The severed limbs, the headless torso, the eyeless head, and the pried-out glass eyes of the doll are arranged beside the lunch tray on the desk, where Moongirl carefully placed them. ~ The Darkest Evening of the Year, page 179 ~
Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the southern California organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. Among dog lovers, she’s a legend for the risks she’ll take to save an animal from abuse. Among her friends, Amy’s heedless devotion is often cause for concern. To widower Brian McCarthy, whose commitment she can’t allow herself to return, Amy’s behavior is far more puzzling and hides a shattering secret.
No one is surprised when Amy risks her life to save Nickie, nor when she takes the female golden into her home. The bond between Amy and Nickie is immediate and uncanny. Even her two other goldens, Fred and Ethel, recognize Nickie as special, a natural alpha. But the instant joy Nickie brings is shadowed by a series of eerie incidents. An ominous stranger. A mysterious home invasion.
And the unmistakable sense that someone is watching Amy’s every move and that, whoever it is, he’s not alone.
Someone has come back to turn Amy into the desperate, hunted creature she’s always been there to save. But now there’s no one to save Amy and those she loves.
What can I say I'm a big fan of this man's work. I've read just about everything he's written and always put his newest release on hold at the library. While I don't always finish some of his newer works with the writing style changed he adapted around 2000 I knew before ever starting this book that it would be one I wouldn't put down. When I read the story outline provided by Amazon and saw that it involved rescuing animals I was hooked. It didn't matter was else was going to happen in this suspense filled page turner, I was there. I can honestly say this was an emotional roller coaster of a book for me. The passages referring to puppy mills, animal shelter walk-throughs and rescuing pets from cruel owners drove me to tears but I knew in the end from reading previous novels by Mr. Koontz that everyone would get exactly what they deserved both animal and human.
There were parts that kept me on the edge of my seat though it wrapped up a bit too neatly in the kitchen of the house. I would have preferred a bit more touch-n-go right up until the very end. Overall I enjoyed this solid story and I'm glad I didn't put it down before finishing.