In the fourth installment of his Frankenstein series (Dead and Alive, 2009, etc.), Koontz posits a new kind of vexation with the same old objective: Kill everybody.
For reasons that may not prove perfectly clear to all readers, Koontz’s Frankentstein has gone over, having dedicated himself to the obliteration of humankind: “the ultimate annihilator,” he calls himself. In effect, Frankenstein and the monster have traded places. And dispositions. Shelley’s monster was a card-carrying fright, prone to running amuck and scaring villagers. Koontz’s—Deucalion by name—has had an epiphany and, having been redeemed, is now a committed Frankenstein-hunter. Deucalion is thoroughly aware of how slippery his foe is, and it rattles him. “I saw him die,” he tells a friend. “But he lives again. Somehow…he lives.” Collecting a pair of tested members of the Frankenstein-hunter fellowship—private eyes Carson O’Connor-Maddison and her husband Michael—Deucalion sets off after the bad doctor, convinced that if he isn’t stopped Frankenstein will plague humankind with still another threat to its existence. He’s right, of course. Enter the replicants: new and improved zombies, programmed for mass murder.
Comic strip characters and pedestrian prose—pretty silly stuff really, but we all know how it works for Koontz: 400,000,000 copies sold in 38 languages, give or take.