The Good Guy - By Dean Koontz
I was pretty disappointed with that offering in the canon of Koontz latest works. Nevertheless, I still felt a frisson of excitement when I picked up the latest Koontz books and settled down the read The Good Guy with a mixture of hope, trepidation and anticipation!
I am glad to say that The Good Guy by Dean Koontz is a far superior offering to The Husband, although I will stop short of saying that it’s Koontz back to his inimitable best (the guy has written some 90 novels, so he can perhaps be forgiven if they are not all up to magnum opus standards!). In any case, this was a book I really did enjoy reading, and if it doesn’t go back to Koontz’s creepy suspense roots entirely, it is steered in that direction by a pretty nasty and creepy antagonist in the form of killer for hire Krait.
The premise of the novel is a mistaken identity. Tim Carrier, a simple enough on the surface stone mason, is enjoying a quiet beer after work, when a stranger enters the bar and mistakes him for a killer for hire, giving him an envelope stuffed with cash and a photo of the victim, a woman named Linda Paquette. Perturbed, Tim tries to abort this mission by waiting for the real hitman to show up, and telling him the deal’s off - which buys him some time to get to the intended victim, and warn her. What ensues is a thrilling cat and mouse chase, with the dangerous and crazy contract killer determined not only to kill Linda and Tim, and end their blossoming relationship, but also to make them suffer.
I did enjoy reading The Good Guy (which seems to be a new Koontz sub genre, the good, quiet man with a simple life but a secretly exciting or dangerous past) and the prose was a pleasure to sit through, clean and crisp. The characters were interesting and not too simple, and Krait, the cold blooded, creepy, insanely civilised and yet death hungry killer, was a dark joy to experience. If you can forgive one or two substantial holes and some slightly frayed loose ends (one wonders how these get past the publishers’ editors, as they are spotted right away by amazon reviewers and everybody who reads the books), then this is a good old cat and mouse chase type thriller that will occupy a good chunk of your reading time :)