Relentless by Dean Koontz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had read this book at the time of original publication, as I do all Mr. Koontz’ novels; but in the intervening time since the fall of 2009, I had forgotten again (or had set aside remembrance of) how this very special author affects my perspective. Mr. Koontz looks the decline of culture right in the eye, and acknowledges how low society has sunk; yet despite his clear-eyed awareness, he can find hope, faith, and yes, joy, in life-and he can communicate those qualities to the readers of his excellent storytelling. Dean Koontz is not just a bestseller; in my opinion he is an icon.
In “Relentless,” Mr. Koontz takes on a subject that I’m certain is close to his heart, and one that I have become aware of as an unpublished novelist and member of writers’ groups and book clubs online. Just how far is a reviewer-a literary critic-allowed to go in condemning or denigrating a novel? Are insults allowed? Condemnation? Threats?
Certainly no normal reviewer would take the routes that Shearman Waxx does. An “esteemed” critic (or so our protagonist Cubby is informed), Waxx is much more than he appears-and all of what he is and does is utterly horrendous-violent, graphic, and the epitome of sadistic. Waxx doesn’t just insult novelists: he destroys them. Now it’s Cubby’s turn-he and his family have been targeted, and he doesn’t yet know why-unless it’s something to do with this exceptional, child-prodigy, son. Whatever the reasons behind Waxx’s parade of atrocities, if the answers aren’t discovered soon-and Waxx leveled six feet under-Cubby, his wife Penny, and their son Milo-will soon be tortured and murdered too.
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