Sunday, May 6, 2012

BW19: Dean Koontz

I just read my first Dean Koontz called By The Light of the Moon and was totally blown away.  His writing voice is unique and takes a bit of getting used to. It is very visually descriptive and intense and sets the mood for the story.

Chapter one:

Shortly before being knocked unconscious and bound to a chair, before being injected with an unknown substance against his will, and before discovering that the world was deeply mysterious in ways he’d never before imagined, Dylan O’Conner left his motel room and walked across the highway to a brightly lighted fast-food franchise to buy cheeseburgers, French fries, pocket pies with apple filling, and a vanilla milkshake.

The expired day lay buried in the earth, in the asphalt. Unseen but felt, its ghost haunted the Arizona night: a hot spirit rising lazily from every inch of ground that Dylan crossed.

Here at the end of town that served travelers from the nearby interstate, formidable batteries of colorful electric signs warred for customers. In spite of this bright battle, however, an impressive sea of stars gleamed from horizon to horizon, for the air was clear and dry. A westbound moon, as round as a ship’s wheel, plied the starry ocean.

The vastness above appeared clean and full of promise, but the world at ground level looked dusty, weary. Rather than being combed by a single wind, the night was plaited with many breezes, each with an individual quality of whispery speech and a unique scent. Redolent of desert grit, of cactus pollen, of diesel fumes, of hot blacktop, the air curdled as Dylan drew near to the restaurant, thickened with the aroma of long-used deep-fryer oil, with hamburger grease smoking on a griddle, with fried-onion vapors nearly as thick as blackdamp.
Doesn't that really capture your attention, make you think, see, imagine and want to read more.   He writes mainly suspense thrillers with elements of horror, science fiction and mystery.   I love psychological thrillers - the ones that chill you to the bone, make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.  I love to be scared, but not grossed out.   I don't love graphic, blood and gut, chop em up, horror novels.  However I loved Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake Vampire Series so I just maybe able to handle some of Koontz more scarier books.  

Besides numerous stand alone fiction stories, Koontz also written two series.  A reworked Frankenstein in a series starting with Frankenstein: Prodigal Son which I'm kind of iffy about reading but want to. 

Book Description: Every city has secrets. But none as terrible as this. His name is Deucalion, a tattooed man of mysterious origin, a sleight-of-reality artist who’s traveled the centuries with a secret worse than death. He arrives as a serial killer stalks the streets, a killer who carefully selects his victims for the humanity that is missing in himself. Detective Carson O’Connor is cool, cynical, and every bit as tough as she looks. Her partner Michael Maddison would back her up all the way to Hell itself–and that just may be where this case ends up. For the no-nonsense O’Connor is suddenly talking about an ages-old conspiracy, a near immortal race of beings, and killers that are more—and less—than human. Soon it will be clear that as crazy as she sounds, the truth is even more ominous. For their quarry isn’t merely a homicidal maniac—but his deranged maker.

The other series is a story about a short order cook by the name of  Odd Thomas who talks to the dead. Or rather they talk to him and he doesn't quite know why.

 Book description:   “The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn. Maybe he has a gift, maybe it’s a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd’s otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo’s sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it’s different. A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world’s worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd’s deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.

The ninth book  in the series Odd Apocalypse is due to be released July 2012.

Book description: "The stallion reared over me, silently slashing the air with the hooves of its forelegs, a creature of such immense power that I stumbled backward even though I knew that it was as immaterial as a dream. . . .

The woman astride the ghostly mount reaches out desperately, the latest spirit to enlist the aid of Odd Thomas, the unassuming young fry cook whose gift—or curse—it is to see the shades of the restless dead, and to help them when he can. This mission of mercy will lead Odd through realms of darkness he has never before encountered, as he probes the long-held secrets of a sinister estate and those who inhabit it......

I've had fun perusing Dean Koontz website the past few days and added a few books to my wishlist including:  The Bad Place, Cold Fire, Ice Bound and  Dark Rivers of the Heart.   He has text and audio excerpts, book trailers and all kinds of neat stuff. Be sure to check it out.


Authors with birthdays this week

Suzanne Brockmann  - May 6th
Peter Carey - May 7th
Thomas Pynchon - May 8th
 Richard Adams - May 9th

Link to your most current read. Please link to your specific book review post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you have multiple reviews, then type in (multi) after your name and link to your general blog url.  If you don't have a blog, tell us about the books you are reading in the comment section of this post.


  1. I own several DK novels but I think the only ones I read were his children's books.

    I finished Zero Day by David Baldacci today

  2. Haven't read any Dean Koontz, but might give him a try now! I'm a little ahead now - yay! Ready to start, "Sarah's Key".

  3. I read a Koontz a long time ago... and loved it. Should try one again.

  4. Hi Robin,
    Sorry about the 2 links. I hit the button on the first one before I put my link in. Have a great day!

    Just Books


Thank you for your kind comments.