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Books  >>  Horror

Dean R. Koontz

Deeply Odd

Dean R. Koontz Deeply Odd
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Biographical note:

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

Country of final manufacture:

US

Excerpt from book:

One

Before dawn, I woke in darkness to the ringing of a tiny bell, the thimble-­size bell that I wore on a chain around my neck: three bursts of silvery sound, a brief silence after each. I was lying on my back in bed, utterly motionless, yet the bell rang three times again. The vibrations that shivered through my bare chest seemed much too strong to have been produced by such a tiny clapper. A third set of three rings followed, and then only silence. I waited and wondered until dawn crept down the sky and across the bedroom windows.

Later that morning in early March, when I walked downtown to buy blue jeans and a few pairs of socks, I met a guy who had a .45 pistol and a desire to commit a few murders. From that encounter, the day grew uglier as surely as the sun moved from east to west.

My name is Odd Thomas. I have accepted my oddness. And I am no longer surprised that I am drawn to trouble as reliably as iron to a magnet.

Nineteen months ago, when I was twenty, I should have been riddled with bullets in that big-­news shopping-­mall shoot-­out in Pico Mundo, a desert town in California. They say that I saved a lot of people in my hometown. Yet many died. I didn’t. I have to live with that.

Stormy Llewellyn, the girl I loved more than life itself, was one of those who died that day. I saved others, but I couldn’t save her. I have to live with that, too. Living is the price I pay for failing her, a high price that must be paid every morning that I wake.

In the nineteen months since that day of death, I have traveled in search of the meaning of my life. I learn by going where I have to go.

Currently I rented a quaint, furnished three-­bedroom cottage in a quiet coastal town a couple of hundred miles from Pico Mundo. The front porch faced the sea, and yellow bougainvillea cascaded across half the roof.

Annamaria, whom I had known only since late January, occupied one of the bedrooms. She appeared to be ready to give birth in about a month, but she claimed that she had been pregnant for a long time and insisted that she would be pregnant longer still.

Although she said many things that I failed to understand, I believed that she always spoke the truth. She was mysterious but not deceptive.

We were friends, never paramours. A lover who is enigmatic will most likely prove to be a cataclysm waiting to happen. But a charming friend whose usual warmth is raveled through with moments of cool inscrutability can be an intriguing companion.

The morning when I set out on a shopping expedition, Annamaria followed me as far as the porch. She said, “Daylight savings time doesn’t start for another five days.”

At the bottom of the steps, I turned to look at her. She wasn’t a beauty, but she wasn’t plain, either. Her clear pale skin appeared to be as smooth as soap, and her large dark eyes, which reflected the sparkling sea, seemed as deep as galaxies. In sneakers, gray-­khaki pants, and a baggy sweater, she was so petite that she might have been a child dressed in her father’s clothes.

Not sure why she had mentioned daylight savings time, I said, “I won’t be long. I’ll be back hours before sunset.”

“Darkness doesn’t fall to a predictable schedule. Darkness can overwhelm you any time of the day, as you know too well.”

She once told me that there are people who want to kill her. Although she had said no more and had not identified her would-­be murderers, I believed that she was as truthful about this as about all Praise for Deeply Odd and Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series
 
“Not since Watchers has Dean Koontz created such an endearing and enduring character as Odd Thomas. . . . One of our contemporary masters.”San Antonio Express-News
 
“[A] popular series . . . Koontz asks real questions about the nature of good and evil.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Odd evokes the homespun wisdom of Forrest Gump amid the mind-spinning adventures of a Jack Bauer. . . . The ultimate Everyman . . . an avatar of hope and honor and courage for all of us—the linchpin of a rollicking good tale.”—BookPage
 
“There’s never anything predictable about an Odd Thomas adventure. Another satisfying entry in this wildly popular series. It’s Koontz, and it’s Odd. Class dismissed.”Booklist


From the Hardcover edition.


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