Hideaway by Dean Koontz

(No Series)

He was clinically dead after the accident – but was miraculously revived. Now Hatch Harrison, and his wife Lindsey, approach each day with a new appreciate for life…shadowed by his glimpse of death. Something has come back from the other side. A terrible presence that links Hatch’s mind to a dangerous psychotic. A dark force of murderous rage that hides within us all…

The plot for this one is sort of akin to another serial killer running amok, which is a type of thriller Koontz seems to lean toward. However, this one has a supernatural edge of sorts and explores another type of subject not often discussed: resuscitative medicine.

Koontz does an admirable job with the research for this type of thing, as well as raising some interesting questions on the side effects of something such as this is successful. Also explored is good versus evil and gaining second chances on life in general. Through the use of good characterization and people you genuinely care about (as well as a villain that’s interesting but also creepy), this plot works on multiple levels and kept me enthralled.

The atmosphere isn’t as dark as some of Koontz’s other works but there’s a lot of depressing things going on, anger is expressed vividly, fear is touched upon, and the whole thing is tightly woven together. Hatch is a great guy who obviously had the blunt end of the stick in life, but because of this strives to be the best he can. The link he shares with the “other” is intriguing and his actions are overall acceptable. Lindsey was another worthy character to sit inside of…how she dealt with past issues proved fascinating and it’s apparent she’s a strong individual.

Vassago is one creepy guy and enough mystery is enshrouded around him to leave the reader from becoming bored. His truth isn’t revealed until the end, and I was a bit surprised by the findings, although I had already figured out most of them. Regina is an adorable little fighter, and being inside her head was both humorous and fun. All characters were well fleshed out and three dimensional.

The pace is slow yet fast at the same time. Nothing that leaves your palms constantly sweating, but fast enough to hold attention and make an enjoyable treat.

Koontz’s style can differ depending on the novel. Here he comes off strong, not hampered down by unneeded prose, devoted to plot and the execution of character. His words are all beautifully phrased, straight forward, and complement what he set out to do – make a good story. I especially enjoyed how he brought disturbing points across with Vassago while not just spelling everything out. More effective that way.

Hideway is a great read. One of Koontz’s better serial killer works, it touches upon the supernatural and leaves the readers clues so they don’t become confused, but doesn’t reveal all until the final segments. The emotional stakes are strong and caused me to feel a sense of kinship with whom I was reading about.

Intriguing issues and moral points are brought up – from bringing back the dead, genetics, orphans and disabilities, the deaths of small children, bringing families closer together, and, of course, religion. This wasn’t a simple cat-and-mouse thriller, and Koontz added enough ‘different’ plot points to make this original in its own right.

If you’re a serial killer lover, a thriller chaser, a supernatural addict, or just another Koontz fan, Hideway is definitely worth your time.

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