In this sequel to The Silent Corner (2017), former FBI agent Jane Hawk continues her fight against an evil conspiracy that has been brainwashing people with nanomachines.
The 27-year-old Hawk is a former agent—and the most wanted woman in America—because she's been taking out the bad guys responsible for the murder of her husband and other killings made to look like suicides. Traveling alone, in disguise, and doing all she can to avoid the surveillance of government agencies that have been infiltrated by the conspiracy, she's after the murderous billionaire whose California biotech firm developed the microscopic “control mechanisms” being injected into people's bloodstreams. Among their living victims: young women turned into robotic hostesses at private sex clubs. Hawk gains an ally in black cop Luther Tillman after a kindly teacher in his Minnesota town unthinkably drives a car bomb into a hotel and kills 42 people, including the governor and a congressman. Koontz had his work cut out for him trying to match the terrific first installment in the series. But as solid as the storytelling is here, it lacks the spark and suspense of The Silent Corner. Too many of the scenes in this 500-plus page book are stretched out for no reason. And Hawk, so charismatic the last time around, is largely reduced to a pitiless avenger who resorts to her own kind of cruelty.
While Koontz's second effort featuring Jane Hawk may satisfy his longtime fans, his new heroine too often seems stuck on autopilot—a major disappointment considering how lively she was in her debut.