So you can read my books

Saturday, August 25, 2012


We live life sometimes on auto-pilot.

Our bruised hearts murmur to withdraw, to exist, to try to forget.

Life is patient. Life lures you to sleep. Then, the snake of Change strikes.

Timothy Carrier is a man with a past that will not give him peace.

Having a beer after work at his friend’s tavern, he tries to distract his mind from haunting memories by drawing eccentric customers into amusing conversations.

But the jittery man who sits next to him tonight has mistaken Tim for someone very different—and passes to him a manila envelope full of cash.

“Ten thousand now. You get the rest when she’s gone.”

The stranger walks out, leaving a photo of the pretty woman marked for death, and her address.

Bad right? But things are about to get worse. In minutes another stranger sits next to Tim. This one is a cold-blooded killer who believes Tim is the man who has hired him.

Thinking fast, Tim says, “I’ve had a change of heart. You get ten thousand—for doing nothing. Call it a no-kill fee.”

He keeps the photo and gives the money to the hired killer. And when Tim secretly follows the man out of the tavern, he gets a further shock: the hired killer is a cop.

Suddenly, Tim Carrier, an ordinary guy, is at the center of a mystery of extraordinary proportions,

the one man who can save an innocent life and stop a killer far more powerful than any cop … and as relentless as evil incarnate.

But first Tim must discover within himself the capacity for selflessness, endurance, and courage that can turn even an ordinary man into a hero,

the inner resources that will transform his idea of who he is and what it takes to be The Good Guy.

This is the novel that introduced me to Dean Koontz.

Koontz uses an interesting technique to build suspense.

While we gradually learn, through Tim's incredible skill in evading the killer and his unflappable grace under pressure, that he must harbor a past profession in which he cut things other than stone,

Koontz withholds this secret from the reader until the final pages of the book.

He does the same with Linda and her past, contributing not only to the suspense but also to the extended first-date-type-thrill of romance that blossoms amidst the carnage.

Take this one with you this summer's end or have it on hand for times when you want a good read. You won't be disappointed.

Koontz writes well, with a dark, sarcastic style that matches the tension and violence of his situations. His images are well chosen and original;

indeed, Koontz is superior to many adepts of supposedly more serious literature. The Good Guy is something of a cross between Raymond Chandler and the TV series 24:

pulsing with action but richly, idiosyncratically portrayed.

It is also a pure thriller: unlike most of Koontz's prose, classified as horror, it doesn't involve the supernatural. I doubt you will hold it in your hands longer than three days. In fact, you will be tempted to read it on one sitting.

{THE RIVAL is still #17 on Amazon's Zombie Love Best Sellers!}


  1. Great review, Roland, You really made me want to read this novel. I have read several of Koontz' novels: Midnight, Intensity etc.

    Best wishes,

  2. I have read this one a while back, but haven't read any Koontz recently, thanks for reminding me.

  3. Nice review. I am a big fan of Koontz, but have not read this one yet. I will have to change that.

  4. Anna:
    If you read MIDNIGHT, you will want to read FEAR NOTHING and SEIZE THE NIGHT. They are both evolved versions of that novel with a unique but maimed hero and his uber-smart dog.

    I am currently re-reading THE GOOD GUY after years. I thought I would point out a classic to my friends. His last few books I have not enjoyed. But I like the two I pointed out to Anna and ODD THOMAS and BROTHER ODD, too.

    I think you will like this one. I know I did. If you have not read the four I recommended to Anna and Suzanne, I think you would like them as well. I so often talk of how to write and of my own writing, I thought I would simply spotlight a good read for my friends.

    Everyone's tastes are different, of course. So this is just a nod. :-)

  5. I think I've read most of Dean's books, well, maybe not most, but many, and I love them. This will be on my list of books to read. Thanks for the review.

  6. Sounds intriguing. I've only read one of his books and it was many years ago.

  7. Elizabeth:
    I like Dean. I grieved when Trixie his golden retriever died because I knew what her death meant to him. I just wanted to share what I thought was a good read. :-)

    It was the perfect introduction for me to Dean Koontz. If you like this one, try FEAR NOTHING (the title comes from the last words spoken to him by his dying father.)

  8. I've never read Koontz, and only a few of King's books, not a fan of horror. But, I will consider this one now, upon your recommendation.

    Have a great Saturday, and drive safely if you're working.

  9. D.G.:
    There is no supernatural horror in THE GOOD GUY. It is a chase thriller with two characters you root for and a hitman who is a sociopath with a capital S!

    If I could shake this migraine I would be a happy camper. It even is making my stomach lurch at high tide! Ugggh! :-)

  10. D.G.:
    There is no supernatural horror in THE GOOD GUY. It is a chase thriller with two characters you root for and a hitman who is a sociopath with a capital S!

    If I could shake this migraine I would be a happy camper. It even is making my stomach lurch at high tide! Ugggh! :-)

  11. I think your migraine made you post twice, eh? I get migraines too, but I use Imitrex (a nose spray) or Zomig (a meltie tablet) since my stomach can't take it either.

    I've had migraines for years - my Mom had them too, and I've read that they can be an inherited trait. If it's any consolation, I've read that intelligent people are more likely to get them. That's probably because we think too much. . . or feel too intensely, or worry too much. Hope it goes away soon.

  12. Hi Roland
    Koontz is a superb writer. I always have to keep a notebook next to me in order to write down all the new words he throws my way. I recommend everyone read Koontz.

  13. Call me nuts, but I've never read Koontz!

  14. D.G.:
    Thanks for the names of the medications. When my blood runs allow me, I will look them up. Your good thoughts seemed to have ebbed my migraine to endurable levels.

    I don't how smart I am, but boy, this migraine sure smarts!! :-)

    Isn't Koontz an excellent writer when he hits his stride? I am pleased you like and recommend him, too!

    Could you send some cyber-meds for migraine over the ether? LOL.

    Really, you should try THE GOOD GUY. It reads fast, and if you like Ms. Hillier's CREEP, you will like it.

  15. I have read quite a few of Koontz's books, err, umm, I have read the first half of quite a few of Koontz's first books. For me, they start out with a bang and then about halfway through they seem to twist into something very different. At least that has been my experience with the ones I have (half) read.

  16. Michael:
    TICK TOCK was like that for me. It started out horror and tried for a screwball comedy twist at the end. It didn't work. Not even a little!

    FEAR NOTHING & SEIZE THE NIGHT are both gripping and well-done all the way through, Roland