Thursday, 21 March 2013

''Shattered''- Book review

Author: Dean Koontz
Published: 1973

Genres: Novel, Suspense, Mystery, Horror, Thriller

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


Dean Koontz's well-written suspense/horror novel is a very likeable one. Alex Doyle, a newly-married 30-year-old man, is, along with his 11-year-old brother-in-law Colin, traveling from Philadelphia to their new home in California on a Ford Thunderbird. Doyle's wife, Courtney, had gone to California before them to decorate their new home. Doyle is a reserved person with only a few friends. Colin is studious, intellectual, creative.

It all starts as one of Colin's games. While they start their journey, Colin notices a van behind them, and makes up his mind that someone must be following them.  Both Colin and Doyle take it lightheartedly at first, but the van doesn't stop moving away from them, and... is it actually following them?

The person driving the van is George Leland, ex-boyfriend of Doyle's wife Courtney. They had broken up some years ago, but now George's plan is to get Courtney back again... to be near her again. But for that, he must remove all the obstacles from his way. AND the obstacles preventing him to get together with Courtney again are Alex and Doyle themselves.

I really liked ''Shattered''. The suspense is built up well, and Koontz is successful in writing a wonderful thriller. Another wonderful thing is, the novel never forgets human emotions. Doyle becomes very attached to Colin because when he was of Colin's age, his personality matched that of Colin. I loved the way how Doyle loves Courtney and Colin, how without these two people, Doyle's life would be meaningless. The parts dealing with the bond between Alex and Colin are extremely sweet.

But I didn't really feel attracted to the parts dealing with George Leland. An unpleasant character he is, and it's more unpleasant to read about him. Dean Koontz is successful in presenting a nasty character like Leland in a nasty way, and the sweet characters like Doyle and Colin, in a sweet way.

I didn't really like the car chase scenes. My least favorite genre is action, and the thing I dislike about action films are the meaningless action scenes without any art. Not that all action films are like that. Anyways, action scenes in ''Shattered'' are well written, but they are lengthy. That's what makes them so irritating.

Detective Ernie Hoval's investigation about who murdered a policeman (who was actually murdered by Leland himself) is brought into no noticeable conclusion, and that's another displeasing thing abut this book.

But the scary scenes are well-written, the sudden shocks are well-presented, and overall, it's a wonderful novel. It is also very touching, especially the character Doyle, whose emotions for Courtney and Colin is sweetest thing in this novel.

3.5 out of 5 

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