on 16 June 2007
Dean seems to churn his books out fairly regualrly and maybe he should slow down and get some new plots.So many of his recent books Richochet,The Husband and this share similarities:normal people thrown into action against unseen adversaries.Where a friend/lover/relative is in peril.Law agencies,tracing technology etc.
This book rattles along nicely and is engaging;the characters appealing,but soon it becomes repetitive with the excellent creepy villain Krait(who reminded me of "Red Dragon"'s psycho)killing people just for plot shock value.He would have made a great main character in his own right.
It was engrossing towards the end as Krait lures his prey(I won't say any more)with a brilliant bait!
But that is where it falls apart,the finale set piece is flat and the denoument just ridiculous when you think about it.
But an enjoyable read,but no more of these thirllers Dean! Go back to scaring the readers!!
I totally agree with previous reviewers that this is a fairly good thriller (thin but fairly exciting) up until about page 400 and it is as if the author's publisher has called him up and said " I need the book finished by tomorrow" so the last 30 pages are just rushed to a conclusion and you are left with a tremendous feeling of anti-climax. Just like "The husband" really and also like "the husband" there are endless mentions of the wind and variations of it, eg "gentle breeze" and "blowing a gale", indeed there is a section about half way through where there are 18 (I counted) pages where the wind gets at least one mention per page.
And by the way, there is the statutory first chapter of his next book at the end. And you can guess can't you, but YES on the third line there is a mention of the "breeze". Pass me my anemometer - if that's how you spell it.
on 21 May 2009
I couldn't help but think that this book was like the younger, less intelligent sibling of Velocity (one of Koontz's masterpieces). The main character was a tad bland and enigmatic at times that left you more bored than frustrated and more anhedonic than enthused.
The position the main character is forced into is morally disrupting, but hardly holds a candle to Velocity's emotional torture.
The main save of this book is the saddistic bad guy, that you can't help but like at times due to his dark humour and depth.
The climax isn't bad, it's just like the characters got a bit tired after the entire book was a big game of 'chase me!'
If you've already read Velocity, give it a go, it's a good 'on the bus' book and has its moments. If you havn't read Velocity, go read it first, or you'll regret it.
on 8 May 2009
This is my first review on Amazon, so bear with me...
I've read a few of Dean Koontz's books over the years and I'm left wondering what's happening to him and Stephen King? For me, along with James Herbert and Clive Barker, they were THE horror and supernatural writers. Thankfully, Barker and Herbert have held up rather well as the years have gone on, but King and Koontz... well, let's just say they've mellowed.
This book is pretty good, but nothing that hasn't been done before. It reads like one of Lee Child's Jack Reacher books, but is neither as exciting or engrossing.
Read it if you've got a couple of days to kill, but you're life won't suffer if you don't.
on 9 August 2011
This is the first Dean Koontz I've read, chosen because I came across a description of the first chapter and found it irresistible. I had to know what happened next.
Things I liked; the hero (and it's difficult to depict a good man and not make him insipid), the wisecracks that several characters go in for, and the fact that I couldn't put the book down and finished it in 24 hours. I'm quite squeamish, and the killer is a horrible man, but he wasn't written in such a way that I had to stop reading.
What I didn't like; the revelation of what was behind the attempted assassination didn't convince me, nor did how the problem was finally resolved. I doubt they'd been allowed to walk away like that (I'd say more, but don't want this to turn into a spoiler).
Overall, a cracking read I'd recommend. I'll be reading more Dean Koontz novels.
on 26 November 2012
I saw a ticklist once that collated the common thematic elements of John Updike's books (bears, wrestling, New England etc.) Dean Koontz's would include cute smart dog or dogs, a savage, unstoppable foe and a virtuous hero. In his recent books, add quirky ertatz 50's rom-com back and forth dialogue...and this is where this book's review kicks in.
Good guy gets mistaken for contract killer, meets killer and trys to call off hit, only embroiling himself more in the situation. I'll avoid any further detail to prevent spoilers, but frankly you've read it all before. And generally, you've enjoyed it in the past. Dean is a bit like a freshly made Franchise-burger, you know exactly what you get, it's nourishing to a point and ultimately forgettable.
However, in this book, some overspiked jalepinos ended up in the pattie. The murder scenes are disturbing and upsetting and frankly the killer's perverted desires, casually thrown in the prose, are deeply unsavoury.
Is Dean trying to comment about modern society, does he have a subliminal message, or is he just upping the grand guignole count? Either way it's like finding rat droppings in your french fries.
Oh, and the rapid-fire dialogue? It simply sounds forced and unbelievable. There is also a subtext about the dangers of false allegations and how they destroy a couple's life. However, looking at the continual leak of proven obscenities committed in my country's industrial and religious schools in the 30's-60's, truth is stranger and far worse than fiction, so the message via the plot point just doesn't work for me.
In summary, there's a lack of the old warmth, far too much gratuitous and implied violence, and the pat ending made me want to flush the book down the toilet.
When I infrequently turn to a Dean Koontz thriller for entertainment, I usually discover some psycho that's evolved from a bad childhood. It makes one wonder what crowd the author ran with as a kid.
Here, stonemason Tim Carrier, minding his own business on a barstool, finds himself mistaken for a hit man by one who abruptly gives him an envelope of money and the note: "Half of its there. Ten thousand. The rest when she's gone." The "she" is author Linda Paquette.
Then, when hired killer Krait shows up at the same barstool, Tim endeavors to pass himself off as the one ordering the hit, but with a change of mind. He gives Krait the 10K to not carry out the pre-arranged contract. Krait is unmoved.
On flights from Burbank to Oakland to Portland to Las Vegas to Burbank, THE GOOD GUY was a book I couldn't put down. I barely noticed the packaged peanuts or, on the leg to Vegas, the young woman with the showgirl body and plunging neckline in the seat across the aisle. The read is that good.
As Carrier takes it upon himself to single-handedly save Linda's life, the hook of the plot is obviously to discover if he succeeds or if they both end up as corpses. Krait is one twisted and relentless dude in his pursuit of the fleeing pair. Then, there are the anticipated answers to the questions that the reader asks. What was Carrier before he started laying brick that enables him to keep himself and Paquette out of harm's way? You or I would be dead in a heartbeat, so don't try this at home. And why has Linda been targeted? Even she hasn't a clue.
Except for its diversionary potential, THE GOOD GUY has no redeeming value whatsoever; it's pure trash. But, for a plane ride from Burbank to Oakland to Portland to Las Vegas to Burbank, it was absolutely perfect. Even if I did pass on the opportunity to ogle the showgirl.
on 23 February 2008
I have seen lots of Dean Koontz on bookshelves and always avoided them as I always thought he was more like Stephen King and not really my sort of thing. My wife bought this for me and I was surprised that I really liked it.
Yes - the ending was a bit unbelievable (though it didn't feel rushed to me as others have suggested) and although Krait was a wee bit strange with his home cooked, right skin product fetishes, this just added to his general menace.
The story line was sufficiently gripping and atmospheric (agree with another reviewer re. Koontz's obsession with weather conditions, particularly wind!) and the Tim, Linda and Pete characters were all likeable and you found yourself wanting to understand the stories which they keep from each other until the end.
The main drawback for me was the dialogue between the two main characters being chased. Koontz builds up sufficient tension as Krait gets nearer to his prey but this is then deflated by the wisecracks that pass between Tim and Linda. Instead of the urgency expected of two people who know they are being pursued by a homicidal maniac, you get a laid back almost disinterested contempt for the position that they are in that does not quite sit with the fact that they are running for their lives.
The Cream and Sugar connection was a bit far fetched but on the whole this was a good read. Will read more Koontz but would be interested to know which are similar books to this as don't fancy the more macabre reads!
on 25 September 2008
The Good Guy is not a bad book. Over the years ive read alot of Koontz books, but this one is the worst. However, Koontz is truly a master at what he does, so compared to other stories, this one is still engaging despite its finale.
The good: The plot has a number of intersting twists, there is tension in the pace, the characters are moody, the imagery is engaging and its fun to hate Krait as he orgasms at his own (supposedly) god-like status.
The bad: However, the ending is awful, this book is like a dessert followed by a starter. The sweet mouth watering delights (that you usually look forward to at the end) can be found at the start. Then, when you excitedly get to the end you are met with a bowl of cold asinine pea soup, resembling snot.
I disagree strongly with the pedant who tried to joke about mentions of 'wind'. It is not noticeable, quietly adds atmosphere, sets the tone in certain scenes and conveys wider meaning. Its just the writing style of Koontz.
I agree with the other reviewers that the ending is rushed. It is out of place, ludicrous, clumsy, and unemotional. You are left thinking 'i dont really care' about the characters. Koontz could have written that God came down and fixed everything, it would have been more believable and infinitely better than the actual ending.
Overall The Good Guy is a good book, up to around 50 pages before the ending.
on 3 April 2011
The saving grace of this story is the bad guy Krait, not the good guy Tim Carrier. (But then maybe that's what Koontz meant?). I found the main protagonists, Tim and his girl friend Linda Paquette to be two dimensional characters and their various ploys to fool the killer were at best improbable and at worst tedious. The dialogue between them - and there is a lot of it - is irritating, and you get the feeling that it is used only to pad out the story.
By contrast, the assassin Krait's mildly amusing antics and deeper characterisation kept an otherwise dull story ticking along, although even then it's not until about page 200 that the tension really starts to mount and grabs the reader's attention.
The ending was anti climatic, rushed and weak, but by then I had more or less stopped caring about the two main characters anyway.
Despite these misgivings, on the whole I guess that this is an okay read, but only just okay. Certainly not one of Koontz's best.