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The Darkest Evening of the Year    by Dean Koontz order for
Darkest Evening of the Year
by Dean Koontz
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Amy Redwing lives in southern California. After losing a child, and her marriage ending in divorce, she forms Golden Hearts, a golden retriever rescue organization. She has two goldens of her own and finds comfort in knowing that she is helping those in need. Her latest canine to save is Nickie. Nickie's abusive owner beats the dog, his wife and their two children. With the help of her boyfriend Brian, Amy walks into a violent situation and diffuses it. She buys Nickie outright and gets help for the mother and her children. Coming from a troubled past herself, Amy knows how trauma can affect both children and animals.

After Nickie is settled in with Amy and Fred and Ethel, her canine children, Amy notices that Nickie is special. She is very observant, protective, and she performs little miracles. Even Brian notices that Nickie is no ordinary dog. Soon Amy finds that she is being followed around town by a strange man watching her with binoculars. Her home is broken into and she feels a presence in her house. Brian also confesses to strange happenings and weird sounds going on in his apartment. He is arranging for the custody of his ten-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. His dealings with his ex are strange and alarming and he wonders if somehow this is all connected to her.

Amy at one time was submissive in nature but now has learned to take charge of her life. Brian has always wondered why Amy could never commit herself to him, always withdrawing and not trusting. Now it seems that someone from her past is back to haunt her and a reign of terror begins as Amy and Brian agree to meet his ex and bring his daughter to safety. Brian feels that Amy's past and his future are entwined and they set out to find the truth. The Darkest Evening of the Year is a true Koontz page turner.

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