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Another very average Koontz story
on 13 January 2010
Having been reading and collecting Dean Koontz books for the last 15 years or so I very nearly didn't buy this latest book from Koontz, his recent novels have ranged from being pretty mediocre to very poor. Additionally having read the reviews on the US Amazon website, a large number of which are very negative, I was dreading that this was going to be on the same level as Koontz recent very poor efforts, namely 'Your Heart Belongs to Me' and 'The Darkest Evening of the Year'. In my opinion Breathless is not quite as bad as those two novels, however it is yet another below average Koontz book.
Firstly I found this to be a very strange novel, not the story, but the way it has been written. Early in the book three separate plot lines are introduced, there is the main plot, a guy and his lady friend who find two strange fluffy creatures in the woods, they are typical Koontz characters, both are incredibly nice people with tragic pasts. They also have a very nice dog. A second plot line involves a psychotic killer, and a third involves some guy out gambling in casinos. Halfway through the book another couple of sub plots are introduced, involving an alcoholic hermit / tramp and another psychotic killer. Now you would assume that all of these different story lines are somehow going to gradually link into each other as the story progresses, some of them do eventually, although in a very limited way, and some literally don't link in at all. My only assumption is that most of these side plots were put in as padding by Koontz who didn't have enough material for the main plot. Having said that without the sub plots there would be no menace or nastiness to the book at all, it would simply be a story of fluffy cute animals running around.
This is not a completely terrible book though, I found the varying plot lines to be quite intriguing and kept my interest as I read through the story, accordingly the first half of the book, as the separate stories develop is pretty good stuff. However it's pretty much downhill in the second half. If you've read a few of Koontz more recent novels you'll start to sink as you progress through the book, with no discernible link developing between the varying characters, you will realise that Koontz is going to suddenly clean-up all the plot lines, with a naff explanation and no real substance, in the last twenty pages or so, a characteristic of many of Koontz recent novels.
If your new to Koontz read his earlier stuff e.g. Watchers, Phantoms, Midnight, which are all brilliant. In my view Intensity was the last really great book Koontz did, which is probably going back ten years or more now.