Monday, December 7, 2015

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

Ashley BellAshley Bell by Dean Koontz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At twenty-two, Bibi Blair’s doctors tell her that she’s dying. Two days later, she’s impossibly cured. Fierce, funny, dauntless, she becomes obsessed with the idea that she was spared because she is meant to save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell. Searching for Ashley Bell through a southern California landscape, Bibi is plunged into a world of crime and conspiracy, following a trail of mysteries that become more sinister and tangled with every twisting turn.
This book seems like a return to Dean Koontz's old style of fast paced, horror thriller. Bibi is on the run, stalked by a psychopath who plans to kill Ashley Bell, who Bibi must try to save. Using short, compelling chapters, Koontz weaves together three fascinating storylines. I read this at a dead heat, riveted by Bibi's predicament, her mysterious past with the Captain who taught her a trick to forget "bad memories," and by Bibi's fiancé who brings a Navy SEAL op's skills to trying to find and help her on the run.

I'll admit that when I hit the big twist at 3/4 of the way through the book, it threw me off stride as different parts of the story suddenly became more interesting than they had been. However, Koontz pulled it all together by the end for a fascinating and logical ending. I did spend several hours not sure how I felt about the book, mulling over different aspects and thinking over how the story fit together. In the end, though it came down to whether I'd want to reread this book. The answer is a resounding, "Yes."

Koontz's short chapters which yank the reader between stories did occasionally get in the way. I sometimes would skip alternate chapters to read through a longer section of a particular storyline before going back to pick up the other pieces.

My review copy came from NetGalley, which influenced my opinion not a whit.

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