The Darkest Evening of the Year

Version: Unabridged
Author: Dean Koontz
Narrator: Kirsten Kairos
Genres: Suspense
Publisher: Random House Audio Assets
Published In: November 2007
# of Units: 8 CDs
Length: 9 hours
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With each of his #1 New York Times bestsellers, Dean Koontz has displayed an unparalleled ability to entertain and enlighten readers with novels that capture the essence of our times even as they bring us to the edge of our seats. Now he delivers a heart-gripping tour de force he’s been waiting years to write, at once a love story, a thrilling adventure, and a masterwork of suspense that redefines the boundaries of primal fear—and of enduring devotion.

Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the southern California organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. Among dog lovers, she’s a legend for the risks she’ll take to save an animal from abuse. Among her friends, Amy’s heedless devotion is often cause for concern. To widower Brian McCarthy, whose commitment she can’t allow herself to return, Amy’s behavior is far more puzzling and hides a shattering secret.

No one is surprised when Amy risks her life to save Nickie, nor when she takes the female golden into her home. The bond between Amy and Nickie is immediate and uncanny. Even her two other goldens, Fred and Ethel, recognize Nickie as special, a natural alpha. But the instant joy Nickie brings is shadowed by a series of eerie incidents. An ominous stranger. A mysterious home invasion.

And the unmistakable sense that someone is watching Amy’s every move and that, whoever it is, he’s not alone.

Someone has come back to turn Amy into the desperate, hunted creature she’s always been there to save. But now there’s no one to save Amy and those she loves. From its breathtaking opening scene to its shocking climax, The Darkest Evening of the Year is Dean Koontz at his finest, a transcendent thriller certain to have listeners entertained until dawn.

Reviews (14)

Written by Larry D. on August 3rd, 2018

  • Book Rating: 1/5

Terrible terrible


Written by Patricia G on October 22nd, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I had purchashed the paperback of this book sometime ago and still have it. Decided to listen to it and had totally forgotten how much I had forgotten. I think this book is amazing, the way it all ties together at the end. True angels vs. demons. Love this book!!!!! Narrator was wonderful!!!!

To Slow

Written by Anonymous on February 13th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I kept waiting for the story to begin, however is never happened. Almost made it to the second CD, but not quite before I gave up. Sad, I usually really enjoy Dean Koontz.

Slow and indulgent

Written by Anonymous on August 10th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I'm a big Dean Koontz fan and have read several of his books. For the most part, I find them entertaining, suspenseful & always interesting to say the least. I have to admit that I am a bigger fan of his earlier works but this one I found very difficult to get through. Koontz is a genius at creating heartless & ruthless villains that makes the reader cringe with disgust. The problem in my opinion is that whatever redemption the hero of the story is finally given is too easy and such a let down. I found this to be most evident in this book. The story is so slow and takes forever to get to the action and when we finally get there...who cares? I also found the narrator to have a very monotone droll to her voice and didn't capture my interest at all. Overall, I found this to be what I would consider the slowest and most indulgent of the Dean Koontz novels I've read/listened to date.

Great Book

Written by Anonymous on May 19th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I loved this story, mostly because of the Golden Retrievers; but the storyteller was also awesome.

Scary and good

Written by Anonymous on January 20th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

A good story that kept me engaged; very different from other works I've read by this author. If you like golden retrievers, this one's for you.

Disappointing and sappy

Written by Anonymous on August 24th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I was so disappointed in this novel. I felt it was sappy and unrealistic. I am a dog lover and still felt the story was uninteresting and silly. I think the reader's voice was too childlike and may have played into that. For Koontz, this was simply disappointing.

a must for dog lovers

Written by GregRedi from Sugar Land, TX on May 23rd, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

A typically good Dean Koontz novel. Not as gruesome as some, if you're a dog lover and into suspense novels, you should add this to your list.

Slow starter but finished well

Written by Anonymous on May 18th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Overall a good book, it started a little slow and it took me a while to get into it but then it really kept my attention. The female reader was OK, but not my favorite.

Pass on this one...

Written by Anonymous on March 19th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I have read many Koontz books and I always enjoyed them. Once I started trying them on audiobook... not so much. I have found the Koontz readers to be some of the worst. This one was no exception. Lame story. Lame reader. At least the book was short.

Author Details

Author Details

Koontz, Dean

Dean Koontz grew up in desperate poverty under the tyranny of a violent alcoholic father (Koontz's father served time in prison for trying to murder him). Despite his traumatic childhood, Koontz put himself through Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (then known as Shippensburg State College), and in 1967 went to work as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School. In his spare time he wrote his first novel, Star Quest, which was published in 1968. From there he went on to write over a dozen more science fiction novels.

In the 1970s, Koontz began publishing mainstream suspense and horror fiction, under his own name as well as under several pseudonyms; Koontz has stated he used pen names after several editors convinced him that authors who switched genre fell victim to "negative crossover": alienating established fans, while simultaneously not picking up any new fans. Known pseudonyms include Deanna Dwyer, K. R. Dwyer, Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Brian Coffey, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Owen West, and Richard Paige. Currently some of those novels are sold under Koontz's real name.

Koontz's breakthrough novel was Whispers (1980). Several of his books have reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Koontz is renowned for his skill at writing suspenseful page-turners. His strengths also include memorable characters, original ideas, and ability to blend horror, fantasy and humour. Koontz has been criticized for his tendency to include too many similes and therefore to drag out descriptions, his frequent use of similar plotting structures, and a tendency to moralize heavily.

Koontz's protagonists,with the exception of Odd Thomas,arm theirselves with guns to do combat against the various monsters and madmen,and Koontz gets all the technical details right.There are no mistakes(functions and capabilities of different types of guns.)

Arguably, most of Koontz's work can still be classified as science fiction, as he tries to create plausible, consistent explanations for the unusual, fantastic events featured in most of his novels.

Koontz also has a very interesting way of adding his own little quirks to his novels, such as adding simple quotes from a book by the name of The Book of Counted Sorrows. Counted Sorrows was originally a hoax, like the nonexistent Keener's Manual Richard Condon cited for epigraphs he wrote himself. Eventually Koontz put together a poetry collection of that name, using all the epigraphs; it was printed as a limited edition in 2003 by Charnel House and as an eBook by Barnes & Noble. His more recent novels, starting with The Taking, have no verse by Koontz; rather, they have quotes by other authors (in particular, The Taking uses quotes from T. S. Eliot, whose works figure in the plot of the novel).

Koontz has long been a fan of Art Bell's radio program, Coast to Coast AM. He appeared as a guest after a fan reported to Bell that one of Koontz's novels featured a character describing a paranormal event as an "Art Bell moment."

Koontz currently resides in Newport Beach, a city in Southern California (as such, most of his novels are set in Southern California) with his wife Gerda and their dog Trixie Koontz, under whose name he published the book, Life is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living, in 2004. Trixie is also often referenced in his official newsletter "Useless News".

Dogs often figure heavily in Koontz's novels, as he is an avid dog lover. Watchers, Dark Rivers of the Heart, and One Door Away from Heaven are prime examples. However, lately he has seen fit to include cats as characters, most notably the smart cat Mungojerrie in the Christopher Snow novels.