Dean Koontz is my man. He writes pop thrillers with interesting characters and a certain panache that I enjoy. In this thriller, for example, he peppers in generous portions of T.S. Eliot. Thus, while the story itself may be somewhat “paint by numbers”, it’s still a lot of fun.
In Velocity, Billy Wiles is a stoic and (I assume) handsome barkeep who keeps his cards close to the vest. While he has tended bar at the same place for years, no one knows too much about him. That is to say, he doesn’t talk all that much. Still, people do know plenty about him. Even though he’s the private type, he lives in the county in which he grew up. It’s hard to keep secrets when you stay in the same place. But Wiles tries to keep a simple life. He wakes up, he woodworks, he tends bar. When he can, usually several times a week, he visits a woman in a coma. His fiance. One gets the pictures that Wiles’ life is in statis, just as his fiance is. That’s until someone leaves the following note on the windshield of his SUV:
If you don’t take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher somewhere in Napa COunty.
If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work.
You have six hours to decide, the choice is yours.
Wiles can’t lead a quiet life any longer. Whether he wanted it or not, he’s in a cat and mouse game with high stakes.
It’s a fun airport/beach read. 3.5/5.