‘Ricochet Joe,’ by Dean Koontz

I took another brief break from The Two Towers to read this new release from Dean Koontz. It wasn’t a long break. This is a Kindle Single, little more than a short story, and correspondingly inexpensive.

Fans of the Odd Thomas books will find Ricochet Joe evocative. The hero is Joe Mandel, an ordinary young man living in a small town. He goes to college, dreams of writing a novel, and volunteers for community clean-up projects. One day he picks up an empty rum bottle and feels a sudden, irresistible compulsion to run to a particular Corvette automobile. Touching the Corvette leads him to a further goal, until at last he’s in a position to stop a mugging. He also meets Portia Montclair, the beautiful young daughter of the local chief of police. She understands what’s happening to him, and soon Joe finds himself conscripted into a cosmic battle between good and evil – a battle that will cause him to make a heart-wrenching sacrifice.

The book is enhanced, if you read it on a Kindle device or app, by illustrations featuring built-in animation. The enhanced pictures are cool, but I don’t know that they added a whole lot to the reading experience. But hey, they came at no extra charge.

Ricochet Joe is not the greatest of Dean Koontz’s stories. It’s over too soon to really engage the reader. But it’s Koontz and it’s entertaining, and there’s another supernatural dog, and I recommend it. It won’t cost you much.

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