Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz

By asking "What if?"
Koontz challenges us to go
beyond just "what is."

I'm a long-time fan of Dean Koontz's novels. He has a knack for taking a scientific factoid (or quasi-factoid) and building an engaging story around it. In my first exposure to Koontz's work (thank you Heather for recommending Mr. Murder) consider what it would be like if you were cloned without your knowledge - and the clone was a hitman. In another book that really creeped me out, imagine if we could open a doorway to another dimension - but then forgetting it was a two-way street.

You get the point.

Dead and Alive is the third installment of Koontz' Frankenstein series which is pretty much what you probably think it is - Victor Frankenstein really had succeeded in re-animating the dead and creating life. The first two installments focus on current day New Orleans detectives who pick through the nasty results of Frankenstein plying his trade in their town.

Now, a digression. From the world of painting, a great example of a man isolated within a swirling and chaotic world is Van Gogh's 1889 self portrait. He looks so withdrawn and tense while around him dizzying vortices of paint provide a shifting, unstable background.

Without going into details that would risk giving away the plot, the detectives in Dead and Alive find themselves in a similar situation to Van Gogh; perpetually behind in a race against time as the spawn of Frankenstein cause chaos within the Big Easy. But, one author's havoc and chaos becomes one reader's farce or even silliness.

I'm still a fan of Koontz; but Dead and Alive isn't my favorite.

You can find Dean Koontz online at

I received no compensation of any kind for this review.

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