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Extended Audio Sample The Darkest Evening of the Year Audiobook, by Dean Koontz Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (15,105 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dean Koontz Narrator: Kirsten Kairos Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2007 ISBN: 9780739332979
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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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Compulsively readable...With a magician's expertise, Dean Koontz sets his multiple story lines spinning. Boston Globe

    [A] top-notch thriller...with unabashed emotion and wit...This is the perfect book for thriller addicts who know the darkest hour is just before the dawn, and for canine lovers.
  • Just barely into Koontz’s thriller, I understood why he’s a bookselling giant. Entertainment Weekly
  • Silence of the Lambs meets Marley & Me. People
  • Silence of the Lambs meets Marley & Me.”

    People

  • “Compulsively readable”

    Boston Globe

  • “Just barely into Koontz’s thriller, I understood why he’s a bookselling giant.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “This is the perfect book for thriller addicts who know the darkest hour is just before the dawn, and for canine lovers.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karenzielinski | 2/14/2014

    " I really liked this book. Deb, I am going to send it to you, b/c you are a Koontz fan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dainan | 2/5/2014

    " I've only read a few of Dean Koontz's books but have liked every one of them so far. This one has his superb writing but I wasn't a huge fan of the subject. I didn't know it was going to be so heavily focused on dogs. I'm not an animal person and especially not a dog person. Anyway, the story was good enough to keep me reading and I think it deserves better than 2 stars, so it grudgingly gets 3 from me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Reecie | 1/31/2014

    " This was one of Dean Koontz's better books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adelicia | 1/24/2014

    " This book made me want to get a dog! A very quick read. I was a little disappointed with the ending. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 MK (Consultant, Corporal Therapist) | 1/24/2014

    " Brian is an architect who helps Amy with her dog rescue. One night they rescue a very special dog name Nickie. The story involves other interesting characters like Moongirl and Harrow. While the several side characters were enjoyable and the story leading up to the finale was told well, not with this and that thrown in, I only found this Koontz novel mildly amusing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Shumway | 1/23/2014

    " Good one for those of you who love how Koontz includes dogs into his writing. Also I thought not as dark as some of his others if you want a more light weight thriller from Dean. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erika | 1/22/2014

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie | 1/22/2014

    " a good read (ha ha) Koontz is very into dogs well Golden retrievers, he has another really GREAT book about them! This one was very spiritual and I had me very anxious at the end! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/16/2014

    " I loved this book, probably because I love dogs but also because I enjoyed the message and the way it was written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 1/11/2014

    " Not a huge fan of Koontz style. Still, the story was original and the ending made it worth the read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/1/2014

    " Not as good as some of the other Koontz books I have read, but interesting. Centers on a woman who rescues Golden Retrievers, and her help to rescue another man's daughter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paige Hackler | 12/31/2013

    " I really liked this book, but it was a little disturbing in some parts. It was very intense and a real page-turner! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 12/30/2013

    " Not my favorite from this author but the story was good. Some not so nice things happen to people who don't deserve it but the villian loses in the end. A bit of horror, alot of metaphysical. As the cover suggests, a dog is one of the main players in this story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marty Miracky | 11/26/2013

    " Long book....because it was boring!! This book didn't even get remotely interesting till almost the end and then it just ended quickly and rather dumb! I wouldn't recommend reading it to anyone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dominika Daniluk-Gluchy | 11/23/2013

    " really boring book......did expect more from it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Galen | 11/23/2013

    " Pretty weak plot-wise and kind of strange, especially the ending which really did not do it for me. Koontz always has a dog in the story but this one just didn't work. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kim | 8/10/2013

    " I stopped reading Dean Koontz a while ago and this book did not inspire me to follow his work in the future. It is simply awful and once again I thought I would love it because one of the main characters is a dog...I was wrong. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 7/29/2013

    " By the end, the book was good. But leading up to the end, the book was a tad odd. The book literally goes to the last 4 pages with suspense ... Carrie, I will bring this if you want to read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 3/28/2013

    " Entertaining and fast read, but utterly forgettable. Although I do have an inexplicable urge to rescue a Golden Retriever now... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephen | 6/26/2012

    " A few too many coincidences, but...it was pretty close to vintage Koontz. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joel Johnson | 3/30/2012

    " Great story, as usual, but it lacked a great ending. Dog-lovers will love it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 2/5/2012

    " Never have really gotten into a Dean Koontz book but this one sounded interesting. May never try another! It was bizarre. A bit too off the wall for my tastes. I like mystery, but this was a thriller with a wierd twist. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nicole | 1/26/2012

    " It took half the book to start connecting the dots. Then it took the rest of the book for him to get to the point. He finished the book in the last 5 pages, which leave you thinking the book just got out of control, and he finished it to begin another book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Andrea Clark | 12/15/2011

    " I started reading Koontz in the 8th grade (I'm 30 now) and this one was the most disappointing by far. Don't bother. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steve | 8/12/2011

    " EXTREMELY dissapointed. Got all of the way to the end, and that was it???? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 8/3/2011

    " This book has a nice story. Despite the roughness of the writing style I enjoyed reading this book knowing that the author had worked on it during the time of this own dog's death. I felt all the emotions of the book were very sincere. Also the book has an endearing message. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Whitney | 6/23/2011

    " I love this book. I especially love how Koontz often incorporates animals into his works. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Peter | 6/18/2011

    " In my opinion this is pretty standard fare...Koontz is an unbelievably prolific author who maintains a good standard. This is a good story, a suspenseful thriller. Once suspension of disbelief kicks in the reading is easy and the characters light, but you will want the nice ones to win well enough! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Veronica | 5/26/2011

    " I really liked this book. It has become one of my favorites that Dean Knootz has written. It has suspense and it made me cry. I love dogs so this book hit home.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 5/18/2011

    " Didn't really get interesting until the third, and final part, of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenniferayers77 | 4/30/2011

    " This was sort of depressing in the middle, and I just kept hoping for a fantastic finish... which was only mediocre. I had to read it to the end, though, to make sure it turned out the way I'd hoped. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margie | 4/27/2011

    " I enjoyed listening to the story, although not typical Koontz. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 4/24/2011

    " Great book, but the ending was a little too abrupt for my liking. The build up was excellent though, I cried and laughed. All in all, a good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mr. | 4/21/2011

    " This is definitely the darkest story I've ever read from Koontz, and I've read most of his books. Just the same, there is light at the end of the tunnel in this mesmerizing tale. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 4/14/2011

    " Not one his better books, but still entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karyn | 4/10/2011

    " What a great book. The last paragraph brought tears to my eyes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheryl | 4/5/2011

    " I thought this thriller was lacking the suspense that is usually found in most of his books. Based on the title and the brief synopses of what the book is described as being about you expect a different story than the one actually being told. I kept wondering when it was going to all tie together. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 4/5/2011

    " A beautiful uplifting story with wonderful dogs in it.
    "

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About the Author
Author Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz is one of the most popular writers in the world. When he was a senior in college, he won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and has been writing ever since. His books are published in thirty-eight languages with worldwide sales over 400 million copies. Fourteen of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list and sixteen have risen to the number one position in paperback. Several of his books have been adapted into feature films and television miniseries, including the highly rated Intensity on the Fox Network. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden retriever Trixie.