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The North Elevator
Bitter and drunk, Earl Blandon, a former United States senator, got home at 2:15 a.m. that Thursday with a new tattoo: a two-word obscenity in blue block letters between the knuckles of the middle finger of his right hand. Earlier in the night, at a cocktail lounge, he’d thrust that stiff digit at another customer who didn’t speak English and who was visiting from some third-world backwater where the meaning of the offending gesture evidently wasn’t known in spite of countless Hollywood films in which numerous cinema idols had flashed it. In fact, the ignorant foreigner seemed to mistake the raised finger for some kind of friendly hello and reacted by nodding repeatedly and smiling. Earl was frustrated directly out of the cocktail lounge and into a nearby tattoo parlor, where he resisted the advice of the needle artist and, at the age of fifty-eight, acquired his first body decoration.
When Earl strode through the front entrance of the exclusive Pendleton, into the lobby, the night concierge, Norman Fixxer, greeted him by name. Norman sat on a stool behind the reception counter to the left, a book open in front of him, looking like a ventriloquist’s dummy: eyes wide and blue and glassy, pronounced marionette lines like scars in his face, head cocked at an odd angle. In a tailored black suit and a crisp white shirt and a black bow tie, with a fussily arranged white pocket handkerchief blossoming from the breast pocket of his coat, Norman was overdressed by the standards of the two other concierges who worked the earlier shifts.
Earl Blandon didn’t like Norman. He didn’t trust him. The concierge tried too hard. He was excessively polite. Earl didn’t trust polite people who tried too hard. They always proved to be hiding something. Sometimes they hid the fact that they were FBI agents, pretending instead to be lobbyists with a suitcase full of cash and a deep respect for the power of a senator. Earl didn’t suspect that Norman Fixxer was an FBI agent in disguise, but the concierge was for damn sure something more than what he pretended to be.
Earl acknowledged Norman’s greeting with only a scowl. He wanted to raise his newly lettered middle finger, but he restrained himself. Offending a concierge was a bad idea. Your mail might go missing. The suit you expected back from the dry cleaner by Wednesday evening might be delivered to your apartment a week later. With food stains. Although flashing the finger at Norman would be satisfying, a full apology would require doubling the usual Christmas gratuity.
Consequently, Earl scowled across the marble-floored lobby, his embellished finger curled tightly into his fist. He went through the inner door that Norman buzzed open for him and into the communal hallway, where he turned left and, licking his lips at the prospect of a nightcap, proceeded to the north elevator.
Excerpted from 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz. Copyright © 2011 by Dean Koontz. Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
According to Publishers Weekly, the incomparable Dean Koontz writes “novels that acknowledge the reality and tenacity of evil but also the power of good….” In 77 Shadow Street, which one will prevail as residents of an exclusive apartment building come face to face with an insidious malevolence as old as their coveted establishment?
Enter the world of the Pendleton, a beautiful limestone Gilded Age palace that’s been converted into a set of highly desirable condominiums. Its tenants feel lucky to live there. Yet luck and the Pendleton have little in common—its years have been colored by madness, kidnappings, murder and strange, inexplicable accidents. But all of that is in a past mostly unfamiliar to the people of the Pendleton. To them, their building is a sanctuary…. That is, until it turns on them. Shadows with no source begin to skitter across the walls, voices whisper in unknown languages, security cameras show impossible feeds and a little boy starts talking to an imaginary playmate, who turns out to be all too real. These incidents are only a prelude to a terror that will soon fully engulf the tenants of the Pendleton in an unthinkable world from which there may be no escape.
Hardcover Book : 464 pages
Publisher: Bantam Books, Inc./Div Random House ( December 27, 2011 )
Item #: 13-430765
Product Dimensions: 5.25 x 8.5 x 1.05inches
Product Weight: 16.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
It was everything I'd expect from Mr.Koontz. He's a wonderful writer with a glorious imagination. No surprise I loved it!!!
Reviewer: Dotty K
I am again very satisfied with another Dean Koontz Jaw Dropper! I was highly entertained as only true lovers of the bizarre can be! Bravo and onto another
Reviewer: Georga G
I am infamous for not continuing with a book if it doesn't "grab" me right away but with Koontz's novels, I have always given it a try and get going. Not with this one. Too much character detail and jumping around.
Excellent read! I love Dean Koontz!
Reviewer: Jill S
I would never assume to have the abilities to review or pass judgment on Sir Dean
Koontz, I was first ensnared in his brilliant style of actually putting me into every word then idea as I roamed anxiously from page to page in his book From or In the Corner of his Eye. It was instant love at first sight. But I must say this story did bounce a bit to much and was noticeably repetitious. Maybe he wrote it while taking a long long nap @ 77th shadow Street. Still love your brain. Man'-- carry on. Entertain me.