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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Relentless by Dean Koontz

Publisher: Bantam Books, imprint of Random House Publishing
Pages: 356



From the Cover: #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense Dean Koontz delivers a mesmerizing new thriller that explores the razor-thin line between the best and worst of human nature—and the anarchy simmering just beneath society’s surface—as a likeable, successful family man is drawn into a confrontation with a foe of unimaginable malice….

Bestselling novelist Cullen “Cubby” Greenwich is a lucky man and he knows it. He makes a handsome living doing what he enjoys. His wife, Penny, a children’s book author and illustrator, is the love of his life. Together they have a brilliant six-year-old, Milo, affectionately dubbed “Spooky,” and a non-collie named Lassie, who’s all but part of the family.

So Cubby knows he shouldn’t let one bad review of his otherwise triumphant new book get to him—even if it does appear in the nation’s premier newspaper and is penned by the much-feared, seldom-seen critic, Shearman Waxx. Cubby knows the best thing to do is ignore the gratuitously vicious, insulting, and inaccurate comments. Penny knows it, even little Milo knows it. If Lassie could talk, she’d tell Cubby to ignore them, too.

Ignore Shearman Waxx and his poison pen is just what Cubby intends to do. Until he happens to learn where the great man is taking his lunch. Cubby just wants to get a look at the mysterious recluse whose mere opinion can make or break a career—or a life.

But Shearman Waxx isn’t what Cubby expects; and neither is the escalating terror that follows what seemed to be an innocent encounter. For Waxx gives criticism; he doesn’t take it. He has waysof dealing with those who cross him that Cubby is only beginning to fathom. Soon Cubby finds himself in a desperate struggle with a relentless sociopath, facing an inexorable assault on far more than his life.

Fearless, funny, utterly compelling, Relentless is Dean Koontz at his riveting best, an unforgettable tale of the fragile bonds that hold together all that we most cherish—and of those who would tear those bonds asunder.

Cubby seems to have it all, a beautiful wife, Penny, and amazing kid, Milo (who may be just a little too amazing), and the best dog in the world, a mutt named Lassie. That is until he comes under the scrutiny of Shearman Waxx.

Waxx finds he's a hack, people had been fooled by Cubby's best selling books. But, once you've been Waxxed, you can never go back.

His editor, Hud Jacklight, thinks that this is the cherry on top of the sundae, but Waxx means to do more than just rip Cubby's book. He means to Waxx Cubby and his family. With the help of their loyal babysitter and super pal, Vivian Norby, and Penny's demolition family, Grimbald and Clotilda Boom, Cubby does the impossible, he survives where many others have been lost.

Relentless by Dean Koontz is classic Koontz' and it doesn't get much better. He's the one writer that I've found who cannot only weave a spellbinding story, but he does it with wit and grace. The story of Cubby, Penny, and Milo is almost idyllic. They seem to have it all. Cubby and Penny are both best selling authors and Milo is brinking on the edge of supernatural genius. Cubby is an inept hero, he can't change a light bulb without a minor catastrophe happening. Penny is super Mom, our heroine, able to fix automobiles and supper in a single bound. Milo is scary smart, one word speaks a sentence. And Lassie is the wonder dog of the story, she is literally able to jump space at will, either naturally or supernaturally, who knows? She just knows where she needs to be.

To say I was enchanted by Relentless would be an understatement. I was not only enchanted, but spellbound, anticipating, laughing so hard my kids thought I was nuts, and amazed. How can one person do all of this in a single book? I was cringing with the thought that Cubby would answer Waxx's critque, then cringing with the thought of what Waxx was capable of, and believe me, it was not only cringe worthy, but duck and cover worthy, hide under the blanket worthy because he is truly evil, beyond redemption. There really are monsters in the dark and Shearman Waxx is one of them. And at the same time it's told with such humor that I was laughing out loud. Koontz shines in this book like he has in so many others, and I'm reminded why I to love his stories so much. Yes, some are scarier than hell, some take place outside the normal bounds of human existence, and some emphasize the loneliness and longing of humanity. But in Relentless, you get all three with a twist, the humor that Koontz employees to make you want more. And I do, and so continues my love affair with Dean Koontz' books. I'll be picking up Breathless, release date 11-24-09, very soon. This is an very quick read and for all the mystery/thriller/supernatural lovers out there, I highly recommend it.

I picked up this book myself for my own enjoyment. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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