Review

Relentless

by Dean Koontz

Cullen “Cubby” Greenwich is a happy man. His sixth
novel (One O’Clock Jump) has just been released and
is bound to be another bestseller. He has a beautiful, intelligent
wife named Penny, who loves him; a gifted six-year-old son, Milo;
and a dog, Lassie. They live in a nice house, and their
neighborhood is wonderful. What could possibly be wrong with
that?

Nothing, until Cubby gets a bad review from one of the
nation’s leading book critics, Shearman Waxx. It’s not
just a bad review, it’s a scathing one. Everyone tells him to
ignore it, to “just let it go.” Cubby intends to do
that, but when he inadvertently finds out that Waxx will be having
lunch the next day at a nearby restaurant, he can’t resist
the urge to be there just to get a glimpse of the man. Although he
doesn’t intend to make personal contact with the reviewer, an
unexpected encounter brings the writer and the critic face-to-face
in the men’s room. Cubby’s life is never the same after
that.

First, Waxx breaks into Cubby’s house. He doesn’t
steal anything, but leaves a photo of the happy family in the oven,
which of course destroys the picture and sends an ominous message
to Cubby and his loved ones. Believing their lives may be in
danger, Cubby and his family make plans to leave the house
temporarily. They pack suitcases with clothes and necessities with
the idea they will depart the next morning. But when Cubby
discovers what he believes is a bomb attached to the furnace, he
urges his wife and son to flee immediately. They get out moments
before their house explodes into a million pieces. The next few
weeks are spent playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse, where
the Greenwich family is pursued by Waxx and his group of lunatics
bent on destroying him and other writers like him.

RELENTLESS features a number of eccentric characters. Goofy and
lovable Cubby has a dark secret from his past. Penny is the creator
of children’s books and the daughter of survivalist parents
who have built their own underground safe house just in case the
world is taken over by terrorists. Milo is only six years old, but
he is a mathematical and mechanical genius who is constantly
tinkering with electronic gadgets and gizmos, one of which comes in
very handy in the storyline. Lassie isn’t your ordinary,
run-of-the-mill pooch, as you will discover. Waxx is not only a
book critic, he is also a lunatic; so is his mother. Milo’s
babysitter is the widow of a former Marine and police officer, but
according to the text, her husband “never won an
arm-wrestling contest with her.” And the list goes on.

Prolific novelist Dean Koontz brings this zany cast of
characters together in this suspense thriller with a touch of
science fiction and humor. Whether you’re a longtime reader
of Koontz or not, if you’re looking for a sci-fi novel with a
good storyline, this would be it. If you’re looking for a
book with humor and angst, this would be it. If you’re
looking for the perfectly crafted novel, with a totally believable
plot, this might not be it, as some parts of the tale are a bit
far-fetched and the ending is a tad weak. But, overall, this is a
good story and worth the time it takes to read it.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on January 23, 2011

Relentless
by Dean Koontz

  • Publication Date: April 27, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 055359172X
  • ISBN-13: 9780553591729