Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz

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Title: Your Heart Belongs to Me
Series: N/A
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 2008
Format Read: Paperback
Pages: 338
Rating:

2feathers

“Back of Book” Summary:

At thirty-four, Internet entrepreneur Ryan Perry seemed to have the world in his pocket—until the first troubling symptoms appeared out of nowhere. Within days, he’s diagnosed with incurable cardiomyopathy and finds himself on the waiting list for a heart transplant; it’s his only hope, and it’s dwindling fast. Ryan is about to lose it all…his health, his girlfriend Samantha, and his life.

One year later, Ryan has never felt better. Business is good and he hopes to renew his relationship with Samantha. Then the unmarked gifts begin to appear—a box of Valentine candy hearts, a heart pendant. Most disturbing of all, a graphic heart surgery video and the chilling message: Your heart belongs to me.

In a heartbeat, the medical miracle that gave Ryan a second chance at life is about to become a curse worse than death. For Ryan is being stalked by a mysterious woman who feels entitled to everything he has. She’s the spitting image of the twenty-six-year-old donor of the heart beating steadily in Ryan’s own chest. And she’s come to take it back.

My Review:

Your Heart Belongs to Me starts out with a great storyline. People dueling about who gets pushed to the top of the heart transplant list. Those with enough money are able to buy an organ without questioning where it came from. Ignoring the clues that suggest the heart came from a recently living healthy person who fell victim to a murderous scam. Ryan Perry is one of those ignorant men who received one of these transplanted hearts. Soon he discovers he is being stalked and terrorized from a member of the victim’s family.

About 75% of this book is great. However, the ending is just awful. All of Koontz’s books have happy endings (at least the ones I’ve read). Sometimes it flows with the story. But in this book it does not. Sometimes a great story needs a sad and suspenseful ending. As stated in my review of Intensity, I also did not like that ending. However, it was not as bad as this book’s was. The ending ruined the entire book. I would not recommend anyone read this but the most diehard of Koontz fans.

Read more Dean Koontz reviews by the Audacious Feather:

Intensity
Relentless
Seize the Night
The Good Guy
Your Heart Belongs to Me

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The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

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Title: The Good Guy
Series: N/A
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 2007
Format Read: Paperback
Pages: 447
Rating:

4feathers

“Back of Book” Summary:

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 .

My Review:

Timothy Carrier was just having a beer at the bar when a mysterious man slips him an envelope with Linda Paquette’s photo, address and some cash. He was mistaken for a contract killer the man had hired. Timothy considered it his moral duty to make sure this woman was safe. Eventually it is discovered that Timothy was not in fact a contract killer and he finds himself also being hunted by a killer.

The Good Guy is a stereotypical Koontz thriller. The main characters find themselves being chased by a psychopath who won’t stop until they are dead. Koontz creates many twists and unexpected events in his novels that keeps each story unique in its own right despite the similar plots.I enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.

Read more Dean Koontz reviews by the Audacious Feather:

Intensity
Relentless
Seize the Night
The Good Guy
Your Heart Belongs to Me

Relentless by Dean Koontz

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Title: Relentless
Series: N/A
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 2009
Format Read: Paperback
Pages: 356
Rating:

4feathers

“Back of Book” Summary:

Literary critic Shearman Waxx can kill a good book with just a few acidly worded bon mots. And as one unlucky author is about to discover, that’s not all he’s prepared to kill. . . .

My Review:

What happens when an author responds to a negative review a critic gave him? Well hopefully not what happened to Cullen “Cubby” Greenwich. He just wanted to talk to the critic Shearman Waxx. Cubby takes his son Milo to lunch at a restaurant that Waxx frequents hoping to spot him. What starts out as a very humerous situation at the restaurant soon turns deadly. Waxx critiques others, he does not tolerate criticism of his own work. Shearman Waxx is a relentless psychopath who utterly destroys anything or anyone that attempts to question his literary criticism.

This book grabbed my attention immediately. The story is fast paced and at some parts quite chilling. Classic Koontz!

Read more Dean Koontz reviews by the Audacious Feather:

Intensity
Relentless
Seize the Night
The Good Guy
Your Heart Belongs to Me

Seize the Night by Dean Koontz

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Title: Seize the Night
Series: Moonlight Bay (Book #2)
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Release Date: 1998
Format Read: Paperback
Pages: 464
Rating:

4feathers

“Back of Book” Summary:

One by one, the children of Moonlight Bay are disappearing. no one knows of they are dead or alive. Christopher Snow, suffering from the rare disorder Xeroderma Pigmentosum, has glimpsed the dark and torrid secrets of the small-town community where he has spent his entire life. And only he has the hey to the truth – a truth that could only exist in the genetic chaos of Moonlight Bay.

My Review:

Seize the Night is the second book in the Moonlight Bay Trilogy featuring Christopher Snow, a man suffering from a rare disorder called xeroderma pigmentosum. This disorder forces him to avoid the sunlight which is harmful to him and encourages him to carpe noctem (seize the night). Chris lives in Moonlight Bay, a town haunted by a past of government genetic experimentation in which his parents had participated. Those experiments were long over and the military base was abandoned, or so it was thought. When the town’s children begin to disappear Chris and his friends follow the trail to Fort Wyvern and learn that the base wasn’t entirely abandoned and that many sinister things still exist at the base.

The story includes aspects of science fiction and the paranormal, as well as Koontz’s signature horror and suspense. Although this is the second installment in a trilogy, I did not have a hard time picking up on the character relations without reading the book’s prequel. If I have the opportunity, I would like to read the additional books in this series.

Read more Dean Koontz reviews by the Audacious Feather:

Intensity
Relentless
Seize the Night
The Good Guy
Your Heart Belongs to Me

Intensity by Dean Koontz

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Title: Intensity
Series: N/A
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 1995
Format Read: Paperback
Pages: 436
Rating: 3feathers

“Back of Book” Summary:

Past midnight, Chyna Shepherd, twenty- six, gazed out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend’s family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Forman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed “homicidal adventure,” Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse or limits, to live with intensity. Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit. Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive-until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess’s next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl–as moment by moment, the terrifying threat Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

My Review:

It has been suggested many times over the years that I read a Dean Koontz book. Master of horror he is indeed. Intensity was scary. This book didn’t so much explore the psychology of the killer, but of the victim. The concept of ‘what doesn’t kill you makes your stronger’ is applicable to the main character Chyna Shepherd. The survival tactics learned as a child of an abusive mother were used to keep her alive and even fright back against the psychopath Edgler Foreman Vess.

The story started off fast paced and continued to stay that way throughout the entire book. I think a lot of authors would have dragged some of the scenes out longer. I thought just the opposite of the ending. Once the main characters survived death the book should have ended, and it would have been a great ending. Instead Koontz devoted several pages to making sure the book had a happy ending and so we could feel all warm and fuzzy inside after such a scary story. The ending was awful. The book has 12 chapters, I suggest you only read 11 of them. This is a fantastic horror story that would deserve a 4 Feather rating had the ending not been so horrible. Regardless, I do recommend this book. Intensity is one of the scariest stories I’ve ever read.

Read more Dean Koontz reviews by the Audacious Feather:

Intensity
Relentless
Seize the Night
The Good Guy
Your Heart Belongs to Me

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

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Title: Plain Truth
Series: N/A
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Contemporary Literature
Release Date: 2000
Format Read: Paperback
Pages: 422
Rating: 3feathers

“Back of Book” Summary:

A shocking murder shatters the picturesque calm of Pennsylvania’s Amish country — and tests the heart and soul of the lawyer who steps in to defend the young woman at the center of the storm… Plain Truth The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn’s mother, took the child’s life. When Ellie Hathaway, a disillusioned big-city attorney, comes to Paradise, Pennsylvania, to defend Katie, two cultures collide — and, for the first time in her high-profile career, Ellie faces a system of justice very different from her own. Delving deep inside the world of those who live “plain,” Ellie must find a way to reach Katie on her terms. And as she unravels a tangled murder case, Ellie also looks deep within — to confront her own fears and desires when a man from her past reenters her life. Moving seamlessly from psychological drama to courtroom suspense, Plain Truth is a fascinating portrait of Amish life — and a moving exploration of the bonds of love, friendship, and the heart’s most complex choices.

My Review:

I previously reviewed Jodi Picoult’s The Pact which you can read here. I’ve recently read Picoult’s Plain Truth. The two plots are not comparable, but I can say that I enjoyed The Pact much better for the fact that as soon as I finished the book I blurted out “wow.” However, Plain Truth was a good book.

Picoult is a master of drawing the reader in. I also found the story interesting because it takes place where I used to live in central Pennsylvania. An unwed Amish teenager gives birth to a baby alone in a barn. The next day the baby is found dead and the mother is charged with its murder. The story leads the reader through Amish customs and lifestyle to show the affect that this type of pregnancy has on the community. The story was very good, however, the ending was predictable. Although the book doesn’t specifically say, it’s implied that there wasn’t actually a murder and that the baby died of a natural cause, but the person who covered up the death was predictable. I take this into account when comparing it with The Pact which had a very surprising ending.

Although the underlying ghost story running throughout the book is really intriguing to me, it felt out-of-place. Picoult tries to build multidimensional characters and stories, but in Plain Truth the integration of these layers is a bit rough. Nevertheless, if you like Picoult’s style and/or an Amish setting, I would recommend this.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Series: N/A
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Genre: Horror, Classic Literature
Release Date: 1886
Format Read: Hardcover
Pages: 94
Rating:3feathers

“Back of Book” Summary:

The gripping novel of a London lawyer who investigates strange occurrences surrounding his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the misanthropic Mr. Edward Hyde. The work is known for its vivid portrayal of a split personality, split in the sense that within the same person there is both an apparently good and an evil personality each being quite distinct from the other…

My Review:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a horror classic. Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella published in 1886 was an instant success. We’re all familiar with the popular tale of Dr. Hyde’s potion turning him into the gruesome Mr. Hyde, but few make the connection between the story and its social commentary. The story is an allegory of man’s struggle of good vs. evil. Although Jekyll and Hyde had two separate personalities, they were in fact the same man. Since man is not completely sinless, pretending to be otherwise could be disastrous. If we ignore the evil aspects of our own personality, it may just build up to the point that it begins to manifest and show itself to people while leaving us completely unaware. Stevenson’s story takes this idea to the extreme, but nevertheless we need to accept the duality of our personalities. In a world of temptation we should use our gift of reason to eradicate unnecessary evil actions, but at the same time we need to take responsibility that evil does exist and we are at times unable to stop it.

This book is an extremely short read, I got through it in an afternoon. The story is interesting, but I will say that most of the adaptations of it that I’ve seen are far more entertaining and have more action than this book did. The book is less about Mr. Hyde’s actions and more about a lawyer investigating his origins.

Generally, when I write a book review I only look at other people’s reviews after I write my initial thoughts down. Other reviews don’t alter my own review at all, but I enjoy reading what others think of the same books. It is interesting that every single book has people who love it and those who hate it. Books, such as Orwell’s 1984, that I rate as 5 Feathers have been rated as 1 by others. It is all subjective. However, reading other reviews sometimes gives me new insights. Expanding upon what one such reviewer on Amazon proposed: a good question is whether The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde does not thrill many people as much as expected because perhaps we have become desensitized? While, this book didn’t shake my (modern) world, I recommend this book because it is a classic and was rather original when written for an audience that perhaps was not so desensitized to the acceptance that man may also have evil within him.