Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Book Review: The Husband

Book review: The Husband by Dean Koontz

I read my first Dean Koontz book when I was 16 after seeing Stephen King mention him in his book The Tommyknockers. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Unlike King, you never know what you’re going to get with Koontz. It could be a fast paced thriller, a poignant love story or a light-hearted comedy. Sometimes there are even a few clunkers; I can count on one hand the books I didn’t like by Koontz, but I suppose those are good odds considering the volume of his work.

Luckily, The Husband isn’t a clunker. It moves right along and grabs your attention up front. The only flaw is the patented Dean Koontz character ™. This is the character that is just too darn perfect to be a real person. They never get cranky or bad wind or throwing up drunk. They’re always gourmets and wine connoisseurs and never eat junk food unless forced (such as being chased by crazed killers). They have absolutely impeccable taste in clothes and decorating. The main character, Mitch Rafferty, is such a character. His only “flaw” of course is a virtue: he loves his wife so darn much that he’d just about lay down and die, right then and there if she was gone. So imagine how panicky he is when a total stranger calls him up and demands 2 million dollars for the safe return of his precious wife. He is a simple gardener and of course doesn’t have that kind of money. There is no question about going to the police, these people mean business, which they prove with a well-placed bullet.

After this, it’s pretty much non-stop, and with a twist halfway in that I totally didn’t see coming. The main theme of course is hope and unconditional love, even in the face of adversary and sometimes down-right evil. Giving up hope is not an option. Otherwise you might has well just... well, lay down and die right then and there. Despite his being perfect, Mitch is a likable character and you feel yourself actually worried for the guy at times. The Husband is a good read with an interesting story. Although not as deep as the Odd Thomas books, it still manages to convey it's message without being preachy or schmaltzy. An excellent read.

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