February 28, 2006
Velocity by Dean Koontz
Finished on 2/21/06
Rating: D (1/10 Terrible, but suffered through it)
Poor Bill Wile. Life just hasn’t been very good to him. A horrific family tragedy strikes when he’s just a young boy, but he eventually grows up, moves on and finds comfort in his woodworking and writing. Unfortunately, an unpleasant incident befalls his fiancée, leaving her comatose for over four years. When he’s not at her bedside carrying on one-sided conversations, he leads a quiet, solitary life as a bartender in Napa County. That is, until he becomes the recipient of disturbing notes and phone messages that draw him into a psychotic nightmare with a madman. The first note, found on his windshield, demands one of two choices: Go to the police and “an elderly woman” will die. Seek no help, and a “lovely blond schoolteacher” will be killed. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. This freak has forced Bill into a deadly game of cat and mouse and Bill has no choice but to play. He’s a player even if he opts not to be. Such a cruel nightmare, deciding the fate of one life over another. As the story progresses, the ultimatums reveal that the murderer is even more cunning and evil than was first apparent.
Unfortunately, this mystery failed to satisfy. It was hardly an edge-of-your-seat thriller, although I have to admit I wasn’t able to determine the identity of such a Machiavellian killer. Perhaps I need to take a break from Dean Koontz. I’ve read several (well, three) of his books since I first read Odd Thomas and none have wowed me the way that particular book did. Velocity isn’t a bad read. Just nothing I’d recommend and probably one I should’ve returned to the library unfinished. I know I told Rod several times that I wasn’t the least bit impressed with the storyline or characters, and all that was pushing me to finish was simple curiosity. I’ve never been much of a skimmer; I either read a book in its entirety or simply quit when it fails to entertain. Maybe I should be a little more flexible and, rather than waste an extra day or two, simply read ahead enough to satisfy that insistent curiosity and then be done with it.
In this case, Koontz disappointed me, but perhaps I should have quit reading when I realized that the plot just hadn't grabbed me.