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An unusual plot imposing dilemmas of life and death on a bystander which leaves you pondering how you might react in such impossible circumstances with such appalling choices. Fast paced, truly compulsive, with some slightly droll bar-room philosophy thrown in, it’s a great read.
Comparison: Boris Starling, Andrew Pyper, John Connolly.
William Wiles is an easygoing thirty-something, a bartender who lives a quiet life alone until a serial killer singles him out – not to kill him, but to force him to decide who the next victim will be. On his SUV Billy finds the first note:
‘If you don’t take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blonde schoolteacher. If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have four hours to decide. The choice is yours.’
Billy pays an informal visit to an acquaintance, Lanny Olson, who is a policeman, and who thinks the note is a prank. The schoolteacher dies. The next note reverses the choices: 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 much missed will die. Lanny has to take this note seriously but the deadline runs out before he can decide how to make his involvement official. Billy doesn’t hear from him again because Lanny himself, unmarried, who will not be much missed, has become the next victim.
There will be more communications from the killer, more hideous choices, with ever tighter decision times, and with each choice Billy is drawn deeper into an accelerating nightmare, which steadily becomes more personal, more confrontational, until he is isolated, with no one to turn to and no one to rely on but himself. Finally he must risk everything to save the intended victims ...
'Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler' The Time
'Psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying.' The New York Times
'Koontz has near-Dickensian powers of description, and an ability to yank us from one page to the next that few novelists can match.' Los Angeles Times
Publication date: 03/01/2006
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Format: Paperback (a Format)
|Publication date:||3rd January 2006|
|Format:||Paperback (a Format)|
|Genres:||Action Adventure / Spy, eBook Favourites, Thriller / Suspense,|
|Categories:||Thriller / suspense,|
Dean Koontz was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Shippensburg State College (now Shippensburg University). When he was a senior in college, Dean Koontz won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and has been writing ever since. His first job after graduation was with the Appalachian Poverty Program, where he was expected to counsel and tutor underprivileged children on a one-to-one basis. His first day on the job, he discovered that the previous occupier of his position had been beaten up by the very kids he had been trying to help and had landed in the hospital for ...More About Dean Koontz