New Read: Innocence


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?


8 thoughts on “New Read: Innocence

  1. I’ve read three books by Koontz that I really enjoyed: Watchers, Lightning and Phantoms. (In fact, I’ve read Watchers more than once.) Innocence sounds even better. Can’t wait to give it a read. Thanks! 🙂

  2. I haven’t read any of his books, though I’ve often been tempted. This one sounds like an updating of Beauty and the Beast – it actually reminded me of the old TV show of that name from back in the ’80s, when the “beast” also lived in tunnels below the city. But from memory the “beauty” in that series was a bit wishy-washy, always needing to be saved…

    1. FF, I hadn’t thought of it like that, but yes there is definitely elements akin to Beauty and the Beast. Although you don’t find out what is wrong with Addison’s appearance until the end – for most of the book he keeps his faced covered. Never fear though our heroine Gwyneth is not in the least wishy-washy and while she needs Addison’s help she is not helpless 😀

  3. The only book by Dean Koontz that I have read is Odd Hours. I liked the character Odd Thomas and the paranormal elements of the plot, but I thought the story had many unanswered threads, probably because it is part of a series and I read it as a stand-alone novel. I didn’t like it in general; it’s one of the few books I have rated below two stars.

    1. Carmen, I have heard of the Odd Thomas series; in fact there is an advert for it at the end of our copy of Innocence. I am glad you liked the character of Odd Thomas but sorry to hear that overall it rated low for you – sounds like you definitely need to read the books as a series.

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