Dean Koontz has been one of my favorite horror authors for quite a few years now. Since I hadn’t discovered him until after he was an accomplished writer, I am excited to know that I still have many books of his to read. The funniest part is I usually wait a few months in between reading his books and after I read them, I wonder why I waited so long. Unfortunately it wasn’t the case with Dragon Tears.
The story starts with five different people being visited by a man, who can’t be real and who appears to each one of them in a form of their biggest fears. Harry Lyon and Connie Gulliver are cop partners, Sammy is a homeless guy who lost his fortune due to his drug addiction, Janet and Danny are a mom and son running away from their horrible lives with Janet’s abusive husband. They all are brought together by a dog that can sense they are threatened by the same person. The man haunting them, dubbed Ticktock, gives these people sixteen hours to live, during which time he plays mercilessly with their fears and their psyche.
The story is, by all means a good one. Once again, Koontz delivers a tale that cannot possibly ever happen and yet somehow, I found myself believing the unbelievable and not once questioning the premise of it. Koontz has the uncanny ability to create the most outrageous characters and turn them into people that might very well be living among us. His writing style is commendable as well. It’s sharp, quick and to the point with some surprisingly profound thoughts and ideas. Dragon Tears has all that. What it doesn’t have, is the usual shocking twist to the story. The evil character was quite predictable, maybe even a little boring at times. Where the storytelling exceeded, the action lacked a few sparks here and there. The book wasn’t altogether bad, just not among Koontz’s best.
It didn’t leave me disappointed or frustrated, however. Dean Koontz is still a master at his craft. Dragon Tears, as any other of Koontz’s books, left me with some deep truths to ponder upon and an appreciation of his writing skills.
"Everyone’s a victim these days. No one’s a victimizer. No matter what atrocity you commit, you can stake a claim for sympathy, moan about being a victim of racism, sexism, ageism, classism, prejudice against fat people, ugly people, dumb people, smart people. That’s why you robbed a bank or blew away that cop, because you’re a victim, there’re a million ways to be a victim. Yeah, sure, you devalue the honest complaints of real victims, but what the hell, we only go around once, might as well get your piece of the action, and who cares about those real victims anyway, for God’s sake, they’re losers."