me.
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  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Jane Hawk is the real Wonder Woman -- no super powers, just an amazing, highly skilled ex FBI agent who sees a wrong and needs to right it.This third in the series (yes, there will be a #4) takes up right where the second left off so you absolutely need to read these from the beginning, in order. From the blurb, the reader knows that Jane is running for her life as she is hunted by some of the most skilled and highly placed government agents who have a way to track even those who are completely Jane Hawk is the real Wonder Woman -- no super powers, just an amazing, highly skilled ex FBI agent who sees a wrong and needs to right it.This third in the series (yes, there will be a #4) takes up right where the second left off so you absolutely need to read these from the beginning, in order. From the blurb, the reader knows that Jane is running for her life as she is hunted by some of the most skilled and highly placed government agents who have a way to track even those who are completely off the grid as is Jane. Her son, Travis, hidden in the care of friends, is safe FOR NOW, and Jane is seeking out members of the Techno Arcadians to eliminate them and shut them down. Remember, this hideous elitist group is intent on implanting nanobots and converting them to automatons to use as they wish. The Hamlet list, devised by those members at the very top, is a computer generated program that identifies those at greatest risk to the new planned utopia where the Arcadians will reign supreme. Incredibly fast-paced with lots of action and bloody murder, the book zips along so quickly that you barely have time to take a breath, gasp, sob or sigh. No spoilers, but some of those deaths were really hard to take. Conversion is a nasty, scary business.Despite Koontz's penchant for ten dollar words and maximum verbosity -- with metaphors and similes galore -- I love this series and cannot wait for the next. I had NO idea that this third was not the end, so the cliffhanger ending made me want to throw the book across the room in frustration at now having to wait to see what happens next. Not nice, Mr. Koontz! All the loose ends are coming together as Jane gets nearer to the rotten core at the center of this terrible conspiracy. The characters are so well drawn that the reader is drawn completely into this world and fears the consequences of world leaders gone mad, drunk and euphoric with their power. This would make the most fantastic movie or miniseries evere -- do you hear me out there, producers? Option it already!Thank you to NetGalley and Bantam Random House for the e-book ARC to read and review. PLEASE hurry, Mr. Koontz, so I can relax.
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  • Paul Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    The thrill is back as Dean Koontz returns once again to the fast-paced protagonist-on-the-run roots that made his early novels so exciting and appealing. The Jane Hawk novels seamlessly cross genres, effortlessly moving from science fiction territory into that of James Bond’s espionage and modern techno-thrillers, from noir into pure psychological horror.None of the characters in The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz (Random House, May 8, 2018) learned to play nice as children, and they certainly The thrill is back as Dean Koontz returns once again to the fast-paced protagonist-on-the-run roots that made his early novels so exciting and appealing. The Jane Hawk novels seamlessly cross genres, effortlessly moving from science fiction territory into that of James Bond’s espionage and modern techno-thrillers, from noir into pure psychological horror.None of the characters in The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz (Random House, May 8, 2018) learned to play nice as children, and they certainly make reprehensible adults. Jane’s piano virtuoso father killed her mother and made life hell for the young girl, Booth Hendrickson’s mother made life hell for Booth and his half-brother, and the crooked staircase leads Jane and Booth straight down into a real-life hell from which only one may emerge alive.Alternating short chapters between Jane Hawk’s POV and other viewpoint characters, including those hunting her, Koontz paints a horrifying picture of the worst abuses of government authority imaginable. Carter Jergen and Dubose are NSA employees who also work for the FBI, CIA, DHS, and IRS. They’re covert agents of the Techno Arcadians, a secret cabal of government and business elite who seek to control the world. They’re already in control of many world leaders, politicians and businessmen, implanted with nanotechnology that turns them into mindless slaves like modern-day Manchurian Candidates.Dean pays tribute to Robert A. Heinlein, one of his mentors and idols, throughout this novel. Characters become strangers in a strange land, mannequins controlled by puppet-masters, Waldoes manipulated by monsters. Another of his idols, Charles Dickens, receives honorable mentions. And, of course, there’s always a faithful canine companion or two in a Dean Koontz novel.We first met Jane Hawk in The Silent Corner (Bantam, June 2017) and continued her exciting adventures in The Whispering Room (Bantam, November 2017). In this third novel, The Crooked Staircase, former FBI Special Agent Jane is on the run from the Techno Arcadians while seeking revenge against those who killed her husband Nick. With son Travis safely hidden, Jane pursues Booth Hendrickson even as Hendrickson pursues her.But bad guys Jergen and Dubose, two of the nastiest villains you never want to meet in a dark alley, are hot on Travis’ trail.Will Jane survive descending the crooked staircase? Will Jergen and Dubose capture or kill Travis? You need to read the latest installment of the never-ending Jane Hawk saga to learn what happens next.Or the suspense could kill you.
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  • Lisa Cleveland
    January 1, 1970
    My thanks to Random House/Bantam books and Netgalley. I loved the first book of this series, then hated the second book. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I requested this third book in the series. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew I'd have to finish the series. Well, this third book wasn't the end, but it did move us much closer to an ending. I confess that I kind of loved this book. The baddies were so freaking evil, but a few were funny. Make me laugh, and I'm all in. Sadly, som My thanks to Random House/Bantam books and Netgalley. I loved the first book of this series, then hated the second book. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I requested this third book in the series. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew I'd have to finish the series. Well, this third book wasn't the end, but it did move us much closer to an ending. I confess that I kind of loved this book. The baddies were so freaking evil, but a few were funny. Make me laugh, and I'm all in. Sadly, some really decent people were lost in this book, and its a credit to Mr. Koontz' writing that my heart was broken and I was crying like a dang fool. I guess I'll be sticking around for the final book,"whenever that may be."
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  • J.S. Bailey
    January 1, 1970
    I have to say, I wasn't sure about Jane Hawk at first, but this has shaped up into my favorite Dean Koontz series, and I highly recommend it. (I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)
  • Lisa Aiello
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this through NetGalley for my honest review.I was able to slide right into Book 3 after finishing Book 2, and was delighted to do so. Dean Koontz is a master storyteller, and Book 3 is my favorite of the series thus far. Jane is continuing on her mission to expose and obliterate the evil plot devised by some pretty horrific minds. Suspense, intrigue, murder, power struggles, and just plain evil abound, and Jane is probably one of my favoritest bad-ass female characters that I received a copy of this through NetGalley for my honest review.I was able to slide right into Book 3 after finishing Book 2, and was delighted to do so. Dean Koontz is a master storyteller, and Book 3 is my favorite of the series thus far. Jane is continuing on her mission to expose and obliterate the evil plot devised by some pretty horrific minds. Suspense, intrigue, murder, power struggles, and just plain evil abound, and Jane is probably one of my favoritest bad-ass female characters that Koontz has written. I thought Book 3 was going to be the last, but oh no, there is definitely more to come. This series has been amazing, and although mind-control nanobots seem a bit "out there", it's horrific to imagine that something like this could really be possible. This is what Koontz does best, and he is definitely on his game!
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  • Lisa Cleveland
    January 1, 1970
    My thanks to Random House/Bantam books and Netgalley. I loved the first book of this series, then hated the second book. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I requested this third book in the series. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew I'd have to finish the series. Well, this third book wasn't the end, but it did move us much closer to an ending. I confess that I kind of loved this book. The baddies were so freaking evil, but a few were funny. Make me laugh, and I'm all in. Sadly, som My thanks to Random House/Bantam books and Netgalley. I loved the first book of this series, then hated the second book. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I requested this third book in the series. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew I'd have to finish the series. Well, this third book wasn't the end, but it did move us much closer to an ending. I confess that I kind of loved this book. The baddies were so freaking evil, but a few were funny. Make me laugh, and I'm all in. Sadly, some really decent people were lost in this book, and its a credit to Mr. Koontz' writing that my heart was broken and I was crying like a dang fool. I guess I'll be sticking around for the final book,"whenever that may be."
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  • Judy Lesley
    January 1, 1970
    Not for me, but with his legion of fans of this series I'm sure Dean Koontz will be able to carry on. This is the third book in the Jane Hawk series with the books being published at a very smart clip, book one was just published in June 2017, which is maybe why readers don't seem to mind the incredibly abrupt cliffhanger ending to this one. This is my first Koontz novel, therefore my first Jane Hawk, so I did mind the ending.There is a confederacy of the rich and the powerful who are using an i Not for me, but with his legion of fans of this series I'm sure Dean Koontz will be able to carry on. This is the third book in the Jane Hawk series with the books being published at a very smart clip, book one was just published in June 2017, which is maybe why readers don't seem to mind the incredibly abrupt cliffhanger ending to this one. This is my first Koontz novel, therefore my first Jane Hawk, so I did mind the ending.There is a confederacy of the rich and the powerful who are using an injectable chemical that takes over the portions of a person's brain that controls their actions and will. After the person has fulfilled their use to the Arcadians the now virtual puppet is given the command to commit suicide - and so they do. This chemical injection is given to anyone seen as being useful or a danger to the utopia society being planned by the rich and powerful baddies. In this case, young adult twins, a brother and sister, who write books. Yep, them authors are always a danger, especially the ones who write fiction. One thread of the book follows the escape attempt of the twins, another follows Jane as she plots and plans to find those responsible for injecting her husband and forcing her to hide her son and spend her own life hiding from her former employers, the FBI. The book moves fast, is action filled, has clearly defined good versus bad actors and has a cliffhanger ending. Never fear, book #4 should be releasing shortly.Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Bantam for a digital galley of this novel.
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  • Dustin Crazy little brown owl
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Random House/Bantam for sending me an advance copy of this latest installment in the Jane Hawk Series. The Crooked Staircase will be published in May 2018. Dean Koontz is at his best. The words printed in this book seem to lift magically off the pages, creating visual perfection in my mind.Some Favorite Passages: Not for the first time in the past two years, she felt as if somewhere ahead of her, reality itself must be eroding, washing away, so that she might come to the crumbling e Thank you to Random House/Bantam for sending me an advance copy of this latest installment in the Jane Hawk Series. The Crooked Staircase will be published in May 2018. Dean Koontz is at his best. The words printed in this book seem to lift magically off the pages, creating visual perfection in my mind.Some Favorite Passages: Not for the first time in the past two years, she felt as if somewhere ahead of her, reality itself must be eroding, washing away, so that she might come to the crumbling edge of a precipice with nothing beyond but a lightless, bottomless abyss. ______The barrel of the weapon was elongated by a silencer, the muzzle as dark and deep as a wormhole connecting this universe to another.______
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  • Glady
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.Please, just finish already! The Crooked Staircase is the third novel in Koontz's Jane Hawk series. And, once again, he delivers a well-written thriller. The only problem here is that too much of this novel is repetitive of the first and second titles in the series. Once again, innocent, talented individuals are deemed too dangerous to continue with their lives so they are turned into murderers; allies of Jane Hawk are hunte I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.Please, just finish already! The Crooked Staircase is the third novel in Koontz's Jane Hawk series. And, once again, he delivers a well-written thriller. The only problem here is that too much of this novel is repetitive of the first and second titles in the series. Once again, innocent, talented individuals are deemed too dangerous to continue with their lives so they are turned into murderers; allies of Jane Hawk are hunted down and killed; cruel participants in the Arkadian "take over the world" programs are discovered by Jane and dealt with in rather inventive manners. Childhood traumas experienced by Jane and her foes are brought to the forefront while Travis, Jane's little boy, is presented as a too bright, too industrious, too aware five-year-old who is cognizant of the dangers that surround him. But little new is really learned about any of the characters.Koontz's writing manages to take readers into another world. His description of the "crooked staircase" and the eras of horrors displayed there makes the Arkadian future of controlled, robotic beings just an all-too-possible tread on this staircase. But, still, it is time for fewer examples of humanity's decline and time for Jane Hawk to bring evil to bay. It's time for Jane and Travis to be reunited.Even though I believe The Crooked Staircase to be redundant and therefore not a great read, I am invested in Jane and her cause so I will continue to read this series. But, please, finish it already!!
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  • Kristie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group / Ballantine Bantam for providing me with a free electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. I plan to read this one as soon as I finish The Whispering Room.The Silent Corner ★★★★The Whispering Room - currently readingThe Crooked Staircase - up next
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  • Renee Nash
    January 1, 1970
    Book Description"I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead." Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she's breathing, she'll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom--and free will--of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane's husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but Book Description"I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead." Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she's breathing, she'll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom--and free will--of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane's husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane's enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was. My ThoughtsThe Crooked Staircase is the third in the series featuring Jane Hawk. I have read and reviewed the first two books and the fact that I have just finished this one confirms the fact that I am a fan of this character. I have read almost every book Mr. Koontz has written and apparently as long as he keeps writing, I will keep reading and enjoying his books. I have been fortunate to discover quite a few very good books and new authors lately, but that doesn't mean that my 'go to authors' don't still have the most prominent place on my bookshelves. I was under the impression that this was going to be the end of Jane's story, so imagine my delight in discovering that the author has more to say before I have to bid a fond farewell to Jane. If you have the opportunity to read the books in order, you will not miss out on any of the details that make each book so good. However, there is more than enough backstory in The Crooked Staircase to allow it to be read as a standalone. Jane is still determined to ensure her son's safety and prove that her husband did not commit suicide but that there is a mind control conspiracy being orchestrated by many who hold positions of power and privilege. There is almost no one she can trust since members of this organization are everywhere and they will stop at nothing to silence Jane, permanently. The story is dark and twisty and not every character I liked has a happy ending, but I still have my fingers(and toes) crossed that Jane will succeed in exposing this conspiracy, be reunited with her son and get some semblance of her life back. With the odds stacked so much against her, I realize I may not get my wish and numerous characters I like may not get happily ever after endings, but I believe Jane will expose the truth( Please, Mr. Koontz!).No question the story ends with a cliffhanger, but there is a preview included at the end for the fourth novel, The Forbidden Door. Since the publication date for The Crooked Staircase is listed for May, I am hoping perhaps the next book will be released before the end of the year(a girl can hope, right?). If you like a fast-paced story with a heroine who is an amazing, gusty character, I recommend this book.Thank you, Dean Koontz, Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine and NetGalley for the advanced digital edition to read and review. I will be happy to purchase the hardcover and have already found the perfect spot on my shelf. I like to think that I would recognize the writing style of an author whether they wrote under a pseudonym or not. With Dean Koontz, I do believe I would know his work no matter what name was on the cover. His style is so distinctive and if you love it, you just love it.
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  • Nan Williams
    January 1, 1970
    What a breath of fresh air to have a protagonist who uses her intellect and her wits to outsmart the enemy! To have a woman who is not a smart mouth, but simply smart – as in intelligent. She’s someone with confidence in herself and in her abilities and puts that confidence to work in solving whatever problems she encounters. This is my first book featuring defrocked FBI agent, Jane Hawk.And it wasn’t just Jane, our heroine, who exercised her intellect, but other characters in the book – both me What a breath of fresh air to have a protagonist who uses her intellect and her wits to outsmart the enemy! To have a woman who is not a smart mouth, but simply smart – as in intelligent. She’s someone with confidence in herself and in her abilities and puts that confidence to work in solving whatever problems she encounters. This is my first book featuring defrocked FBI agent, Jane Hawk.And it wasn’t just Jane, our heroine, who exercised her intellect, but other characters in the book – both men and women. Even though there is definitely a Sci-Fi element in the story, our characters rely on their craftiness and abilities rather than on some sort of magic wands or supernatural abilities.So far as the plot and the theme are concerned, they could be right off the pages of current news reports. It’s all about the take over of our nation (and the world) via mind control by a group the book dubs, Techno Arcadians.Up to this point, the book would have a solid 5* rating from me. The following is the reason it got knocked down to 3.The suspense builds throughout the book. In the 4th section you think you can’t stand it any more, but then … it just keeps on escalating. There’s no relief. The suspense overwhelms the enjoyment at this point and really never gives the reader a break in the tension. That was a huge negative. For me another negative is that so many good people whom we get to know in the book get killed. A third negative is all the gruesome details especially in the 4th or 5th sections. Then lastly the ending is missing. If I hadn’t read other reviews mentioning the ending, I would have thought that my copy was simply missing the last few pages. Nope. Apparently the story ends with several characters hanging off their various cliffs and with a teaser from the sequel to make sure we buy the next book to find out what happened. I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher, Random House Publishing Group, for an ARC of this book. This review will be published immediately to GoodReads.
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  • Jill Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    ----------"I thought my war was over years ago.""It's all one war," she said, "and it's never over."----------This is absolutely the most fascinating, horrifying, deliciously twisty series! I am a long-time fan of Dean Koontz, but with the Jane Hawk books he's really come up with something delightful - the plot lines are eerie and creepy and unbelievably believable. The characters are evil and heroic and broken and battered and unredeemable and terror- and awe-inspiring in equal measure. The act ----------"I thought my war was over years ago.""It's all one war," she said, "and it's never over."----------This is absolutely the most fascinating, horrifying, deliciously twisty series! I am a long-time fan of Dean Koontz, but with the Jane Hawk books he's really come up with something delightful - the plot lines are eerie and creepy and unbelievably believable. The characters are evil and heroic and broken and battered and unredeemable and terror- and awe-inspiring in equal measure. The action is finely tuned, interwoven with cards held - and revealed - at just the right time to keep the reader on not only the edge of their seat, but the edge of their nerves. I keep thinking that things can't possibly get *that* much worse, and then - lo and behold! - they springboard right past worse and into uncharted territory... Jane Hawk is perhaps the greatest, strongest, most phenomenal female heroine of all time. She is nearly super-human in her ability to stay one step ahead of the evil she's pursuing, yet at the same time, her motivations and periodic bursts of self-reflection and concern about the configurations her mission is forcing her into keep her altogether human. She never doubts her path - she knows this is the ultimate winner-takes-all - or her love for her son. She has moved so far past self-doubt in her conviction about the destruction that the Techno Arcadians are seeding in their wake that she should, by rights, start seeming inhuman (or at least un-human) in her responses, yet she never does. She remains - odd though this will sound - an utterly humane ultra-violent, whatever-it-takes protagonist. Even when she's forced to turn to some of the methods of her enemies, she manages to do so with just enough humility and calm recognition of the point-of-no-return corners she's been pushed into that she remains not only likeable but unquestioningly, unfailingly, so. Koontz has her walking tightropes and she not only manages to do it with aplomb, but she does it while remaining upright - no small task, considering the forces massed against her. It is this indomitable spirit, as much as the great story-telling, that keeps this series so compelling...This one ended with more of a cliff-hanger than I like. I love series books and don't mind loose ends when I know more books are coming (particularly when they're coming from someone like Koontz who is prolific, with quick turn-arounds, and who you know will follow through on those ends), but I don't like when a major plot point/twist is introduced right at the end and then everything just stops. It feels too abrupt, a hostage situation forcing the reader to buy the next installment just to finish the story that was already read. There's a sample chapter of the next book in this one, so you know it's coming soon. "Soon" won't be soon enough though - if Jane is the guts of this story, Travis is the heart and soul. And as Jane herself would happily tell you, one cannot live without one's heart and soul. I'll be anxiously waiting to see where this latest test of Jane's legendary endurance takes her - my mind races with possibilities, most of which are horrible - which is a testament to Koontz's wisdom in ending the book exactly where he did, regardless of how I feel about cliff-hanging plot developments... Perhaps that's why he is Dean Koontz, and I'm me. :)My review copy was provided by NetGalley. The Crooked Staircase releases in the U.S. on May 8, 2018.
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  • Viccy
    January 1, 1970
    What if there was a vast conspiracy aimed at keeping humanity enslaved by killing off the best and the brightest? What if your husband, a decorated Marine combat veteran killed himself for no reason? What if you are an FBI agent, trained to notice anomalies? And you are determined to bring down the cabal directing this conspiracy? You would be Jane Hawk, former FBI agent and now America's most wanted. She has killed her way through the top ranks of the Techno Arcadians, who conspire to keep mank What if there was a vast conspiracy aimed at keeping humanity enslaved by killing off the best and the brightest? What if your husband, a decorated Marine combat veteran killed himself for no reason? What if you are an FBI agent, trained to notice anomalies? And you are determined to bring down the cabal directing this conspiracy? You would be Jane Hawk, former FBI agent and now America's most wanted. She has killed her way through the top ranks of the Techno Arcadians, who conspire to keep mankind subjugated. But like the Hydra, new heads keep popping up. This installment of the saga features a brother and sister Indian-American writing team who are brought under the cruel control of the Techno Arcadians and perform a spectacular murder-suicide and Jane kidnaps one of the prime directors of the movement in an attempt to find out more about the conspiracy. But, Jane's son's life may be jeopardy as the friends who are keeping him have to go on the run. Breath-taking pacing keeps the reader turning pages long into the night.
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  • Sherri Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    *** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest reviewThe next book in the Jane Hawk series is here and it is one fast paced ride. Jane is still trying to hunt down all of ones involved in the chilling act of implanting nanowebs in people in order to control them. Since her husband became one of the casualties, she has been on a one-woman hunt and it seems like every time she thinks she is nearing the top of the chain, she discovers more horrifying layers. I have neve *** I received an advanced e-copy from Net Galley in exchange for my honest reviewThe next book in the Jane Hawk series is here and it is one fast paced ride. Jane is still trying to hunt down all of ones involved in the chilling act of implanting nanowebs in people in order to control them. Since her husband became one of the casualties, she has been on a one-woman hunt and it seems like every time she thinks she is nearing the top of the chain, she discovers more horrifying layers. I have never in my life wanted so badly to go underground after reading this book. It is chilling and exciting and you aren't going to want to put it down. Definitely a must-read!
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  • Tiffany Foskey
    January 1, 1970
    Dean Koontz latest installment in the Jane Hawk series does not disappoint!!!!!! Action packed, drama filled, and sci fi fantasy. Jane Hawk is still on her mission to find the mastermind behind the takeover of the human race and she's getting closer with every chapter. This book is just as good as the previous two in this series if not better. Thank you Netgalley for my oppurtunity to read and review this book. I highly recommend this whole series if you haven't read them yet.
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    Love this series. Jane is a woman on a mission. She will stop at nothing to expose the real reason for the unexplained death of her husband. She has put friends Gavin and Jessie in grave danger by having then care for her son, Travis. Will they survive, and what will happen to Travis if they don't. Can't wait for next installment.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    Horrifically beautiful in it's heartbreak and grace, this story of one woman's quest to stop an organization that would change the world as we know it kept me involved to the end and anxiously waiting for the next installment.Koontz's prose is so eloquent that I kept re-reading descriptive passages that resonated in my heart. I cared for the characters and cried with their grief.Thanks to the publisher for an advanced galley of the work.
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  • Suellen
    January 1, 1970
    In this third installment of the Jane Hawk series, this rouge FBI s still on the run. Is she getting closer to revealing the truth behind the outbreak of murder/suicides that is responsible for her husband’s death? Her travels take her to Lake Tahoe and beyond in this high intensity drama as she searches for answers.
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  • Gail Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Dean Koontz continues the saga of Jane Hawk, rogue former-FBI agent who has uncovered the dastardly plot to overtake the world by a group of power hungry villains known as the Techno Arcadians. With implanted nanotechnology, they have taken control of a vast number of people that they deemed either a threat to their power grab, or else individuals that were not contributing sufficiently, in their estimation, to society. Their goal is a Utopian society that they control. Jane’s husband Nick had b Dean Koontz continues the saga of Jane Hawk, rogue former-FBI agent who has uncovered the dastardly plot to overtake the world by a group of power hungry villains known as the Techno Arcadians. With implanted nanotechnology, they have taken control of a vast number of people that they deemed either a threat to their power grab, or else individuals that were not contributing sufficiently, in their estimation, to society. Their goal is a Utopian society that they control. Jane’s husband Nick had become one of the adjusted people and had committed suicide as the Arcadians controlled his mind. That is their method of eliminating those who they fear will impede their growth. Now Jane is bent on destroying this cabal, both to stop their insidious encroachment and to save her 5-year old son Travis, who has been threatened. In the earlier book, The Whispering Room, Jane has killed David James Michael, who was one of the founders of this evil organization. Next on her list is Booth Hendrickson, a supercilious attorney high-up in the Department of Justice. As Jane plots to destroy Hendrickson, she discovers that the Arcadians have many hydra-like cells. She also discovers that Booth’s mother, Anabel, is the only other person that he knows of in the structure—she was an original investor. And Anabel is Cruella Deville personified. She has molded Booth to be like Nietzsche’s race of supermen. Anabel’s cruelty to a younger Booth has deep psychological effects on the imperfect adult Booth.I found Tanuja Skula to be an interesting character in this book. We meet Tanuja, a writer of magical realism, standing in the yard during a severe rainstorm. She is trying to experience what her lead character would feel during a long journey in a storm, on foot. I wonder if this immersion is a glimpse into Dean Koontz’s method of creating atmosphere. His ability to observe enhances his descriptions of weather, topography and nature. He visualizes scenes in such detail that I feel as though I’m in the setting. He makes the surroundings become minor characters in his books.I felt that the operative word in The Crooked Staircase was “dark”. A Kindle search shows 29 pages of excerpts with that word. And this is a dark story. Decidely dark. And as Jane meets Anabel at the bottom of the crooked staircase, the world begins to darkle. As Jane says, “Anabel in distant La Jolla was a threat for another day.” And another book. I can hardly wait, Dean Koontz.My thanks to Netgalley and Random House/Ballentine for an advanced readers copy of this excellent book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kerry Clair
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this better than the one before. This was a really good story as we get into the meat of this adventure. I still have to wish that Koontz would spend more time on each character rather than jumping so quickly as it causes my attention to slip. I really prefer being absorbed and riveted in a book and with the constant switches it’s too distracting and easy to put down.
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Another thrilling installment in the Jane Hawk series. Jane is back kicking ass and taking names. So much was happening in this book that kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t read it fast enough! The plot thickens with some major developments and new (evil) characters. Can’t wait for what happens next!*ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.
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  • Mike Zinn
    January 1, 1970
    I was rolling along, loving this book, remembering why I had enjoyed Dean Koontz in the past when ———- it just stopped. It was more like part one than a whole novel. The last 8% or so was just a preview of what was to come. That is not at all what we expected. (This was the current read aloud selection for my wife and I.) We both agreed that we were very unlikely to read the sequel. We’ll see. Jane Hawk is a great character, and the plot is very pertinent to the real world these days, but you ca I was rolling along, loving this book, remembering why I had enjoyed Dean Koontz in the past when ———- it just stopped. It was more like part one than a whole novel. The last 8% or so was just a preview of what was to come. That is not at all what we expected. (This was the current read aloud selection for my wife and I.) We both agreed that we were very unlikely to read the sequel. We’ll see. Jane Hawk is a great character, and the plot is very pertinent to the real world these days, but you can’t just leave people hanging.
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  • Becca
    January 1, 1970
    The plot development seemed a little slow to me in this book. I kept wanting some form of tension to build but never felt like it got there. The main character is very dynamic so I was hoping the plot would make her shine more.
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    I did not finish this book. I got to about 30% and just couldn't. I wish I could have. I LOVED Dean Koontz as a teenager. I just couldn't get past the LONG, descriptive sentences and the fact that the story wasn't really going anywhere. A shame.
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