An unexpected (but scary) surprise.
No. of pages: 109
The strange highways of human experience – the adventures, terrors, failures, and triumphs encountered on the roads that are chosen, and on those detoured by fate. As profound as it is mesmerizing.
Down in the Darkness deals with discovering a magical door in his new house that appears when he needs it – that is when he need something to disappear. He’s been down there and felt the malevolent evil that lurks floors below. Evil that in the entrance to Hell itself. But the question is, if he used the door to solve his problems is he condemning himself to be locked down there himself someday, surrendering to his own darkness within? To be trapped in darkness below in eternal torture.
This was a random pick from Dean Koontz’s back catalogue. I like to occasionally choose something from a favourite author without knowing anything about the title and flying by the seat of my pants. ‘Down in the Darkness’ was the perfect choice; I had an afternoon to kill and this novella filled the time perfectly.
It reminded me of Ronald Dahl, something dark, something with a twisted sense of righteousness. And sufficiently spooky. An old fashioned campfire tale about a supernatural cellar door.
Mexican couple, Carmen and Jesus “Jeff” Gonzalez with their three children (Stacy Heather and Joe) buy a new house. But Jeff is the only one to see the mysterious door to the basement, neither the real estate agent nor his family catch the apparition when it appears.
Upon investigation, Jeff feels a foreboding, flashing back to his two year internment at a prison camp. In the almost tactile shadows down many flights of stairs behind the door he senses an entity that knows all. That would punish all it consumes for eternity.
Jeff is faced with a number of choices: dish out justice for the corrupt and greedy landlord of his family restaurant; and his prison camp torture master returned from the past… was the door bringing about these opportunities?
Would you embrace the darkness? Just merely acknowledging its existence leaves its hooks in your soul and it wields you like a tool, collecting the souls of those it wants. Which journey will Jeff take when he knows his soul is in the balance?
A great moralistic tale in the style of Koontz I’ve come to know and love. Fantastic diverse characters, interesting backstories… even though this is one of his earlier works, it has all the creepiness and sophistication that I enjoy in his writing.
I believe it is now only available in a bind-up called ‘Strange Highways’ and guess you can expect many bite sized Koontz goodness, so if you are new to this author or this genre, it might be a good place to start before you jump into some of his lengthier works.
Even with the amount of fun I had reading ‘Down it the Darkness,’ having been exposed to many other titles of Dean’s, I found it a little simplistic; and, even though I was sufficiently wigged out, I’ve been scared much worse in other titles.
Overall feeling: creepy dude!
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