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The Crooked Staircase
Cover of The Crooked Staircase
The Crooked Staircase
Jane Hawk Series, Book 3
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • Jane Hawk—who dazzled readers in The Silent Corner and The Whispering Room—faces the fight of her life, against the threat of a lifetime, in this electrifying new thriller by #1 New York Times bestselling suspense master Dean Koontz.

    "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 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.
    Don't miss any of Dean Koontz's gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
    THE SILENT CORNER
  • THE WHISPERING ROOM
  • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW (Coming Soon!)

    Praise for The Crooked Staircase

    "An absorbing thriller full of fresh touches . . . Writing his unusual heroine, Koontz keeps the pages alive with attitude as well as action. . . . For Hawk, who is as fearless as she is beautiful, no obstacle is too great, especially with the well-being of her hidden-away five-year-old son on her mind."Kirkus Reviews
    "Spellbinding . . . Beautifully plotted and written with notable care and flare . . . The Hawk series . . . is among [Koontz's] best work."—Booklist (starred review)
    "Unrelenting . . . [Jane] rivets readers' attention. . . . Michael Crichton fans and thriller aficionados who appreciate a fierce female protagonist . . . should be urged to meet Jane Hawk."Library Journal
  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • Jane Hawk—who dazzled readers in The Silent Corner and The Whispering Room—faces the fight of her life, against the threat of a lifetime, in this electrifying new thriller by #1 New York Times bestselling suspense master Dean Koontz.

    "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 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.
    Don't miss any of Dean Koontz's gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
    THE SILENT CORNER
  • THE WHISPERING ROOM
  • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW (Coming Soon!)

    Praise for The Crooked Staircase

    "An absorbing thriller full of fresh touches . . . Writing his unusual heroine, Koontz keeps the pages alive with attitude as well as action. . . . For Hawk, who is as fearless as she is beautiful, no obstacle is too great, especially with the well-being of her hidden-away five-year-old son on her mind."Kirkus Reviews
    "Spellbinding . . . Beautifully plotted and written with notable care and flare . . . The Hawk series . . . is among [Koontz's] best work."—Booklist (starred review)
    "Unrelenting . . . [Jane] rivets readers' attention. . . . Michael Crichton fans and thriller aficionados who appreciate a fierce female protagonist . . . should be urged to meet Jane Hawk."Library Journal
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    Excerpts-
    • From the book 1

      At seven o'clock on that night in March, during a thunderless but heavy rain pounding as loud as an orchestra of kettledrums, Sara Holdsteck finally left the offices of Paradise Real Estate, carrying her briefcase in her left hand, open purse slung over her left shoulder, right hand free for a cross-body draw of the gun in the purse. She boarded her Ford Explorer, threw back the dripping hood of her raincoat, and drove home by way of familiar suburban streets on which the foul weather had settled a strangeness, an apocalyptic gloom that matched her mood. 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. Silver needles of rain pleated the darkness with mystery and threat. Any vehicle that followed her more than three blocks elicited her suspicion.

      The Springfield Armory Champion .45 ACP was nestled in her open purse, which stood on her briefcase, within easy reach on the passenger seat. Originally she hadn't wanted a weapon of such a high caliber, but she had eventually realized that nothing smaller would so reliably stop an assailant. She had spent many hours on a shooting range, learning to control the recoil.

      She had once lived in a gated community with an around-the-clock security guard, in a paid-off twelve-thousand-square-foot residence with a view of the Pacific Ocean. Now she owned a house one-quarter that size, encumbered by a fat mortgage, in a neighborhood with no gate, no guard, no view. Starting with little money, by the age of forty she had built a modest fortune as a Southern California real-estate agent, broker, and canny investor—but most of it had been taken from her by the time she was forty-two.

      At forty-four, though bitter, she was nonetheless grateful that she hadn't been rendered penniless. Having clawed her way to the top once before, she'd been left with just enough assets to start the climb again. This time she would not make the mistake that had led to her ruin; she would not marry.

      On the street where Sara lived, storm runoff overwhelmed the drains to form shallow lakes wherever the pavement swaled. Her Ford cast up wings of water in a false promise of magical flight. She slowed and swung into her driveway. Lights glowed in some windows, controlled by a smart-house program that, after nightfall and in her absence, created the illusion of occupancy and activity. She remoted the garage door and, while it rolled up on its tracks, put her open purse in her lap. She drove inside, the drumming of rain on the roof relenting as the welcome electronic shriek of the alarm system inspired a greater sense of safety than she had felt since setting out for work that morning.

      She did not switch off the engine. With the doors still locked, she kept her left foot hard on the brake, her right poised over the accelerator, and she shifted into reverse. She used the remote control again and looked from one of the SUV's side mirrors to the other, watching the big segmented door descend. If someone tried to slip in under it, the motion detector would sense the intruder and, as a safety measure, retract the door. If that happened, the instant the roll-up cleared the roof of the Explorer, she would take her foot off the brake, stomp the accelerator, and reverse at speed into the driveway, into the street.

      With luck, she might be quick enough to run down whatever sonofabitch had come after her.

      The bottom rail of the door met the concrete with a soft thud. She was alone in the garage.

      She shifted the SUV into...
    About the Author-
    • Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.
    Reviews-
    • Kirkus

      April 1, 2018
      Former FBI agent Jane Hawk continues her no-holds-barred campaign against the mind-control conspiracy that caused the suicide of her decorated Marine husband.In past adventures (The Whispering Room, 2017, etc.), Hawk dispatched some of the baddies responsible for creating and injecting brainwashing nanotech implants--and dramatically raising the national suicide rate. With the cabal entrenched in government agencies and private industry, she got indicted for espionage, treason, and murder and is now the most wanted person in America. Continuing her mission to restore her husband's good name and nail Booth Hendrickson, the corrupt Department of Justice figure behind the conspiracy, she must evade all manner of sophisticated surveillance technology. Her path to Hendrickson is through his half brother, Simon, a mother-obsessed sociopath who tortures and psychologically breaks women. To get to Simon, Hawk must tame his naïve spitfire girlfriend, the memorably named Petra Quist. For Hawk, who is as fearless as she is beautiful, no obstacle is too great, especially with the well-being of her hidden-away 5-year-old son on her mind. There is seemingly nothing she doesn't know, from intricate details about alarm systems to the functions of the three pairs of saliva glands. She's also a skilled pianist. With many pages devoted to a less compelling parallel mind-scrubbing story about brilliant young fraternal twins, the book sometimes bogs down in the padding. But writing his unusual heroine, Koontz keeps the pages alive with attitude as well as action.The third book in Koontz's lively series tends to rehash scenes from the first two, but it's still an absorbing thriller full of fresh touches.

      COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    Jane Hawk Series, Book 3
    Dean Koontz
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