VELOCITY…fear never slows down…
Author: Dean Koontz
Publisher: Bantam books.
Synopsis: If you don’t take this note to the police…I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher… if you do…I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have six hours to decide. The choice is yours.
The typewritten note under his windshield seems like just a sick joke. But in less than 24 hours Billy Wiles, an ordinary, hardworking guy, is about to see his life take on the speed of a nightmare.
Because a young blond schoolteacher is murdered-and now Billy has another note.
And another deadline.
This time he knows its no joke. He’s racing a killer faster than evil itself. And Billy must accept his terrifying challenge: The choice is yours.
Excerpt: In the choice between a lovely blond schoolteacher and a charitable old woman, the deaths seemed equally tragic unless you were biased toward the beautiful and against the aged. Making an active decision resulted in neither less nor greater tragedy than did inaction.
When the possible victims had been an unmarried man, “who won’t be missed by the world” or a young mother of two, the greater tragedy had seemed to be the death of the mother. In that case, the choice had been constructed so that Billy’s failure to go to the police ensured the mother’s survival, rewarding inaction and playing to his weakness.
Once again, he was being asked to choose between two evils, and thereby become the freak’s collaborator. But this time, inaction was not a viable option. By saying nothing, he would be sentencing the redhead to torture, to a protracted and hideous death. By responding, he would be granting her a decree of mercy.
He could not save her.
In either case, death.
But one death would be cleaner than the other.
My review: Speedy, as promised, this book scans the deepest thoughts that go on in Billy’s mind when he’s faced with two horrifying choices. Action has a consequence, but then, so does inaction. Dismissing the first note as a joke, Billy is quick to realize that there’s nothing funny about a man who is out to kill-out to perform. When the killer is apparently entering his house, using his computer and prowling around unnoticed, Billy knows he is going against evil in its worst form. He also realizes that the dead bodies have been planted with evidences that could possibly convict him for all the murders the freak has committed.
This is when Billy realizes that he needs to take things in his own hands. Making heart-wrenching decisions and going in search for the killer, Billy starts a life changing adventure which will expose him to the evils of the larger world…and also to those which a fearful human mind might make in desperate times.
The book is quite well written and the story doesn’t dwindle and dawdle. The thoughts could have been edited a little as they get too lengthy and repetitive after a while…just skip the paragraphs where he starts thinking if you like. (I haven’t done that :D.) Some people might find the end a wee bit disappointing. But as for me, it was quite the twist that made the story less predictable.
Ernest Hemingway: a man can be destroyed but not defeated (Old man and the sea) is the spirit of this book…and the book has remained true to it!