There are no rules in the dark, no place to feel safe, no escape from the shadows. But to save the day, you must...Seize the Night.
At no time does Moonlight Bay look more beautiful than at night. Yet it is precisely then that the secluded little town reveals its menace. Now children are disappearing. From their homes. From the streets. And there's nothing their families can do about it. Because in Moonlight Bay, the police work their hardest to conceal crimes and silence victims. No matter what happens in the night, their job is to ensure that nothing disturbs the peace and quiet of Moonlight Bay....
Christopher Snow isn't afraid of the dark. Forced to live in the shadows because of a rare genetic disorder, he knows the night world better than anyone. He believes the lost children are still alive and that their disappearance is connected to the town's most carefully kept, most ominous secret--a secret only he can uncover, a secret that will force him to confront an adversary at one with the most dangerous darkness of all. The darkness inside the human heart.
No bestselling suspense novelist creates magnetic characters as consistently as Koontz does. In last year's Fear Nothing, this veteran author presented his most memorable figures yet: hero/narrator Christopher Snow, whose genetic affliction forces him to shun light; Chris's sidekick, the ultracool surfing dude Bobby; and ultrasmart dog Orson, a product of scientific experiments gone awry at Fort Wyvern in Chris's coastal California town. In this independent-minded sequel, the second novel of a trilogy, the wonderfully delineated loyalties among these characters and others will win readers' hearts as Koontz plunges his cast into terror. Koontz moves the trilogy's overarching plot in a wholly unexpected direction, pursuing not the experiments that begat Orson but a parallel time-travel/disruption experiment. The gambit feels a bit arbitrary, but it voids the attenuation that plagues many middle volumes. The story begins right after that of Fear Nothing, when Chris learns that children have been abducted to the Fort. Soon Orson is gone as well, but he's replaced smartly by Mungojerrie, the clever cat introduced in volume one. Set mostly at the abandoned Fort, as Chris and company search for the missing kids and dog, the novel proves supernally spooky (and, at times, surprisingly?deliberately?humorous). The suspense soars, culminating in a volcanic if somewhat confusing eruption of action climaxes. A principal villain makes a late appearance, but he's not as menacing as Fear Nothing's fiendish monkey troops, who also show up. Though not as seamlessly constructed as Fear Nothing, this novel stands as vintage Koontz, a rousing crowd-pleaser that recapitulates some of his recurrent themes the pain of the outsider; the power of love; the threat of scientism?while sturdily continuing a trilogy that's shaping up as his masterwork. Simultaneous BDD audio. (Feb.; on sale 12/29).
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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February 29, 2000
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Excerpt from Seize the Night by Dean Koontz
Elsewhere, night falls, but in Moonlight Bay it steals upon us with barely a whisper, like a gentle dark-sapphire surf licking a beach. At dawn, when the night retreats across the Pacific toward distant Asia, it is reluctant to go, leaving deep black pools in alleyways, under parked cars, in culverts, and beneath the leafy canopies of ancient oaks.
According to Tibetan folklore, a secret sanctuary in the sacred Himalayas is the home of all wind, from which every breeze and raging storm throughout the world is born. If the night, too, has a special home, our town is no doubt the place.
On the eleventh of April, as the night passed through Moonlight Bay on its way westward, it took with it a five-year-old boy named Jimmy Wing.
Near midnight, I was on my bicycle, cruising the residential streets in the lower hills not far from Ashdon College, where my murdered parents had once been professors. Earlier, I had been to the beach, but although there was no wind, the surf was mushy; the sloppy waves didn't make it worthwhile to suit up and float a board. Orson, a black Labrador mix, trotted at my side.
Fur face and I were not looking for adventure, merely getting some fresh air and satisfying our mutual need to be on the move. A restlessness of the soul plagues both of us more nights than not.
Anyway, only a fool or a madman goes looking for adventure in picturesque Moonlight Bay, which is simultaneously one of the quietest and most dangerous communities on the planet. Here, if you stand in one place long enough, a lifetime's worth of adventure will find you.
Lilly Wing lives on a street shaded and scented by stone pines. In the absence of lampposts, the trunks and twisted branches were as black as char, except where moonlight pierced the feathery boughs and silvered the rough bark.
I became aware of her when the beam of a flashlight swept back and forth between the pine trunks. A quick pendulum of light arced across the pavement ahead of me, and tree shadows jumped. She called her son's name, trying to shout but defeated by breathlessness and by a quiver of panic that transformed Jimmy into a six-syllable word.
Because no traffic was in sight ahead of or behind us, Orson and I were traveling the center of the pavement: kings of the road. We swung to the curb.
As Lilly hurried between two pines and into the street, I said, "What's wrong, Badger?"
For twelve years, since we were sixteen, "Badger" has been my affectionate nickname for her. In those days, her name was Lilly Travis, and we were in love and believed that a future together was our destiny. Among our long list of shared enthusiasms and passions was a special fondness for Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, in which the wise and courageous Badger was the stalwart defender of all the good animals in the Wild Wood. "Any friend of mine walks where he likes in this country," Badger had promised Mole, "or I'll know the reason why!" Likewise, those who shunned me because of my rare disability, those who called me vampire because of my inherited lack of tolerance for more than the dimmest light, those teenage psychopaths who plotted to torture me with fists and flashlights, those who spoke maliciously of me behind my back, as if I'd chosen to be born with xeroderma pigmentosum--all had found themselves answering to Lilly, whose face flushed and whose heart raced with righteous anger at any exhibition of intolerance. As a young boy, out of urgent necessity, I learned to fight, and by the time I met Lilly, I was confident of my ability to defend myself; nevertheless, she had insisted on coming to my aid as fiercely as the noble Badger ever fought with claw and cudgel for his friend Mole.
Although slender, she is mighty. Only five feet four, she appears to tower over any adversary. She is as formidable, fearless, and fierce as she is graceful and good-hearted.