What connects the nightmares of strangers ...?
Dean Koontz was born into a very poor family and learned early on to escape into fiction. His novels have sold over 200 million copies worldwide and more than thirty have appeared on national and international bestseller lists. He lives in southern California with his wife, Gerda and a vivid imagination.
The author of Phantoms, Whispers and other thrillers takes an unconscionable time to tell his latest story. The ``strangers'' are thousands of miles apart when they begin to suffer inexplicable terrors. In California, Dom Corvaisis sleepwalks, fleeing from an unseen menace. In Massachusetts, gifted young Dr. Ginger Weiss's panic attacks threaten her career. A priest in the Midwest loses his faith suddenly, then finds he can heal fatally injured people. And, in Elko, Nevada, the owner of a motela tough ex-Marinebecomes paralyzed by fears of the dark. Mysterious clues bring these characters and others, similarly afflicted, to the motel, where apparently they had met long before. As they compare experiences, the victims realize they've been brainwashed and determine to find out why. That means facing death at the hands of a maniac in a scene that finally induces frissons of terror in the reader. But it's too late; Koontz has vitiated suspense throughout the narrative with numbing repetitions and long explanations of such matters as Jewish cooking, the baldachin over the altar at St. Patrick's Cathedral, a weaver's tools, etc. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild dual selection. (April 18)
Six strangers are unaccountably seized by nightmares, attacks of fear, and bouts of uncharacteristic behavior. The six begin to seek each other out as puzzling photographs and messages arrive, indicating that the cause may lie in a forgotten weekend stay at an isolated Nevada motel. Koontz has topped a fine roster of horror and suspense novels with an almost unbearably suspenseful page-turner. His ability to maintain the mystery through several plot twists is impressive, as is his array of believable and sympathetic characters. With its masterful blend of elements of espionage, terror, and even some science fiction, Strangers may be the suspense novel of the year. Recommended for popular collections. Literary Guild dual main selection. Eric W. Johnson, Univ. of Bridgeport Lib . , Conn.