77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

77 Shadow Street Reviewed by Allen Hott

Like paranormal stories? Like authors with a fantastic vocabulary? Like authors with a great insight into scientific matters? How about many, many great descriptive pictures painted by an author?

These attributes are all very much in evidence in 77 Shadow Street. And the author is Dean Koontz. Yes he has done it again. Mr. Koontz has crafted a tremendous story that is loaded with all the above.

77 Shadow Street in 2011 is a large condominium that has been in that spot since the late 1800’s when it was built for a multimillionaire as a family residence. It has been renovated and added to many times. Today it houses a mixed collection of fairly well to do families who seem at ease and comfortable in their surroundings.

But what is it about the Pendleton house located at 77 Shadow Street that is vastly different from most other buildings anywhere and at any time? Not a lot of folks know about the past history of the Pendleton and how often some strangeness occurs. As the reader begins his visit to this strange place he will find many very unusual happenings that seem to be occurring at this time. Is it some sort of a cycle that appears ever so many years? And if so what is it?

“One” and “Witness” who appear throughout the book as narrators or seers quite often give not only words of wisdom but also warnings of things to come. As “One”speaks early on:

I am the One, the all and only. I live in the Pendleton as surely as I live everywhere. I am the Pendleton’s history and its destiny. The building is my place of conception, my monument, my killing ground.

The commentary from the two of them help to advise the reader of why things have happened and what is about to happen in the near future. Although the story seems to take place in a longer period of time it actually all happens within a portion of a day.

When Andrew Pendleton, his wife, and his children were presented to me, I allowed him alone to live. In a sense, I owed my existence to him, because he chose to build on Shadow Hill. …….
Soon the current residents of the Pendleton will appear before me, bewildered by my many manifestations. I know them, for I know everything. Not all will perish, but nearly all.

Those residents are quite a mixed bag and each has a background story of their own. And each of them will witness some type of paranormal event in the next hour or so.

The first on the scene is a former senator who lives alone now and appears to spend quite a bit of time coming home in an inebriated condition (at least according to one of the security staff). Tonight the senator makes his way to the elevator and again per the guard boards in his normal fashion. Later however on checking all of the security cameras throughout the entire estate the senator is no longer anywhere to be found!

Other residents include an ex-Marine who now works as a wealth manager. There is a retired attorney who is exceptionally intelligent. A female songwriter lives in one of the units with her son who is attempting to figure out life with and without his father who is an entertainer and vagabond.

There are two elderly sisters who keep two cats, all of whom will play an important part in the story as it moves along. Helping out as a housekeeper for the sisters is a divorced woman who has her own apartment.

A gentleman who earns his living (unbeknownst to all the others) as a hired killer and he makes his entry into the story by killing his brother who appeared to be intent on killing him! Down the hall lives a thirty-two year old woman who is deathly afraid of storms and lightning after having witnessed her father being struck dead by a bolt of lightning when she was eight years old. With this lady lives her teenage autistic daughter who keeps everything in her life somehow centered on the Disney character, Bambi.

Also as part of the Pendleton residents is an extremely rich gentleman who is constantly searching out aspects of the Ruling Elite and trying to determine his own status. Another resident is a brilliant doctor who has worked in genetics and related medical science fields.

Throughout the story there are two ongoing occurrences. Number one and perhaps the most frightening are constant thunderstorms with torrential rain and ever-present lightning. Helping to enhance the frightening effects of the storm is a quite frequent series of tremendously strong vibrations that appear to rock the very foundation and do rattle all windows of the Pendleton house.

Witness now knew from experience that this mysterious phenomenon occurred every thirty-eight years in the past, beginning in December 1897.
Likewise he didn’t know the cause of this event, whether it was a natural phenomenon without meaning or whether there was purpose of some kind behind it…………the chances of any of them living through the next ninety minutes was remote. He would not kill them, but he could not save them, either.

Koontz has put together a fantastic storyline and embellished it with the right amount of fear and out of this world occurrences to keep any reader enthralled to the very end. Perhaps “One” says it best when he closes with..

I am the prince of this world not just for a time but for all time. I will be well and all will be well in this best of all possible worlds.

One Response to 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz

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