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The Good Guy review
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Outlanders
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7/13/2008 4:55 PM
    As anyone who knows me, or even reads my reviews can attest, I’m not a huge fan of the Horror genre, even though it does share a lot in common with one of my previous favourite literature genres – the post apocalyptic setting.
     
    Thus, because of this, I have only read one book by Dean Koontz until now. I recently picked up his novel The Good Guy after reading the back cover and the whole plot, even though it’s been done before, caught my interest.
     
    Besides, as is the case, I’m always looking for new authors (or in this case, authors that I’ve not read before) to start following.
     
    So, before I go any further, let me state my usual disclaimer – I will not reveal any spoilers other than what is printed on the back cover of the novel.
     
    The novel is about a very common theme in novels and movies – being in the wrong place at the right time, or the right place at the wrong time, depending on your point of view.
     
    That is exactly the case with this novel. The main protagonist, a Mason named Tim Carrier is hanging out at his favourite watering hole when a man hands him a package containing a photo and $10,000 in cash.
     
    His instructions are clear. Kill the woman in the photo and get the other half when the job is complete.
     
    Of course Tim ends up encountering the real hit man shortly afterwards and attempts to play the man who’s hiring him, to tell him he’s changed his mind and to keep the money and walk away.
     
    After the encounter, Tim goes to meet the woman to tell her she’s been targeted for termination (sorry, couldn’t resist!) and he ends up on the run with her, trying to stay one step ahead of the assassin.
     
    There you have it, the basic plot in a nutshell. Yup, I know I’ve seen this plot before, dozens of times as a matter of fact, but it was how the plot was set up and written that sets it apart from all the rest.
     
    Now, I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of Koontz after reading this book, but I am tempted now to pick up some of his other works and give them a go. He has a very interesting style when it comes to telling a tale… he introduces the characters with very little background information at the start.
     
    This gives him the time to flesh out the characters as he writes the novel. And this was the case with every character in the book. It was clear from the first few chapters that the assassin was very unique. Pure evil, but one hell of a character.
     
    Tim himself, clearly there was more to him that met the eye, as well as his friends and the other characters he interacted with initially.
     
    Take heart in the fact that all the information will eventually be revealed as the book progresses, including the reason why this woman is to be killed and in a brutal fashion.
     
    This type of storytelling took me a little while to get used to, as I am much more used to reading novels where you already know everything about the characters (because I like well established series so much), or you learn about them in the first few chapters.
     
    I’ll state this – it’s one way to keep a person reading, as they get interested in the characters and they (such as myself) wish to learn more about tem as the book progresses.
     
    When all is finally revealed, it was pretty satisfying. Well, with one exception, but I can’t really reveal it without giving away about the novel. For those of you who read it, you’ll probably agree with me.
     
    Another thing I enjoyed about Mr. Koontz’s style is the dialog. It was pretty rapid fire, and often quite witty… It reminded me of the banter that usually takes place between myself and some of my life long friends.
     
    In closing, I can’t say it was a perfect novel, and I have to admit that I found that the beginning did drag a little, but it quickly picked up in pace and I found it difficult to put down.
     
    I really wanted to know how Tim and Lynda were going to escape this killer and what would happen to all of them by the end. I also wanted to discover the motivations and the reasons behind the characters.
     
    For the most part, I was, as I stated, satisfied.
     
    4 out of 5.
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    DEATHLANDS, OUTLANDERS, EARTH BLOOD, and JAMES AXLER are all the property of Gold Eagle / Worldwide Library, and are used here strictly under Fair Use guidelines.
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