Review: Innocence by Dean Koontz

Innocence by Dean KoontzTitle: Innocence
Author: Dean Koontz
Published: 2013
Author’s Website:
Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Review:  Addison Goodheart is a recluse, living beneath the city streets in mostly unused old drains and access tunnels.  He ventures out only late at night and always under a hoodie.  It’s a life he chooses…in order to keep living.  Since his birth, the reaction of people to his face and eyes has almost always been a fleeting moment of horror, followed by an uncontrollable urge to kill him.

After a sharp inhalation of shock, the two men were frozen for a moment at the sight of him.  At first but only at first, their wrenched countenances were those of helpless children cornered by a thing that stalked them in their worst dreams, a thing that in the lands of sleep never quite possessed features but that now had a face more terrifying than their worst nightmares.

The only exception to this is the man he met in the city after leaving his home that he called Father, who elicited the same response from others.

Everything changes for Addison one night when he meets Gwyneth, a kindred soul he spies being pursued through the library by a man intent on killing her.  A tentative first meeting becomes a fast friendship.  Dressed in goth stylings with her face “painted” and pierced, Gwyneth also haunts the night avoiding people.

Addison’s need to be Gwyneth’s friend quickly finds him accompanying her on her quest to save people while figuring out how to ruin the evil Ryan Telford, who murdered her father.

By the end of the story, Addison and Gwyneth come to understand that their afflictions aren’t necessarily curses and that together they are meant to accomplish much more than just revenge on Telford.

Here’s one more excerpt I used for another Teaser Tuesday:

When the pyrotechnics concluded and the sky brought forth only rain, Father said, "When men in power decide that things need to be rebalanced at any cost, the violence is never brief and never really directed solely at the imbalance that supposedly inspired it.  The rule of law becomes the rule of violence."

Bottom line:  To me, Innocence comes off as a suspense story, eventually answering the questions niggling your thoughts throughout.  Why do people react to Addison like they do?  How do the seemingly random people in their lives connect?  And, how will they overcome an evil man with seemingly immeasurable resources?  Aside from a few descriptions of acts most of us will find abhorrent, this is a fairly tame, but well-written story.  Fans of Koontz will enjoy this one, though it’s not as horror-like as many of his stories.


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