By Dean Koontz
Bantam Books, $9.99, 480 pages
Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz, presents the story of Odd Thomas, a 20-something fry cook living in small-town California. Unlike the rest of the town’s population, there is something especially unique about Odd: he can see ghosts. From a young age, whether by bringing a murderer to justice or by convincing ghosts death isn’t so bad, Odd has felt tasked with helping the lingering spirits of the deceased move on to their next life. This first book of the Odd Thomas series follows Odd’s attempt to thwart a terrorist attack on his town. He quickly finds he is in over his head, but with luck and a little psychic guidance is able to meet the challenge head on.
As the initial foray into Dean Koontz’s work, Odd Thomas proves the author’s abilities. The story moves quickly, making the book readable in a single day. The characters are the best part of the book, though. Odd himself is so believable that it is hard to keep in mind the story is fiction. Each of Odd’s relationships is fun to witness, while each heartbreak is almost unbearable. Even when a character is unlikeable, readers will be invested in the outcomes. Anyone who enjoys good stories and being swept away by characters should immediately go out and buy Odd Thomas.
Reviewed by Andrew Keyser