I’ve been a Dean Koontz fan since I was a kid; I even did a fair job of collecting a lot of his books at the time. A couple of years ago, I got reacquainted with Koontz through Odd Thomas. This is the story of a young man who sees ghosts and is often compelled to help them move on to the next life, whether it be through reassuring words or by resolving whatever unfinished business it is that is holding them here.
Odd has other gifts as well. One is something that he calls “psychic magnetism” – it is the ability that, when he thinks almost exclusively about a single person (living), he will inevitably be drawn to them. He can walk or drive, seemingly at random, but ultimately will nearly always find the object of his thoughts. Odd has discovered that this can also work in reverse, by drawing people to him of whom he is thinking. This is typically the less desirable option, as it can have the unintended consequence of drawing danger blindly to himself. So Odd prefers to seek out the object before it can find him.
There are also creatures that Odd calls _bodachs_, though that is not actually what they are. These beings are singularly evil, being shadowy creatures that are drawn to cataclysmic events – events that, if not prevented, end in immeasurable pain and suffering. These bodachs seem to delight and subsist on these horrors, so wherever Odd is aware of bodachs, he works to determine what this event will be and attempts to stop it before it can begin.
In _Odd Thomas_ we are introduced to this colorful and unique character as he, along with the love of his life, Stormy Llewellyn, a girl every bit as odd as Odd himself, race toward an unknown but devastating event that has brought hundreds of bodachs to the sleepy little town of Pico Mundo, California. Odd and Stormy race against time, fleeing poltergeists, meeting with ghosts (who, incidentally do not communicate with the living), driving the ghost of Elvis around town, and seeking out ruthless killers. Not a bad day’s work for a fry cook.
Like the rest of Koontz’s work, _Odd Thomas_ is fast-paced from beginning to end and captivating to the last page. Who else could literally resurrect the King of Rock and Roll without the effect being cludgy? You’ll love Odd Thomas and the entire cast of characters that springs up around him – from a delightfully (but frightfully) obese author to the sheriff of Pico Mundo to the owner of the Pico Grille where Odd slings up hash every morning. This book is a great read and must-have for all Dean Koontz fans.