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Saturday, January 16, 2010


Spoiler Alert! Go no further if you don’t want to know what the beginning of ‘Relentless’ by Dean Koontz is all about. I was hooked from the first page on. He managed to alienate me from the plot within the first fifty pages because of my outlook on strange intruders in a home. A critic named Shearman Waxx gives the main character Cullen Greenwich’s novel a bad review. When Cullen takes his little boy with him to a restaurant frequented by Waxx to get a glimpse of him, Waxx sees Cullen and says one word: ‘Doom’.
The next thing you know, Cullen sees Waxx meandering through his house. The plot became fantasy for me at that point because the nightmare enveloping Cullen, his wife, and little boy from then on would be moot for me. I know many people would have been so shocked at the sight of this freak strolling through their house, ignoring calls of ‘hey’ and ‘what the hell’, they may have done nothing like Cullen did. My policy is this - stranger breaks into my house with my family in it and goes walkabout through my rooms I get my shotgun out. Having had some instances in the past where it was a matter of my family’s safety, I know I can get my shotgun from anywhere I am in my house and have it out ready to fire in under thirty seconds. Waxx would have been a statistic on the police blotter because in my house I do not ask intruders to halt because I want only one story told when the police arrive: mine.
‘Relentless’ was terrifying and enthralling in spite of my obvious estrangement with the beginning plot premise. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a couple of years. ‘Relentless’ is a welcome change after reading the first three books of Jim Butcher’s ‘Dresden Files’ series. I hate to say this but I liked the TV series ‘Dresden Files’ better than I did the novels. I can’t really put my finger on why except I really liked the TV Dresden actor better than I did the novel Dresden character. I’m going to wait a while before picking up the next one in the series. If you read this far but haven’t read ‘Relentless’, you have a treat in store if you like creepy horror.


whydibuy said...

Agreed on the point of self defense shooting with no questions asked and no bs story by the assailant. But also no story by you either.

But just as an aside it should be pointed out NOT to make any statements to the police after saying you had to defend your life.

Its very dangerous to talk to cops. Even if you are totally in the right to defend yourself, you could say something flip or just off the cuff that would sound intentional to a prosecutor and get you charged with some crime.
Thats why lawyers will always tell people to not speak with police.

Exercise your 5th amendment to remain silent and against self incrimination. And then exercise your 6th by requesting a lawyer. Once you do that, the cops can't ask any more questions. Your rights are there for a reason. Use them.

BernardL said...

You should definitely read 'Relentless' whydibuy. You'll be tearing your hair out by page 50. :)

raine said...

Sounds like you enjoyed the book in spite of the beginning, Bernard.
I've always liked Koontz. May pick it up.
Thanks for the rec, Bernard. :)

BernardL said...

I did indeed enjoy reading it, Raine... even though I think I ground the tops off a few of my teeth in the process. :)

Middle Ditch said...

No guns here, I'm afraid and nothing to steal I'm happy to say. I have only once encountered someone who broke into my house when I was living alone. A druggy in search of drugs or money. I kept my cool, engaged him in a conversation, made him a cup of tea and let him out. I was very young then and fearless I suppose and I don't think I could do it now.

I had a very happy time reading.

BernardL said...

My gun reference was more to do with Koontz's writer character watching a home invader stroll through his house with his family there at the beginning. To his credit Koontz presented the scene very well, MD. It was fantasy for me after that though but very good fantasy. :)

Bernita said...

Wouldn't be able to "suspend" anything myself, except the intruder.

BernardL said...

'Relentless' is one of those good reads that if I had been responsible for what happened at the beginning there wouldn't have been a book - the villain would have already been dead. I believe you have the same outlook on home invaders, Bernita. :) It is a very good horror novel though.

Bernita said...

You believe correctly, Bernard!

Vesper said...

I find it interesting that you continued reading even after your disappointment.

Although I understand your attitude and admire your quick response to a home intruder, I also think that not everybody is the same. That in real life and in a real situation - as opposed to a movie or a book - fear, stress, confusion might paralyze someone.

Thank you for the review. Koontz is a great writer.

BernardL said...

He sure is, Vesper. It was because I understand many others would react like Koontz's character that made the book so enthralling afterward. Koontz had every reader in those first fifty pages ready to become a home invader exterminator. That's great writing. :)