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Velocity Mass Market Paperback – April 25, 2006


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553588257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553588255
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 10 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (375 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #877,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A diabolic killer plays a harrowing game of cat and mouse with a reclusive bartender in Koontz's latest gripping suspense thriller. Billy Wiles, a 30-something bartender and former writer, is content with his solitary Napa County existence listening to "beer-based psychoanalysis" from tavern regulars; visiting his hospitalized, comatose fiancée, Barbara; and carving wood sculptures. But the simple life gets mighty complicated when he finds a note with a deadly, time-sensitive ultimatum: he must choose between the death of a young schoolteacher or an elderly humanitarian in six hours. Reluctant local sheriff Lanny Olsen dismisses it as a joke until a comely teacher is found strangled and another threatening note appears—offering even less time for Billy to decide the fate of two more people. Who would have guessed that one of those people would be Olsen? After his friend's murder, Billy finds that the cunning killer has gained access to every aspect of his life as the ultimatums grow increasingly more personal. Suppressing horrific childhood memories, Billy scrambles to bury grisly incriminating evidence the murderer has deviously planted. More gruesome deaths and shaky suspicions trap Billy right in the demented killer's lair for just the beginning of Koontz's serpentine showdown. Graphic, fast-paced action, well-developed characters and relentless, nail-biting scenes show Koontz at the top of his game. (May 24)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–Bartender Billy Wiles's life spirals out of control after he finds a note on his windshield telling him that he has a choice: involve the police, and a lovely blonde schoolteacher dies. Do nothing, and an elderly woman active in charity work dies. His options only become harder once the killer targets people whom Billy knows and plants circumstantial evidence tying him to the crimes. His greatest fear is for his comatose fiancée, and he works frantically to find the murderer before Barbara is hurt. Koontz keeps the plot moving at an accelerating pace, and there are enough twists and turns to keep the story from being predictable. Billy isn't a hero in the traditional sense, but he is a sympathetic protagonist, an average man pushed to his limits by an implacable foe. Although there is a great deal of violence and an impressive body count, the worst of it occurs off-screen. The themes aren't subtle, but they are worth considering--the importance of connection and community, the enduring power of love, and the validity of modern art. Velocity is a fast, entertaining read.–Susan Salpini, TASIS–The American School in England
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

Customer Reviews

This book will keep you guessing till the very end.
Jamie Mathena
I found myself bored with a character I didn't like and a story with far too few loose ends to keep my interest.
Mark Welsh
I only like to read books about people and things that could really happen.
Steven James

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once I started this book, the plot grabbed me right from the beginning and would not let go. Even though it is a plot driven book, the main character is well developed, even though others, perhaps, are not. It makes no difference, however, as it is the intricate, tightly constructed plot that will grab the reader. This is quintessential Koontz at his best, producing a riveting page-turner, once again.

Billy Wiles is a formerly promising writer turned barkeep. He has experienced a goodly amount of tragedy in his life. Orphaned at fourteen, he is haunted by the unusual circumstances surrounding the death of his parents. He is also devoted to his fiancee, Barbara, who lies in a comatose state in a nursing home, the victim of the fickle finger of fate. She has been given little hope of recovery. While Billy appears to be an easygoing, hardworking regular Joe, he goes through life with despair etched in the very way that he lives.

One night, however, a pivotal event occurs that will forever change Billy's life. A note is left under the windshield wipers of his car. The note gives him a most unusual ultimatum. It tells him that if he does not take the note to the police, securing their involvement, "a lovely blonde schoolteacher from the Napa Valley" will be murdered. The note also conversely tells Billy that if he does take the note to the police, "an elderly woman active in charity work" will, instead, be murdered. These are the two choices for which Billy has been given six hours to decide.

What Billy chooses to do and what follows are the stuff of which nightmares are made. Suddenly, Billy's formerly quiet, prosaic life takes on a new dimension, one in which reality is suspended, as the first note is followed by a series of them.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on May 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
At the very beginning of Velocity, there is a list of books that Dean Koontz has written; I did a quick count and figured that I've read over forty books by Koontz. I think that Koontz is a good writer; beyond that, he is also a reliable one. When I pick up a Koontz book, I know it will be good: most Koontz books I would rate four stars; there are few three or five star works, and none at all at the one or two star level. Velocity is no exception: it is another four star novel.

Velocity follows Billy Wiles, a bartender in a small Napa Valley community. Billy is something of a loner, deeply affected by his fiancee Barbara slipping into a coma four years earlier; the impact of her condition has kept him from getting really close to anyone else. He is detached from life as well; other than visiting Barbara, he just works and does little else. This detachment ceases when he finds a note on his truck: the unsigned message informs him that the writer intends to kill someone: either an old woman or a young one, depending on whether or not he contacts the police. Billy discusses this with a cop buddy, who advises that it appears to be a practical joke; the next day, however, a young woman is killed and another note appears.

Billy soon realizes he's the pawn of a cunning serial killer who seems to relish the way Billy is manipulated. With the killer - who Billy thinks of as the "freak" - always a couple steps ahead, Billy is hard-pressed to even have time to think. Most of the messages Billy gets forces him into painful dilemmas that makes him choose which of two people to kill; even inaction results in a death.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once I started this book, the plot grabbed me right from the beginning and would not let go. Even though it is a plot driven book, the main character is well developed, even though others, perhaps, are not. It makes no difference, however, as it is the intricate, tightly constructed plot that will grab the reader. This is quintessential Koontz at his best, producing a riveting page-turner, once again.

Billy Wiles is a formerly promising writer turned barkeep. He has experienced a goodly amount of tragedy in his life. Orphaned at fourteen, he is haunted by the unusual circumstances surrounding the death of his parents. He is also devoted to his fiancee, Barbara, who lies in a comatose state in a nursing home, the victim of the fickle finger of fate. She has been given little hope of recovery. While Billy appears to be an easygoing, hardworking regular Joe, he goes through life with despair etched in the very way that he lives.

One night, however, a pivotal event occurs that will forever change Billy's life. A note is left under the windshield wipers of his car. The note gives him a most unusual ultimatum. It tells him that if he does not take the note to the police, securing their involvement, "a lovely blonde schoolteacher from the Napa Valley" will be murdered. The note also conversely tells Billy that if he does take the note to the police, "an elderly woman active in charity work" will, instead, be murdered. These are the two choices for which Billy has been given six hours to decide.

What Billy chooses to do and what follows are the stuff of which nightmares are made. Suddenly, Billy's formerly quiet, prosaic life takes on a new dimension, one in which reality is suspended, as the first note is followed by a series of them.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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