Author: Dean Koontz
Publisher: Bantam, 2002
Series: Stand Alone
"No Goldfish, no pee, no fold."
Synopsis: Dylan O’Connor is a gifted young artist just trying to do the right thing in life. He’s on his way to an arts festival in Santa Fe when he stops to get a room for himself and his twenty-year-old autistic brother, Shep. But in a nightmarish instant, Dylan is attacked by a mysterious “doctor,” injected with a strange substance, and told that he is now a carrier of something that will either kill him...or transform his life in the most remarkable way. Then he is told that he must flee--before the doctor’s enemies hunt him down for the secret circulating through his body. No one can help him, the doctor says, not even the police.
Stunned, disbelieving, Dylan is turned loose to run for his life...and straight into an adventure that will turn the next twenty-four hours into an odyssey of terror, mystery--and wondrous discovery. It is a journey that begins when Dylan and Shep’s path intersects with that of Jillian Jackson. Before that evening Jilly was a beautiful comedian whose biggest worry was whether she would ever find a decent man. Now she too is a carrier. And even as Dylan tries to convince her that they’ll be safer sticking together, cold-eyed men in a threatening pack of black Suburbans approach, only seconds before Jilly’s classic Coupe DeVille explodes into thin air.
Now the three are on the run together, but with no idea whom they’re running from--or why. Meanwhile Shep has begun exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior. And whatever it is that’s coursing through their bodies seems to have plunged them into one waking nightmare after another. Seized by sinister premonitions, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to crime scenes--just minutes before the crimes take place.
What this unfathomable power is, how they can use it to stop the evil erupting all around them, and why they have been chosen are only parts of a puzzle that reaches back into the tragic past and the dark secrets they all share: secrets of madness, pain, and untimely death. Perhaps the answer lies in the eerie, enigmatic messages that Shep, with precious time running out, begins to repeat, about an entity who does his work “by the light of the moon.”
"Feel how it works, the round and round of all that is."
Review: I was expecting this to be really scary. It was frightening in many ways, but it is definitely a thriller and not a horror. The main characters are all very likable. Shep is one of the three main characters and he hardly ever speaks and, when he does, it makes very little sense. He's autistic. But, whether he speaks much or not, he steals the show. He's a wonderful young man.
I liked this book very much. It was really easy to get into and nearly impossible to put down, especially at the end. It was humorous and thrilling and heart-warming. The descriptions are so wonderful, it's like you're right there. It was everything a good novel should be.
Rating: 8.5 / 10