cover image 77 Shadow Street

77 Shadow Street

Dean Koontz. Bantam, $28 (464p) ISBN 978-0-553-80771-4

An old building, constructed on Native American hallowed ground and with a history of violence, becomes prey to the supernatural in this disappointing horror novel from bestseller Koontz (What the Night Knows). The Pendleton, a Gilded Age mansion in an unnamed "heartland city," has been transformed into an upscale apartment building. After almost four decades of tranquility, one night in 2011 sees the property's terrifying past return as several tenants encounter bizarre phenomena. An elevator bearing a corrupt former U.S. senator descends 30 floors below the surface to levels that do not exist.%C2%A0A soldier turned money manager has his nocturnal laps around the pool interrupted by an attack from a menacing creature. A maid sees Satan in the pantry of an apartment she works in. The aggregation of disturbing incidents sets the proper mood, but the tension peters out by the halfway point. Underdeveloped characters don't help. Readers seeking well-done haunted building horrors would be better served by Michael Koryta's So Cold the River. (Dec.)