Over the years, my dad has read many of Dean Koontz’s books, he has kept recommending him to me and even lent me his copies of The Demon Seed and Innocence. Both have sat on my to-be-read pile for too long until I finally picked this up in November.
In Innocence, Koontz’s introduces us to Addison Goodheart – a young man who is forced to live a secretive and isolated existence in hidden chambers, and a network of storm drains and service tunnels beneath the city. Due to the overwhelming fear and fury which leads men and women to extreme violence, apparently caused by merely looking at him. His only solace and refuge is in books – a passion he feeds with midnight trips to the central library. Where, in a turn of chance or destiny, he meets Gwyneth – a girl who opens his eyes to a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.
This book is solely narrated by Addison – a kind, loving and forgiving soul, who though he is forced to live a painfully isolated life fearing for his life, is still able to find the joy in life and to see the good in others. Koontz cleverly pieces together Addison’s life and reveals his extraordinary nature through short, snap shot chapters that jumps about in time; spanning from when he was an eight year old child living with his mother in a cabin the woods to the present day living alone below ground. His entire life he has had to live a cautious and fearful life due to his unusually appearance.
But that solitude is suddenly broken when he meets the young, beautiful Gwyneth who is running for her life. Gwyneth has her own issues with phobias of crowds and being touched. Unlike Addison though Gwyneth has had the advantage of wealth to help her shape a life of sorts in the world above. In each other they seem to have found their kindred spirit and after just one meeting Addison finds his life turned upside down, as together they race around the city trying to right many wrongs and save lives.
I am so pleased I finally got round to reading Dean Koontz, as this was an interesting, twisting and well crafted thriller, with a touch of the supernatural that compelling grows the deeper you get into it all. While I made a slow start to this book, about a quarter of the way in I was hooked. My only niggle would be that now and again I found the description a little disjointed – I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why – but it wasn’t often and certainly spoil the brilliant story telling.
In conclusion, Innocence was a gripping thriller that followed two extraordinary characters. Now I have enjoyed one of Koontz’s novels, I hope it won’t be long till I pick up The Demon Seed. Good read.
Have you read this? Or anything else by Dean Koontz?