Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.
When the Russians sabotage a genetic research project in California, two mutated creatures escape from the lab. One is a golden retriever with high enough intelligence to think and communicate with humans; the other is the Outsider, a vicious monster created from a baboon and bred to kill. Both the man who befriends and adopts the dog and his new bride find themselves stalked by government agents anxious to find the dog, a particularly repulsive Mafia hit man intent on stealing him, and the Outsider, with whom the dog is linked telepathically. Koontz ( Strangers ) is truly a master at creating suspense, and his opening and closing scenes are full of delicious tension. Only in the middle does the chase seem a bit long. But Koontz is in top form with an exciting premise, likable heroes, and the most endearing nonhuman since E.T. For all popular fiction collections. Eric W. Johnson, Univ. of Bridgeport Lib., Ct.
Cross Lassie with E.T., add a touch of The Wolfen and a dash of The Godfather, and you get a sense of some of the ingredients in this supernatural thriller, which should move Koontz ( Strangers a notch closer to Stephen King's high-rent district. When Travis Cornell, Koontz's appealing hero, encounters a stray dog while hiking, he quickly realizes that the animal is most unusual and that something terrifying is stalking them both. The encounter with the dog is the beginning of a tightly woven plot involving genetic manipulation that has created two extraordinary animals; one is the dog, named Einstein, the other is a murderous hybrid called ``The Outsider.'' Hunted down by both the government and a professional killer who has learned the secret of the animals, Travis, Einstein and Nora Devon, a lonely woman befriended by man and canine, attempt to escape their pursuers all the while knowing that a confrontation with The Outsider is inevitable. Though the climax packs a little less wallop than it deserves, this is the sort of thoroughly frightening and entertaining tale that has its readers listening for noises in the night. 100,000 first printing; 100,000 ad/promo; Liteary Guild main selection. (February 23)
YA A book that incorporates elements of both the horror tale and the action thriller, and the result is an intriguing and enjoyable novel. Watchers is a retelling of the Frankenstein theme with a twist: two creatures, quite different from each other, roam the land. Two animals who are unlike any other animals as a result of DNA research escape from a top-secret laboratory. One is divinely inspiring, engendering love and caring. The other is a hellish nightmare that leaves unspeakable slaughter in its wake. The two creatures and a supporting cast of charactersa government agent, a hired killer, a decent recluse, and a lonely womanare inevitably brought together in a climactic and satisfying showdown. While the plot developments occasionally seem a bit forcedthis is one book that could actually have profited by some extra lengththe shortcomings are minor. Watchers is a satisfying example of good storytelling. Karl Penny, Houston Public Library
Praise for Watchers
"His best story yet! Cross Lassie with E.T., add a touch
of The Wolfen and a dash of The Godfather, and you get a sense of
some of the ingredients in this thriller....this is the sort of
thoroughly frightening and entertaining tale that has its readers
listening for noises in the night."--Publishers Weekly
"His best ever, an imaginative and unusual blend of sense and sentiment. A fable about love and trust...with echoes of Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau. A breakthrough for Koontz."--Kirkus Reviews "Displaying...more depth and a lot more humor than Stephen King, Dean Koontz has really hit his stride."--The New York Times Book Review "Convincing characters, good dialogue...written in prose of a literary quality that puts most bestselling authors to shame."--Los Angeles Daily News "Watchers is so well crafted that it is nearly everything one could wish for in a modern suspense novel....First-class entertainment."--The Cleveland Pain Dealer More Praise for Dean Koontz "Dean Koontz is a prose stylist whose lyricism heightens malevolence and tension. [He creates] characters of unusual richness and depth."--The Seattle Times "Tumbling, hallucinogenic prose....'Serious' writers...might do well to examine his technique."--The New York Times Book Review "Lyrical writing and compelling characters...Koontz stands alone."--Associated Press "In every industry there exist 'artists' that are not only unforgettable, but know their craft better than the rest. Dean Koontz...is among these artisans."--Suspense Magazine "[Koontz] has always had near-Dickensian powers of description, and an ability to yank us from one page to the next that few novelists can match."--Los Angeles Times "Perhaps more than any other author, Koontz writes fiction perfectly suited to the mood of America...novels that acknowledge the reality and tenacity of evil but also the power of good...[and that] entertain vastly as they uplift."--Publishers Weekly