Skip to content

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

December 12, 2015

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz comes the must-read thriller of the year, perfect for readers of dark psychological suspense and modern classics of mystery and adventure.

Bibi Blair is a fierce, funny, dauntless young woman – whose doctor says she has one year to live.

She replies, ‘We’ll see.’

Her sudden recovery is a medical miracle.

An enigmatic woman convinces Bibi that she escaped death so that she can save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell.

But who is Ashley Bell? And what exactly does she need saving from?

Bibi’s obsession with finding Ashley sends her on the run from threats both mystical and worldly, including a rich and charismatic cult leader with terrifying ambitions.

 

I like Dean Koontz writing, especially the Odd books.  It’s  difficult to write about the books, though, partly because the plots are, well, fantastical but also because you either get them or you don’t.  Certainly, it  wouldn’t do to summarise the plot for fear of offering up way too many spoilers.
There are people I know who can’t bear the overt religious symbolism in his writing, though that’s never especially got in the way for me.

Koontz lives and writes of the world between reality and fantasy, between dark horror and bright light. In Ashley Bell, he follows this same pattern much as you would expect, though with a slightly lighter touch than in some of his works. There is, of course, tension and malevolence, but it is threaded through with a gentler exploration of self-awareness and imagination.

There is humour and some interesting playing with names that I enjoyed, including a very nice tribute to Patricia Highsmith, but overall, this is not a satisfying book.

I got quite caught up in the beginning, where Bibi Blair is visited by death, aged 22. And I enjoyed learning about her early life and inclinations and the people she knew and how her experiences had led her to become a published writer. Koontz plays with themes of writers and writing throughout the book – there are some rather nice observations on the frustrations of writers whose characters won’t behave the way the writer wants them to, and some rather lyrical writing.

This is, ultimately, a story about love and redemption and the power of story telling and imagination. I liked some of the characters and their relationship to and love for love for Bibi.

But it’s weakness lies in in the plot construction and the device that is ultimately quite unsatisfying that explains what has been going on in Bibi’s world.

Not his best book, though I remain an admirer.

Ashley Bell is published by HarperCollins on 14 January 2016
.

From → Horror, Thriller

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Annual Bloggers Bash

The Official Website for the Best Blogging Event of the Year!

The Bibliofile

Book Reviews, Books, Bestsellers, Literary Fiction

Liz Loves Books

The Wonderful World of Reading

Daily (w)rite

Damyanti Biswas is an author, blogger, animal-lover, spiritualist. Her work is represented by Ed Wilson from the Johnson & Alcock agency. When not pottering about with her plants or her aquariums, you can find her nose deep in a book, or baking up a storm.

Being Anne...

Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting

Books in my Handbag Blog

"I love your book blog and am honoured to be there amongst such class" - Carol Drinkwater, Apr 2017

Short Book and Scribes

To the point book reviews and other bookish stuff

Bucks, Books & Beyond

This blog is for me to share with you where books have taken me recently.

Sandy's Book a Day Blog

A book a day is bliss😍

Over The Rainbow Book Blog

Book reviews and ramblings from a book mad mum of three!

Raven Crime Reads

Criminally good reads...

BOOKISH.LIFE.WORDS

Live the life of a reader

A Knight's Reads

All things bookish

Barbara Copperthwaite

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS TO GIVE YOU SHIVERS

Fictionophile

Fiction reviews, Bookblogger, Fiction book reviews, books, crime fiction, author interviews, mystery series, cover, love, bookish thoughts...

Audio Killed the Bookmark

Two Girls Who Love To Read Spreading the Love For All Things Bookish! 💕📚🎧

%d bloggers like this: