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Amazon rating: 5 out of 5 (love it)

Mikani Hisoka-O’Brien, our protagonist, is a generous woman, a beautiful local surfing legend carrying a secret–her ability to know people’s darkest secrets or most dreadful desires with a touch, an isolating gift And there’s handsome Pogo, the occasional boatsitter who hides his high IQ– and the one guy from whom Mikani cannot sense awful darkness or perversity, a guy without greed or envy, happy to slowly move toward romance with Mikani.

But Mikani, on a normal day, has things turn abnormal: she has a sudden encounter with evil. The evil is outwardly beautiful: “a hot blond psycho.” A hyper-narcissist. And Mikani learns from that gifted touch of hers that a woman is in grave peril. Mikani and Pogo act on this chilling insight, out to save the victim who is fated to die if there is no intervention. And so begins the terrifying journey of this very short thriller. (Of course, we have a darling doggie, because, after all this is Koontz.)

As is this author’s wonderful characterization trademark, the heroine is a good person we root for, as is her ally, and the villain is REALLY bad. Good vs evil in graceful, metaphor-jammed Koontzian prose. The setting is richly described, another thing we expect of Mr. K. He lets you “see” the sky and sea and paths of this oceanside town.

Expect a twist, right?

I’ll add that I happen to have enjoyed the romance between Mikani and Pogo. With her gift, every touch is something fraught with risk. Like Stormy and Oddie, it’s lovely to see two good folks find each other and find love.

Very brief but very good story that sets us up for the December Koontz release: Ashley Bell (which I preordered months ago). Like this story (and the other associated one), it’s set in Newport Beach. Pogo from this one will show up in the novel. Sadly, it seems that Mikani won’t.

Let me know if you enjoyed it, too.

Final Hour, a novella by Dean Koontz
Preorder ASHLEY BELL by Dean Koontz