Dean Koontz has surpassed his longtime reputation as "America's most popular suspense novelist"(Rolling Stone) to become one of the most celebrated and successful writers of our time. Reviewers hail his boundless originality, his art, his unparalleled ability to create highly textured, riveting drama, at once viscerally familiar and utterly unique.
Author of one #1 The New York Times bestseller after another, Koontz is at the pinnacle of his powers, spinning mysteries and miracles, enthralling tales that speak directly to today's readers, balm for the heart and fire for the mind. In this stunning new novel, he delivers a tour de force of dark suspense and brilliant revelation that has all the Koontz trademarks: adventure, chills, riddles, humor, heartbreak, an unforgettable cast of characters, and a climax that will leave you clamoring for more.
Dylan O'Connor is a gifted young artist just trying to do the right thing in life. He's on his way to an arts festival in Santa Fe when he stops to get a room for himself and his twenty-year-old autistic brother, Shep. But in a nightmarish instant, Dylan is attacked by a mysterious "doctor," injected with a strange substance, and told that he is now a carrier of something that will either kill him...or transform his life in the most remarkable way. Then he is told that he must flee--before the doctor's enemies hunt him down for the secret circulating through his body. No one can help him, the doctor says, not even the police.
Stunned, disbelieving, Dylan is turned loose to run for his life...and straight into an adventure that will turn the next twenty-four hours into an odyssey of terror, mystery--and wondrous discovery. It is a journey that begins when Dylan and Shep's path intersects with that of Jillian Jackson. Before that evening Jilly was a beautiful comedian whose biggest worry was whether she would ever find a decent man. Now she too is a carrier. And even as Dylan tries to convince her that they'll be safer sticking together, cold-eyed men in a threatening pack of black Suburbans approach, only seconds before Jilly's classic Coupe DeVille explodes into thin air.
Now the three are on the run together, but with no idea whom they're running from--or why. Meanwhile Shep has begun exhibiting increasingly disturbing behavior. And whatever it is that's coursing through their bodies seems to have plunged them into one waking nightmare after another. Seized by sinister premonitions, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to crime scenes--just minutes before the crimes take place.
What this unfathomable power is, how they can use it to stop the evil erupting all around them, and why they have been chosen are only parts of a puzzle that reaches back into the tragic past and the dark secrets they all share: secrets of madness, pain, and untimely death. Perhaps the answer lies in the eerie, enigmatic messages that Shep, with precious time running out, begins to repeat, about an entity who does his work "by the light of the moon."
By the Light of the Moon is a novel of heart-stopping suspense and transcendent beauty, of how evil can destroy us and love can redeem us--a masterwork of the imagination in which the surprises come page after page and the spell of sublime storytelling triumphs throughout.
Perhaps more than any other author, Koontz writes fiction perfectly suited to the mood of America post-September 11: novels that acknowledge the reality and tenacity of evil but also the power of good; that celebrate the common man and woman; that at their best entertain vastly as they uplift. His latest is one of those best, exciting and deeply moving, shorter than usual and also less prone to the overwriting, the flood of similes and metaphors, that sometimes overwhelms his storytelling. As usual for Koontz, the novel opens at full throttle: a mad doctor invades a motel in Arizona, injects both itinerant artist Dylan O'Connor and struggling comic Jillian Jackson (strangers to one another) with an unknown substance that, he says, is his life's work and will have some unknown effect, then warns them to flee before his enemies kill them; soon after, the doctor is slain by heavily armed assailants. The rest of the story is an extended chase, as Dylan and Jillian, along with Dylan's high-functioning autistic brother, Shep, dart around the West, only steps ahead of the assassins. Within hours, the effects of the injections materialize: Jillian experiences portentous visions-a flock of birds, a woman in a church; Dylan is overcome by the need to rush to the aid of people in distress (among others, in an intensely poignant scene, an elderly man searching for his missing daughter); and Shep learns to teleport himself and others. (Interestingly, Koontz bases the science behind these developments on nanotechnology, the same mechanism used by Michael Crichton in his just published Prey, an object lesson in how two writers can take the same premise and generate two very different yet excellent novels). The novel's only flaw is its abrupt ending, contrived probably to allow sequels-a probability that Koontz fans, but also anyone else who reads this novel, a predestined bestseller and rightfully so, will applaud.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . the characters were great in this book
Posted December 06, 2010 by avid reader , cary,ilthis was a strange progressing book- i was amazed by how it all unfolded.the autistic character was so lifelike-these children are lovable. i can't wait for more adventures and how their "powers" unfold. more cake and ice
2 . Couldn't put it down
Posted October 18, 2010 by Eric C , Wappingers NYThis book is Amazing. What a change in little Shep. Filled with aspects of all literary genres (scifi, action, a little romance) this book delivers. Oh yeah!
November 03, 2003
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Excerpt from By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz
Shortly before being knocked unconscious and bound to a chair, before being injected with an unknown substance against his will, and before discovering that the world was deeply mysterious in ways he'd never before imagined, Dylan O'Conner left his motel room and walked across the highway to a brightly lighted fast-food franchise to buy cheeseburgers, French fries, pocket pies with apple filling, and a vanilla milkshake.
The expired day lay buried in the earth, in the asphalt. Unseen but felt, its ghost haunted the Arizona night: a hot spirit rising lazily from every inch of ground that Dylan crossed.
Here at the end of town that served travelers from the nearby interstate, formidable batteries of colorful electric signs warred for customers. In spite of this bright battle, however, an impressive sea of stars gleamed from horizon to horizon, for the air was clear and dry. A westbound moon, as round as a ship's wheel, plied the starry ocean.
The vastness above appeared clean and full of promise, but the world at ground level looked dusty, weary. Rather than being combed by a single wind, the night was plaited with many breezes, each with an individual quality of whispery speech and a unique scent. Redolent of desert grit, of cactus pollen, of diesel fumes, of hot blacktop, the air curdled as Dylan drew near to the restaurant, thickened with the aroma of long-used deep-fryer oil, with hamburger grease smoking on a griddle, with fried-onion vapors nearly as thick as blackdamp.
If he hadn't been in a town unfamiliar to him, if he hadn't been tired after a day on the road, and if his younger brother, Shepherd, hadn't been in a puzzling mood, Dylan would have sought a restaurant with healthier fare. Shep wasn't currently able to cope in public, however, and when in this condition, he refused to eat anything but comfort food with a high fat content.
The restaurant was brighter inside than out. Most surfaces were white, and in spite of the well-greased air, the establishment looked antiseptic.
Contemporary culture fit Dylan O'Conner only about as well as a three-fingered glove, and here was one more place where the tailoring pinched: He believed that a burger joint ought to look like a joint, not like a surgery, not like a nursery with pictures of clowns and funny animals on the walls, not like a bamboo pavilion on a tropical island, not like a glossy plastic replica of a 1950s diner that never actually existed. If you were going to eat charred cow smothered in cheese, with a side order of potato strips made as crisp as ancient papyrus by immersion in boiling oil, and if you were going to wash it all down with either satisfying quantities of icy beer or a milkshake containing the caloric equivalent of an entire roasted pig, then this fabulous consumption ought to occur in an ambience that virtually screamed guilty pleasure, if not sin. The lighting should be low and warm. Surfaces should be dark--preferably old mahogany, tarnished brass, wine-colored upholstery. Music should be provided to soothe the carnivore: not the music that made your gorge rise in an elevator because it was played by musicians steeped in Prozac, but tunes that were as sensuous as the food--perhaps early rock and roll or big-band swing, or good country music about temptation and remorse and beloved dogs.
Nevertheless, he crossed the ceramic-tile floor to a stainless-steel counter, where he placed his takeout order with a plump woman whose white hair, well-scrubbed look, and candy-striped uniform made her a dead ringer for Mrs. Santa Claus. He half expected to see an elf peek out of her shirt pocket.
In distant days, counters in fast-food outlets had been manned largely by teenagers.