The Key to Midnight

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Key to Midnight
The Key to Midnight.jpg
First edition
Author Dean Koontz (as Leigh Nichols)
Country United States
Language English
Genre Suspense, Horror novel
Publisher Pocket Books
Publication date
1979 (1995 in paperback)
Media type print
Pages 392
ISBN 0-671-80915-6
OCLC 32377348
Preceded by The Vision
Followed by The Funhouse

The Key to Midnight is a novel by the best-selling author Dean Koontz, released in 1979 under the pseudonym Leigh Nichols. It is considered Koontz's first success.[1]


In the 1995 paperback edition, Koontz states that The Key to Midnight "is not like anything else I have done"; he also explained that he revised the novel for that year's edition, cutting 30,000 words and adding 5,000.[2] In August 2010, Koontz released a "better" version in Paperback.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Lisa Chelgrin is a US Senator's daughter. She has had her entire life erased and true past blocked. Her imposed and new fake identity is named Joanna Rand. A detective, Alex Hunter, is hired to track Lisa down, but finds nothing. Years later he goes on a vacation and out of the blue finds himself in Kyoto, Japan. He walks into a lounge act and on stage discovers Lisa Chelgrin. Her name is different and she is older, now working as the nightclub owner and singer. Nevertheless the detective knows it is definitely her. He sends for his dead-case file, and his private employed messenger is almost killed delivering it. Someone is watching him and Lisa.

At the same time, a person known as The Doctor (Inamura) is trying to find a way around Lisa's memory block, and he assumes there is a "password" or "pass-phrase" which will remove it and allow access to Lisa's true memories. Under hypnosis, however, Lisa can only repeat the phrase "tension, apprehension, and dissension have begun" instead of answering the questions about her true past. After the first series of events, both of the main characters try to deal with their pasts in order to survive for their future.


  • Lisa Chelgrin/Joanna Rand
  • Alex Hunter
  • The Doctor/ Omi Inamura
  • Mariko
  • Franz Rotenhausen/ The Hand
  • Tom Chelgrin/ Ilya Lyshenko
  • Wayne Kennedy
  • Ursula Zaitsev
  • Anson Peterson/ Anton Broskov
  • Antonio Paz
  • Ignacio Carrera
  • Marlowe


External links[edit]