THE GOOD GUY/Dean Koontz


It is no secret how much I adore Dean Koontz. My love affair with his books started when I was in college and since I am your typical dork, I frequently visited our university library which, fortunately for me, housed Dean Koontz novels. Since I began earning, I started buying my own copies of Dean Koontz’s books, from Booksale, of course, and decided that I should strive to complete my collection. I haven’t accomplished that, though, and for a reason. Quite recently, I have discovered that my taste for the typical Dean Koontz fare – ultimate bad guys chasing after ultimate good guys, lovable dog characters, heart-pounding suspense, intertwined with beautiful prose – has dwindled down.

The disinterest started with The Darkest Evening of the Year (which I did not finish) and since I’ve kept on seeing copies of Koontz novels scattered in Booksale, I was in no hurry to buy all of his books at once. Maybe I have reached my saturation level for suspense novels. Maybe I have acquired a familiarity with DKs writing styles. Or maybe I have discovered other authors to love. Whatever the reason, I have decided that I will not struggle to complete my collection of Dean Koontz novels anytime soon. This does not mean, though, that I have fallen out of love with everything that is Koontz. I only feel that I need to take a break from reading suspense novels and try to up my ante by reading other books of other authors. If I feel like reading something more comfortable, I know that I can always go back to Dean Koontz.

The feeling that I can always go back to Koontz whenever I want a comfort read was the feeling I had when I started reading The Good Guy. I kind of missed Dean Koontz after reading a lot of non-Koontz novels and I haven’t forgiven myself for not finishing The Darkest Evening of the Year. With The Good Guy, the premise is typical Koontz and a few pages since I started I thought, Yes, this is the Dean Koontz I’ve been looking for! This is a story of a mistaken identity where the good guy, Tim Carrier, who is exactly your idea of who a good guy is (non-philandering, single, honest worker), was approached by a stranger in a bar and thought him to be the killer he hired. Tim was given ten thousand bucks and the photograph of the woman he has to kill. Before Tim can even figure out what to do, and after the stranger left, another stranger approached him and thought Tim was the man who hired him to kill the woman on the photograph. Who is this woman? Why does she have to be killed? What will Tim, the good guy, do? What follows is a race against time as the real killer pursues the real target, with the good guy, Tim, on the side.

The suspense? The book is full of it, very typical of Dean Koontz. The characters? Again, typical Koontz – the bad guy ABSOLUTELY evil and the good guy ABSOLUTELY good. The prose? So very Koontz – metaphorical, vivid, fluid. But what troubles me is the hurried conclusion. Very lousy ending. I feel that I have been forced to run a marathon and when I reach the finish line, I find out that the medal is already given to somebody else. Maybe this is what happens when one has already written so many suspense stories. There is nothing more left to tell and what turns out is a rehash of all the other stories you have previously told.

Still, I am willing to overlook these shortcomings. I am faithful to my first love like that, and in this case, since Dean Koontz is my first author love, nothing will ever shake off my admiration for the man. Even if I listen to the same kind of stories over and over again.

3 stars.

19/50 2012 Goodreads Reading Goal.

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