What could be better than a new Odd Thomas book in paperback?
I’ve said before that I consider Dean Koontz less than an ideal author in the technical sense. His word choices are sometimes poor, and he’s not always as funny as he thinks he is.
On the other hand, he continues to improve as he works. And as he’s found his voice and theme as an author, his books have become—taken as a whole—sources of joy; almost means of grace.
Technically, Koontz is a horror writer. But the average horror writer explores the mystery of evil. Koontz has taken on a much more difficult task, exploring the mystery of goodness. Anyone who’s ever tried to create a good character that is neither a prig nor a wuss understands how brilliant Koontz’s achievement has been, the creation of innumerable characters who are good without being insufferable.
Chief among these is Odd Thomas, almost his only continuing character.
Odd Hours is the fourth Odd Thomas novel, and is just as good as the others.
Odd Thomas is Everyman, with a Sixth Sense. A young man, he’s a fry cook by trade and has no pretensions of any kind. He lost the love of his life, which makes him sad but not dour. He sees dead people, mute apparitions whom he helps to “move on.”
Odd Hours isn’t really much concerned with his gift of ghost vision. In this book, Odd takes on the protection of a mysterious pregnant woman, which leads him to the discovery of a terrorist plot against America. In thwarting the terrorists, Odd has to do some things he’s never done before, such as kill people with a gun and unleash the cosmic force of Frank Sinatra in a rage.
Odd suffers, but is not embittered. He makes hard choices, but is not coarsened by the experience.
He’s just so darn lovable. I can’t wait to spend time with him again.
Odd Hours is much recommended.