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The Good Guy by Dean Koontz | Review

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz
Published by HarperCollins on May 29 2007
Genres: Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 386
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased Book
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One man. One choice. Someone must die.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz comes this pulse-pounding thriller that starts with a terrifying decision we all might face one day: Help—or run. Timothy Carrier is an ordinary guy. He enjoys a beer after work at his friend’s tavern, the eccentric customers and amusing conversations. But tonight is no ordinary night. The jittery man sitting beside him has mistaken Tim for someone else—and passes him an envelope stuffed with cash and the photo of a pretty woman. “Ten thousand now. You get the rest when she’s gone.”

Tim Carrier always thought he knew the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. But tonight everything he thought he knew—even about himself—will be challenged. For Tim Carrier is at the center of a mystery of extraordinary proportions, the one man who can save an innocent life and stop a killer as relentless as evil incarnate. But first he must discover resources within himself of which he never dreamed, capacities that will transform his idea of who he is and what it takes to be . . .

The Good Guy is thrilling, and you can feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins.  The anticipation, the fear, it is all a heady mix that bubbles up to a conclusion.  It’s a novel that I’m surprised hasn’t been adapted for the screen – suited to the Jason Stratham type actors.  It was a fun read that passed the hours quickly; was it Koontz’s best novel, not by far but it was fun for what it was.  A lot of stuff didn’t add up for me and I’ll get into that soon.

The Good Guy centres around the event of a stranger walking into a bar and mistakes our protagonist, Tim Carrier as a for hire killer.  He’s given a package with a bucketload of money and the picture of his target, a woman called Linda Pacquette with instructions on how to kill her.  Before he can say anything the actual killer walks in and Time hastily tells him he’s changed his mind and offers the money as a “sorry I’ve wasted your time” severance.  (Yeah, right.)  The killer leaves, Tim follows him out, he gets into a cop car and off he pops.  Intriguing premise, right?  Well from here in out it gets zany, quickly.   

The Good Guy had a storyline that should have blown me away but ended up just being a kind of meh-ish read.  From this point forward the intriguing storyline just paled due to substandard narrative and things that just didn’t ring true.  Linda Paquette is the targeted woman who says things like she loves action movies but doesn’t own a TV??  After mere hours together they are talking about living with each other??  Although I did really enjoy the wit that they shared together.  They seemed to hit it off quickly and they propped each up during a very traumatic situation. 

The Good Guy has a villainous villain.  The guy has a serious god complex and seems extremely unhinged.  Was he always like that?  He can’t recall any memories before his eighteenth birthday so assumes that he came from another realm…the mirror realm.  I would have thought, considering he was working for some elite, hugely secret government organisation that they would have at least performed a psych evaluation.  He kills people left, right and centre and that’s not even the contracted kill, he calls them collateral damage.  It all draws to a final confrontation in one of the most underwhelming endings ever.

The back story of Tim Carrier interested me the most and it did have a great payoff.  He’s tortured by events in his past and it all makes sense how he could do the things he did as no normal civilian would have the courage to do.  Overall, it was an okay read but it definitely wasn’t the best Koontz novel I have read.   


dean koontz and wife - The Good Guy by Dean Koontz | Review

When he was a senior in college, Dean Koontz won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and has been writing ever since. His books are published in 38 languages and he has sold over 500 million copies to date.

Fourteen of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list (One Door Away From HeavenFrom the Corner of His EyeMidnightCold FireThe Bad PlaceHideawayDragon TearsIntensitySole SurvivorThe HusbandOdd HoursRelentlessWhat the Night Knows, and 77 Shadow Street), making him one of only a dozen writers ever to have achieved that milestone. Sixteen of his books have risen to the number one position in paperback. His books have also been major bestsellers in countries as diverse as Japan and Sweden.

The New York Times has called his writing “psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying.” The New Orleans Times-Picayune said Koontz is, “at times lyrical without ever being naive or romantic. [He creates] a grotesque world, much like that of Flannery O’Conner or Walker Percy … scary, worthwhile reading.” Rolling Stone has hailed him as “America’s most popular suspense novelist.”

Dean Koontz was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Shippensburg State College (now Shippensburg University), and his first job after graduation was with the Appalachian Poverty Program, where he was expected to counsel and tutor underprivileged children on a one-to-one basis. His first day on the job, he discovered that the previous occupier of his position had been beaten up by the very kids he had been trying to help and had landed in the hospital for several weeks. The following year was filled with challenge but also tension, and Koontz was more highly motivated than ever to build a career as a writer. He wrote nights and weekends, which he continued to do after leaving the poverty program and going to work as an English teacher in a suburban school district outside Harrisburg. After a year and a half in that position, his wife, Gerda, made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: “I’ll support you for five years,” she said, “and if you can’t make it as a writer in that time, you’ll never make it.” By the end of those five years, Gerda had quit her job to run the business end of her husband’s writing career.

Dean Koontz lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.


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