This reviewer was familiar with several of the works of Dean Koontz before reading Odd Thomas. That being so, it created the atmosphere that this novel would involve a great deal of the fantastic, fantasy, and would be a compelling read, a novel sure to be hard to put down. It turned out in this reader's opinion to fit the bill.
This is truly a must read for Koontz fans, a fact born out in that its protagonist, Odd Thomas, would later go on the be the leading character in two subsequent novels. For the reader who enjoys mystery, cliffhanging scenes, superb language, and who is not squeamish to the somewhat gory details, Odd Thomas is one for the "must" read list.
The setting is a small desert town in California. Odd Thomas is a short order cook with a unique talent,. He has, through a "sixth sense", the paranormal ability to understand the dead.and recognize among the living some past actions or future intent to do evil or in some way act as a unknowing and innocent drawn into some evil plot. Odd Thomas receive this indication through the presence of bodaches, evil spirits who appear at the time of impending disaster or death. The novel progresses with Odd's attempt to unravel an impending disaster which will take place within the next twenty-four hours.He is assisted in this per suit by "Stormy" Llewellyn, a young female ice cream shop manager, and the only one fully aware of Odd's strange talent.
Mr. Koontz spends a great deal of effort in fleshing out his characters in revealing some of their inner thoughts and fears. Although there are several other relatively minor characters in the novel, it is really the character of Odd and Stormy which count.
One of the metaphors in this novel is that of the bodaches, a spirit force which encompasses all that is connected with evil and a person's fears, the bogeyman.
One hopes throughout the story that the forces of evil will be thwarted, but Mr. Koontz, a master of suspense, does not "tip his hand".
This novel is very much within the genre of Stephen King and Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
In conclusion this is an engrossing novel which will not disappoint the reader.
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