Top Ten Dean Koontz Books
Of all the writers and published writers in the wide world one is my absolute favorite. That one is none other than Dean R. Koontz. Mr. Koontz has been writing novels, short stories, and the like since 1968 when his first book “Star Quest” was published. He is also known to have written several novels and stories under an array of pseudonyms early on in his writing career. Dean Koontz’s breakthrough novel came in 1980 with the release of “Watchers.” He is widely known for writing suspense type novels with elements of horror, mystery, and science fiction. Of all the roughly 55 novels that Dean Koontz has written, this is my top ten list. Compiling this list was actually harder than I originally imagined and I sometimes found myself torn between books for a spot on the list.
The Darkest Evening of the Year
The Darkest Evening of The Year
The Darkest Evening of the Year is the first book in my top ten Dean Koontz books. It has a copyright date of 2007 and was released by Bantam books in 2007. The Darkest Evening of the Year follows Amy on an adventure of discovery and wonder. She is a woman who rescues dogs from abuse and other such things. On the first couple of pages she saves a dog named Nickie from an abusive husband and father with her friend Brian. Little does she know at the time of the rescue but Nickie is a very special dog from Amy’s own past. Brian also has issues in this novel and is the target of the antagonist. The story wraps its arms around the characters and pulls them all together in standard Koontz fashion. This novel is believed to have been written in memory of Dean Koontz’s dog Trixie who passed in 2007. You can feel in the book the connection Koontz had with his dog and the emotion in which he wrote this novel. Even though this novel comes in at number ten on my list it is a great read for anyone to enjoy.
Shadowfires is another of Dean Koontz’s older novels which was copyrighted in 1987 and released by Berkley Books in 1993. The main character or heroine of this novel is Rachael, a wonderful person who is tormented by a terrifying man. The man is Eric, her husband. Rachael requests a clean and hassle free divorce from Eric and she unfortunately doesn’t receive it. Instead Eric becomes infuriated and in the heat of the moment winds up getting struck down by a traffic accident. Rachael is both shocked and relieved…for awhile. Then Eric’s body disappears from the morgue and Rachael ends up in a battle of wits against a presumed dead man. All in all this is a fantastic novel that really gets your heart racing. The book is 509 pages of unrelenting suspense that will keep you guessing about what will happen next.
One Door Away From Heaven
One Door Away From Heaven
One Door Away from Heaven has a copyright of 2001 and was released by Bantam books in 2001 in hardcover. One Door Away from Heaven is a tale of mystery and intrigue as the author takes us along with a woman on a mission to save a disabled little girl from certain death. Michelina Bellsong is the heroine in this story. The little girl Leilani is a nine year old girl who is disabled but indomitable. Her step father believes that aliens will come and cure her of her disability by the time she turns ten or take her to a better life. Leilani’s brother has already gone on the journey to a better life. Leilani is nine years old and has gone missing so Michelina takes off across the country in search for her. This novel is 681 pages of a breakneck speed race across the country as our heroine attempts to save the life of a little girl. Thrown into the mix is a little boy who helps along the story.
The Husband has a copyright of 2006 and was released in 2006 by Bantam books. This novel also has a fast paced story line with multiple twists and turns. It opens up when a gardener of modest means receives a phone call on his cell phone. Someone has abducted his wife and is requesting two million dollars within sixty hours. Mitch doesn’t have that kind of money but he loves his wife so much that he would do anything to get her back safely. Mitch seeks assistance from his brother who is wealthy and can afford to help him out. This story has you guessing one thing, then you get a twist and you start to think something else. Finally towards the end of this 415 page novel comes the final turn and leaves you thirsting to finish out the novel to discover what happens in the end.
False Memory has a copyright of 1999 and was released in 1999 by Bantam books. This novel brings to light a terrible condition called autophobia. The main character takes her friend to a psychiatrist who treats her on a weekly basis, suddenly and without any warning she becomes afflicted with autophobia. This is really weird because she is a normal person that one would not believe she could become afflicted. Then her husband takes her to the same psychiatrist she was taking her friend to. There is a psychotic killer on the loose in this novel and the book once more takes you on a fascinating journey of unrelenting speed and you’ll find yourself yearning for answers. All 751 pages seem to turn themselves as you race to discover what is going on. Dean Koontz is well known for throwing in last minute twists and turns so this novel will keep you guessing until the very end.
Life Expectancy has a copyright of 2004 and was released in 2004 by Bantam books. Life Expectancy follows Jimmy Tock through his life. A strange prediction by his grandfather on his deathbed sets the tone for this novel. Jimmy Tock lives his life without fear or incident for the first twenty years of his life. But true to his grandfathers prediction when Jimmy is in his twentieth year he experiences a tragedy while at a library. He escapes with his life and falls in love with a woman on the same day. Throughout the next ten years just like the prediction his grandfather made he experiences three more tragedies. The final incident at the end of this 476 page book will have you wondering if he’ll survive or not. In this novel you’ll find a worthy read that will have you intrigued with the characters and you will also be able to associate with them.
Velocity has a copyright of 2005 and was released in 2005 by Bantam books. Not very often in our lives will we come across a novel so aptly named as Velocity. There are novels that can enrapture you by page one hundred and there are those that can do so by page ten. Velocity is a novel that gets you by page ten. As I read through this book I thought about what I would do. I am sure that you too will do the same thing. A normal guy is left a note by someone who gives him a sick choice. “Take this note to police…I’ll kill an elderly lady active in charity if you don’t I’ll instead kill a lovely blond schoolteacher.” What choice would you make? Could you make that kind of choice?” Billy could not make the choice and did nothing so the insane killer killed the teacher. Billy soon realizes that he is a part of a sick game of choice. He also figures out that not making a choice and not playing the game is still a choice of deadly consequences. All in all, this entire book will have you burning down the pages to get to the next one. Velocity is 458 pages of pure adrenaline pumping action and suspense, and a great read.
One of Dean Koontz’s older books, Lightning is third on my list. Lightning was copyrighted in 1988 and published under the Berkley Novel banner and released in 1989. Lightning is a gripping tale of romance and science fiction. The main character Laura is an object of fascination for the other main character. Laura believes that this man who comes in at random stages of her life is her guardian angel—but is he? This man continues to appear to her at different stages of her life while remaining the same age. He comes in to save her from tragedy and inadvertently falls in love with her. Is he the guardian angel she believes him to be? Or is he a stranger from a distant land? This book is 355 pages of pure reading bliss; I read this book like a ravenous beast thirsting for absolution.
The Good Guy
The Good Guy
The Good Guy has a copyright date of 2007 and was released in 2007 by Bantam books. In this 447 page novel you will learn that ordinary men are most often not ordinary in the least. A standard case of mistaken identity happens in this novel when the main character Timothy Carrier is approached by a man. The bar in which Timothy frequents after work sets the stage for the beginning of this wonderful novel. The man is just a messenger sent to employ the services of a man mistaken for Tim. Tim takes the envelope with the cash and photo and figures out that this woman has been marked for death. He locates the woman and takes her away from some would be assassins. The antagonist is a great creation of an OCD man who relentlessly hounds and hunts Tim and the woman he swore to protect. This story will have you reading well into the night and also hooks you at page ten. I ranked this book at number two because of the depth of character and surprise ending at the end of the book.
From The Corner Of His Eye
From The Corner Of His Eye
From the Corner of His Eye has a copyright of 2000 and was released by Bantam books in 2000. This book was chosen to hold the number one spot on my list because it is a novel of love and all the interconnectedness of the world. The story follows Bartholomew Lampion throughout his life. Bartholomew was born on a night of terror that will haunt his family for the rest of their lives. When Bartholomew reaches the age of three he is blinded when doctors remove his eyes. He has a fast spreading cancer in his eyes so the doctors just remove them to save his life. Bartholomew and his mother work together to live their life while dealing with Bartholomew’s blindness, but he proves to be a prodigy. When Bartholomew turns thirteen he somehow regains his sight. I know impossible right? Wrong. Along the journey of Bartholomew and his mother’s life they meet a girl who was born as a result of a rape and they come across a man bent on killing Bartholomew for unknown reasons. This book will take you on a grand journey of discovery. It will teach you how life is connected and how each thing we do affects those people we don’t know. The book is 729 pages and with all Dean Koontz’s books very quick to read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a story that takes you on a fantastic voyage.
In conclusion of this list, I hope that you see how wonderful a novelist Dean Koontz is. His novels are ones that can be read within a couple of nights. His characters jump right off the pages and are ones that you can relate to in some way or another. His prose is always mesmerizing and reading his books is like watching a movie. I highly encourage anyone who loves to read and who loves to be swept away with a book to read Dean Koontz. As I have read all of his books except the newest ones, I can say without a doubt that they are all great stories.
Copyright 2009 by Wesley Cox