Written with Krazy-Glu, Koontz's 27th book is his most gripping chiller yet.
Simple as a snaplock, the story relentlessly lives up to its title--even the flashbacks rise above filler as they allow slight easings before the next plot lurch. Demanding much of itself, Koontz's style bleaches out genre clichÇs and hackneyed dialogue while also showing a genius for detail and a daunting mastery of motors, tools, hinges, and housewares arcana. The story: Chyna Sheperd, a psychology grad in her late 20s, visits her close friend Laura Templeton's family in Napa Valley on the very night that the country house is invaded by ``homicidal adventurer'' and sensation freak Edgler (pronounced Edge-ler) Foreman Vess. Vess murders Laura's parents, her brother and sister-in-law, then makes off with Laura in his big motor home. Unbeknownst to Vess, Chyna, in hiding, witnesses much of this, and, armed only with a butcher knife, sneaks into the trailer hoping to save Laura. But Laura is dead, as is a young hitchhiker hung by manacles in a closet with his eyes sewn shut and lips closed with two buttons. Worse, Chyna is herself a semiprisoner, escaping unseen only when Vess stops at a gas station, kills the attendants, and takes Polaroids of their corpses. Vess, Chyna now knows, has 16-yard-old Ariel imprisoned in his home. Thus, still alone, she steals a Honda and trails Vess, who drives up into Oregon where he has a spotlessly clean two-story log cabin in a deep woods, some high-tech computer equipment--and Ariel. Once Chyna slips inside, looking for Ariel, she finds herself looped in ribbons of Koontz's Supertacky Flypaper.
A suspense masterpiece that leaves its competitors buried in dust. (First printing of 600,000; Literary Guild main selection)