Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Book Review: Velocity by Dean Koontz

Book: Velocity
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Fiction, Thriller

The plot
Perhaps I wouldn't have checked it out if it was not for the book cover which said thus:

'If you don't take this note to the police, I will kill a lovely blonde schoolteacher somewhere in Napa County…If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman…You have six hours to decide…the choice is yours!'

Wouldn't you be curious if you read something like that? Well, I was. So read it.

The main character of the story is Billy Wiles who is an ordinary bartender working in a tavern in Napa county. For years he had lead a simple life with a sort of indifference to whatever was going on around him. 'Let the world go to hell if it had to' that was his policy. However he cared about one person. It was his girlfriend Barbara Mandel.

Unfortunately, Barbara was in a coma state. Three years had passed by now but she showed no improvement. Her doctor had lost all hope but Billy hadn't. He regularly visited her.

His dull and routine life is disrupted when he receives this unsettling note. His first instinct is to do nothing as was his nature. But as his mind becomes unsettled he consults his cop friend, Lanny Olsen. 'The work of a prankster' that was what Lanny had to say about it.

But soon the dead body of a beautiful blonde school teacher, Giselle Winslow, is found!! Even when Billy starts to realize that this was going to turn nastier, he receives the second note.

'If you don't go to the police and get them involved, I will kill an unmarried man who won't much be missed by the world. If you do go to the police, I will kill a young mother of two. You have five hours to decide. The choice is yours'.

With no actual choice other than finding the killer and stopping him, Billy finds himself being tortured both emotionally and physically by the totally evil killer. He could no longer be inactive and let the world go to hell as lives of innocent people rested upon him; including his own…

This was the first Dean Koontz novel that I read. I found it quite thrilling, gripping and at times terrifying. I had not read many books in this category so found it a little disturbing.
If you love a nerve-racking story, you would surely like it. There is violence and torture to some level, so don't read it if you would rather not be disturbed by such horrors.

My Rating: 4 stars

About the author: Dean Koontz, a renowned author from California, has a number of international bestsellers to his credit including Odd Thomas, The Taking, The Face, Life Expectancy etc.