The Crooked Staircase, A Jane Hawk Novel, by Dean Koontz


Jane Hawk- #1 most wanted fugitive and past FBI agent- is the key character that anchors Dean Koontz's series of 4 books.  

The series third book,“The Crooked Staircase, if you only plan to read just this one book in the series, and even, like myself, if you have only read one other Dean Koontz book so far, then Jane Hawk will still hold your interest.

Hawk, in the prior books, was an FBI agent and now she is on a campaign against the mind-control conspiracy of a cabal of government agencies and private industry who have wrongfully indicted her for treason, espionage and murder making her the #1 most wanted person in the country.

The cabal has created nanotech implants that turn people into slaves. Booth Hendrickson, a high-ranking Justice Department official and his evil brother Simon are Hawk’s targets in this story and she holds them responsible for the death of her Marine Husband.

She evades being caught by the surveillance of cameras on nearly every corner throughout the country that the two who are tracking her can access connecting by laptop to the NSA surveillance headquarters in Utah. She finds a place with no cameras and hides her son Travis with friends.

She first finds Hendrickson’s evil half-brother using psychological torture that breaks him and helps her free the helpless women who he is controlling.

Hawk is a beautiful woman, has excellent taste in classical music, and seems to know everything about everything. Eventually she and Simon must go down “The Crooked Staircase” to find his evil mom.  The trip down and her return offer scenes of torture and terror.

Near the end of the story, that really doesn’t end, Travis is hiding out with Cornell Jasperson a brilliant, highly eccentric, end of times guy, living in a well-fortified hidden bunker. We learn from a Cornell, who is spending his life in this bunker reading books, that reading action novels is just as important as reading the classics.

 (see Dean Koontz compares Real Life and Fiction Essay by Brent M. Jones in Essay Section)

(See Koontz and Child daily comments on series books)

This last fact may not be relevant to the book or the review, but I thought I would stick it in just like Koontz did.


“I think to myself, I play to myself, and nobody knows what I say to myself.” 

“There’s not much news in the news anymore. The lies they tell don’t leave a lot of time for the facts about anything.”

 “None of us ever has more than this moment. Tomorrow becomes today, today becomes yesterday. The best I can do for my boy is give him enough today’s that he can make a past for himself that will have had some meaning in it.” 

“a touchstone by which they both could test their commitment to what was good and true in a world of darkness and lies. But a touchstone had value only if they acted with reason, from a sense of duty, rather than because sentimentality overtook them.” 

“I hate the people who think we’re just part of the great unwashed”