Lightning by Dean Koontz – A Review

Dean Koontz is the author of 71 books from Star Quest in 1968, to his most recent (currently) Innocence – released in October 2014, and this is the first of his that I have read, which was written in 1988, so all of the technology, information, laws, etc., are set in 1989.

The book starts with the birth of a baby, along with a lightning storm, and a doctor being held against his will by a blond man to stop him being at the birth of a baby, and unfortunately the mother dies in childbirth. This is not a spoiler as it is in the first pages. The story then goes on a few years and finds the baby as a young girl with her father in a shop when a man comes in to rob the shop. Suddenly, after a lightning storm, a man with blond hair turns up to deal with him and vanishes again. As the girl grows up, going through different parts of her life, the same man turns up at various instances, usually when the girl, Laura Shane, finds her life in considerable danger. She starts to see him as her guardian. For several years, he is nowhere to be seen, and in that time she becomes a massively best-selling author.

After a life changing incident when the guardian turns up again, he explains everything, and then the book takes a new turn. It becomes a race for survival as Laura and her family have to deal with people who are the same as her guardian. They have to use all of the means at the disposal that Laura Shane researched for her books, coming to a climactic life and death finale where the guardian has to place himself in harm’s way several times and using all the means at his disposal, and then some that are not, to save Laura’s family.

Several times in the book, I actually laughed out loud, and sometimes I found I was holding my breath. the twist at the end being one such time that made me laugh.

The book has multiple twists and the directionality of the changes is like a rollercoaster ride following a family on their trip through a metaphorical hell and beyond.

I have no idea what other books by Koontz are like, but after reading this one, I will be reading more. Would I recommend this book to friends? definitely if they are into a story of family life, action, drama, sci-fi, romance, loss, hate, comedy.

27 thoughts on “Lightning by Dean Koontz – A Review

  1. I’ve only read a few Dean Koontz books but this was one of them and my favorite. Another one I read was absolutely terrible, although I guess with that many books, some are going to be a bit off. I’d still read more if I had the chance.

    • The book I have just started to read – Garden of the Moon – the author says at the beginning that there is no shades of grey, you either really like his books or you hate them.

  2. Nice review, Al. I had one dean Koontz book somewhere form years back I don’t even remember the title. Actually several of his books are sold here but somehow, the two of us have not clicked. Maybe I should give him a second chance. 🙂

    • I kept avoiding his books until this one, and it really was good. Apparently several are similar in that era, which he admits in his “afterword” but then changes his style

  3. Oh, I am glad that you ended up liking it! I am pretty sure I know which twist at the end you are talking about too. 🙂

    I am in a re-reading phase, so I may have to read this (again) after I finish Pet Sematary (again).

    • I started reading that just after I watched the film, but I was so used to reading James Herbert, I couldn’t get into King. My next book to read is going to be a completely different genre 🙂

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