BOOK COVER BLURB
On the windscreen of his SUV, Billy finds the first note.
He thinks it’s a hoax.
The schoolteacher dies.
The next note reverses the scenario. If Billy takes the note to the police, a mother of two young children will die. If he doesn’t, an unmarried man who won’t be missed much will die…
Billy must think the unthinkable, fast, in an accelerating nightmare. More communications from the killer follow, with ever tighter deadlines. Each is more personal, more confrontational than the last until he is isolated with no one to rely on but himself. Finally he must risk everything to save the intended victims….
The plot started so strong when a person- Billy, leading a boring normal life of bar tending and going home, encounters a weird note stuck on his car. It appears to be a sick joke played by his bartender friend. He ignores the note and the worst happens. Someone actually dies.
The next note, he sits in confusion as his police friend decides to intervene and investigate. Again, a murder. All the evidence points towards Billy although he is innocent.
The story progresses on Billy trying to find out who is actually murdering people and making him the murderer. The plot was what kept me hooked to the book. Koontz’s writing is good, especially the dialogues but this time I had a plot to hook on to. The book went really well till the last, maybe, 50 pages. I enjoyed how the plot twists were unpredictable and I couldn’t guess them.
But when the last 50 so pages came, I was not sure I liked how the story went. The real murderer was close to a revealing and the revealing itself disappointed me somehow. I thought about who could have framed Billy for murders he didn’t do. An enemy? Or someone after him? But Billy had a quiet life and he didn’t know a lot of people.
There were not too many characters. Billy was the ‘one man show’ for the most part. There were other small characters including Lanny- his police friend and person who made an appearance in the middle with a task as instructed by the murderer himself.
Billy was this normal guy who liked things as they were. Any change upset him and I believe that is why he was chosen to go through this entire ordeal. He was continuously challenged and was tested. His patience level was strong but still there were times when he couldn’t take anymore and had a burst of emotion. I agreed with his decisions pretty much every time and he gave me no reason to complain.
I am a huge Koontz’s fan and I have that inherent bias of considering his every book a masterpiece. And since I have read 7 of his novels I pretty much get his writing even more. This was a ‘no-nonsense’ book, with great editing and could make you seated till the very end. The suspense in the way it is written is captivating but I admit the last 50 pages have a little downfall, not in the writing but in the plot itself. It may change things for you, a little.
I would have absolutely loved this book if not for the plot twists in the end and after considering the book as a whole I’d say that I have read better books from him. It would still be in my ‘Top 30 Books of all Time That I Read’. I will give it 3.5 stars.
You’ll like it if:
- You are a Dean Koontz fan.
- You like mystery/thriller/suspense genre.
- You like a fairly decent size book (basically not too small and not too big)
- Great writing. A huge advantage.
- You are reading as an enjoyment without really thinking about every small detail there is.
You’ll not like it if:
- You are not a Dean Koontz fan and this is your first book. I recommend you try his other works first.
- You don’t like mystery/thriller/suspense genre.
- You’d rather read a short read. Or an insanely epic book.
- You are reading because you want to get inside the story. Then I’m sorry the end will disappoint you a bit.
Other books by Dean Koontz that I reviewed: