Dogs. Who let the dogs out? It’s a dog-eat-dog world. Snoop Doggy DAWWWWWG (Snoop Dog). Dogs are a popular part of our society. Cute dogs. Scary dogs. Dog killers – ahem, Vick, ahem. Dogs are cool. We all love dogs. But dogs should NEVER…I repeat, NEVER…fly.
The Darkest Evening of the Year is a novel by Dean Koontz. Koontz, a professed dog lover himself, often incorporates K-9s into his work. This time around he uses “man’s best friend” to tell the story of Amy Redwing, a woman who puts her life at stake to save dogs that are living in unclean, violent homes.
As in most cases with Koontz, the narration in this work is somewhat meandering, often breaking to make funny little quips within the text. This can swerve the reader off course. The characters are smartasses who make light of the most dangerous situations. This attitude towards peril can be become annoying. Can’t these characters have more depth? Can’t they have more twists and turns to them? No, apparently not. Koontz plays it straight, too straight, with his characters, and they become so mundane and predictable that you know what they are going to do next.
And, oh yeah, the flying dog.
This next statement is a bold one: This book, The Darkest Evening of the Year, has the worst ending I have ever read!! I’m not exaggerating. The ending comes out of nowhere (Dues Ex Machina – to those literary fiends) and makes no sense to the story. There is no closure. None. Only a flying dog who saves Amy Redwing. Where did this flying dog come from? Who knows? Why does it fly? Who knows? Koontz ran out of options and thought to himself, Everyone loves dogs, right? So why would they not love flying dogs?
Well, Dean, the answer is simple. We don’t love flying dogs because we’re not three. We’re your readers…you know?…adults?