Relentless by Dean Koontz
Finished: Jul. 22 2009
First Published: Jun. 9, '09
This is a thing I've learned: Even with a gun to my head, I am capable of being convulsed with laughter.
Reason for Reading: Dean Koontz has a new book out! I received a Review Copy from Random House Canada.
Comments: Cullen Greenwich is a best selling author who is living a wonderful life and he knows it. Good money, nice home, loving wife, fine son (who at six happens to be a genius), what more could a guy ask for. Then his latest book is published and he receives a review from the nation's most renowned book critic, Sheardon Waxx. A scathingly bad review. Cullen usually just ignores bad reviews but Sheardon is somewhat of a recluse and when he finds out where he dines for lunch once a week, Cullen goes just to have a peek. The little peek turns into a chance encounter and what follows changes Cullen's life forever. His life becomes filled with terror as he and his family are stalked by a sociopath whose one goal in life is to kill them each very slowly.
As someone who hasn't read a lot of Koontz, just a few oldies a long time ago, and now his new ones, I'm finding that he does not stick to any one particular genre label. This book is pretty much your straightforward serial killer thriller with a bit of science fiction thrown in to give it a Koontz twist. Fast-paced, frightening, gruesome thriller that hooks you from the first chapter. A very hard book to put down once you get started. I'm a big fan of the serial killer thriller and this one does not disappoint. One thing I particularly like about Koontz's villains is that they show pure evil, there is no sympathizing with them at all. The science fiction twist was, well, fun and a mystery itself which I managed to figure out shortly before it was revealed. I really enjoyed the main characters of Cullen and his wife Penny. Cullen is a sensitive, all round nice guy type of man with a dark secret in his past while his wife is the author/illustrator of cute children's books but is an expert with weapons and has a fierce determination to fight back when she or her family are threatened. Penny's parents are very eccentric and a real hoot. Actually, there is a sense of humour running in the background throughout the whole book which pops up every now and then giving the reader an occasional chuckle to lighten the otherwise heavy tension.
I really enjoyed the book and know I'll continue to read Koontz's work as it comes out each year. Now just to find some time to tackle his extensive backlist! I really want to get the Odd Thomas and Frankenstein books first then go back to all the other ones.
That's my official review that will be cross-posted on other sites the rest here is just my own ramblings. There was something about this book that felt religious to me and almost certainly Catholic. The main character was a church going man, they left their bags in a church and mentioned leaving a note to "Father" Tom. There is a great emphasis on good vs evil with no grey areas. Cullen, the main character, often quotes G.K. Chesterton and it's hard to explain (plus I don't want to go all religiousy on ya here) but I just felt that the underlying theme could be applied to Catholic values. I was almost certain Dean Koontz must be Catholic. So I decided to find out. Everybody else probably knows this but I know nothing about Koontz so I went to read his bio on wiki and it didn't mention his religion at all. So I just googled him and low and behold up come a bunch of interviews he's done for Catholic newspapers and websites. He is a practising Catholic!
Now the reason I mention this is that one of the things I want to do next year is read more fiction by Catholic authors. So far on my list I've got G.K. Chesterton, Flannery O'Connor, C.S. Lewis (not Catholic, but he's on Catholic reading lists) and now to that esteemed company I get to add Dean Koontz, yeah!
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