The Bad Place by Dean Koontz

(No Series)

Frank Pollard is afraid to fall asleep. Every morning when he awakes, he discovers something strange—like blood on his hands—a bizarre mystery that tortures his soul. Two investigators have been hired to follow the haunted man. But only one person—a young man with Down's Syndrome—can imagine where their journeys might end. That terrible place from which no one ever returns.

Koontz has amazing insight into what makes characters fascinating, realistic, and unforgettable. Who really caught my eye, and heart, was the child with down syndrome, Thomas. He was so sweet and endearing it was emotionally moving. Bobby was humorous, intelligent, and fun. Julie was hard-nosed and determined, but she had a softness that shined true. Koontz really went all out with the villain this time, making him a genuinely creepy as hell son of a bitch who held only madness, not mercy.

Because of how outlandish the plot was, it was a little hard to get into at first. I didn’t warm up to the novel until a few chapters had passed, and then I was caught, ensnared in the trap Koontz had so artfully weaved. Heart-stopping action was continuous, pounding itself mercilessly upon the pages, keeping the story going full blast. Koontz writes decoratively, creating his words with artistic prose, yet making sure it’s not overdone. His writing stayed strong throughout, never missing a beat.

If you’re a Koontz fan, and shame on you if you’re not, this is one that’s not to be missed. As always with his work, it injects real lessons, and one thing rings clear when reading this: Life is hard, life is rough, but it is still life, and because of this, we have no choice but to grin and bear it, surviving as best as we can.