Email this review


Originally published in paperback by Pocket Books as ""written by Leigh Nicols,"" this is the first hard-cover (and limited) edition of The House of Thunder. Horror novelist Koontz shows more control here than is often the case and has a strong, clear opening that works up considerable suspense. Young California physicist Susan Thorton wakes up in an amnesiac state in an Oregon hospital and finds that she was the victim of an auto accident while on vacation. As her past arises fragment by fragment, she is also invaded by a series of ghastly events in the hospital. First, however, her handsome doctor tries to help her recover even more memory by having her speak by phone with her boss at the Milestone Lab think-tank. But her boss's voice fails to awaken anything. Can her amnesia be tied to the murder of her college lover by four fraternity brothers during a hazing ceremony in a huge cavern called The House of Thunder? Susan's testimony put all four frat brothers in jail for manslaughter for five years. Two are now dead in an auto accident (actually all four are dead). But . . .suddenly they've reappeared in the hospital corridors--vicious, vengeful, and completely unaged by the 13 years since the trial. And what is the nature of the strangely groaning thing, in the curtained bed beside hers, that keeps moaning her name? The amnesiac's phantasmagoria has been a nice mood-setter ever since Graham Greene first whipped it up in The Ministry of Fear--and used the same ""realistic"" suspense story resolution that Koontz chooses. As horror swerves into international intrigue, one genre ends in another. This will neither add to nor hurt Koontz's burgeoning rep in the horror field.

Pub Date: Nov. 27th, 1988
Publisher: Dark Harvest (P.O. Box 941, Arlington Heights, IL 60006)