We gave it a B
Just barely into Dean Koontz’s thriller, I understood why he’s a book-selling giant. In barely perceptible strokes, he introduces unflappable dog rescuer Amy Redwing; her architect boyfriend; serial arsonist Moongirl; and Nickie, a preternaturally aware golden retriever. And he ties them together in ways both surprising and incredibly obvious at the same time. Whether or not you find the story rewarding depends on how much you love (and I mean lurve) man’s best friend. If you can tolerate sermonizing about innate pooch nobility, you’ll be reading The Darkest Evening of the Year till dawn. If not, it’s a solid B.