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Hideaway Hardcover – January 16, 1992
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
YA-- Koontz's latest thriller sits at the intersection of the weird and the ordinary. Once again, he explores a ``what if'' scenario in a most satisfying fashion. In this case, a near-death survivor accidentally carries a piggy-backing evil spirit through an open door from the afterlife. Hatch Harrison, the typical good-guy hero, is revived by a brilliant team of doctors more than an hour after drowning. Strange visions and half-waking dreams soon convince him that his recovery is not at all normal. His fears are soon magnified when people who have annoyed him are murdered, and he knows that he is somehow responsible. Paralleling the story of Hatch's recovery is the unfolding revelation of a young man so evil that ordinary people cannot imagine his existence. As he skulks about selecting victims to murder and mutilate, a bizarre bond develops between the two men. Gory incidents tumble one after another as the two men become locked in first a psychic and then a physical battle between good and evil. The violent climax is symbolically set in an abandoned amusement park where at last the true duel identity of the murderer is revealed. Once again, evil is resoundingly defeated, but as any Koontz fan knows, the victory is only temporary.
-Carolyn E. Gecan, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Koontz's novels crest bestseller lists not only for their heart-pounding horrors but also for their celebration of righteousness and redemption. Here, the author of Cold Fire, etc., offers his most overtly religious tale yet--a fiercely exciting battle between two men who have returned from the dead. The California-set conflict is as simple as good vs. evil. In a roaringly suspenseful opening, antique-dealer Hatch Harrison, the soul of sweetness, drowns during a car accident that nearly kills his wife Lindsey as well, and is surgically ``reanimated'' after a record 80 minutes dead. Meanwhile, a life-hating young man known only by his self-adopted demonic name of Vassago stalks the subbasement of a nearby abandoned amusement park, admiring the rotting bodies of those he's sacrificed to Satan in hopes of being allowed to return to hell--which he apparently visited during his own brush with death. Upon awakening, Hatch's first words are ``Something's out there''--for he now suffers a psychic link with Vassago, who, days later, reaps a new ``trophy'' as Hatch helplessly flashes on the savage killing. And at the same time, Vassago flashes on Hatch's world, including Lindsey and spunky, crippled Regina, the orphan the Harrisons have just adopted in their new embrace of life after years of mourning a son lost to cancer. Deciding that vibrant Regina would make the perfect final offering to Satan, Vassago--revealed through tense and brutal flashback as the homicidally deranged son of the surgeon who saved Hatch--cuts a bloody path to the Harrisons' door, kidnapping Regina off to his underground lair. In a slam-bang finale, amidst charnel- house horrors, the Harrisons take on Vassago with a gun, a crucifix, and a little angelic help. A grandly melodramatic morality play that will have Koontz's fans--both here and in heaven--cheering. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for March) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Hideaway is not one of my favorite Koontz books. On a positive note, Koontz places emphasis on family being there for each other and standing up for what is right. However, I did not see the strength in the characters that I usually find in his books. One of the positive aspects was how Hatch's death and resuscitation have changed the relationship between the Harrisons in their marriage and that they come to accept the death of their young son, five years previously. Hatch and Lindsey even decide to share their new-found appreciation of life by adopting a child with specials needs.
In the scene where the child (Regina) first meets the Harrisons she does everything to make them NOT want to adopt her, exaggerating her handicap and constantly referring to herself as a "cripple" but the reader knows she is anything but and this was one of the scenes I most enjoyed in the book. But after Regina comes home with the Harrisons, although she remains somewhat feisty, her character doesn't really develop and she seems to have the role of the child who needs saving.
I didn't care for the villain in this novel. Koontz showed us his evil side but didn't make him seem as if he ever had been a "real" person.
I still enjoyed the book but would not necessarily recommend it as a first read for someone looking to discover the art of Dean Koontz.