Timothy Carrier, having a beer after work at his friend's tavern, enjoys drawing eccentric customers into amusing conversations. But the jittery man who sits next to him tonight has mistaken Tim for someone very different--and passes to him a manila envelope full of cash.
"Ten thousand now. You get the rest when she's gone."
The stranger walks out, leaving a photo of the pretty woman marked for death, and her address. But things are about to get worse. In minutes another stranger sits next to Tim. This one is a cold-blooded killer who believes Tim is the man who has hired him.
Thinking fast, Tim says, "I've had a change of heart. You get ten thousand--for doing nothing. Call it a no-kill fee." He keeps the photo and gives the money to the hired killer. And when Tim secretly follows the man out of the tavern, he gets a further shock: the hired killer is a cop.
Suddenly, Tim Carrier, an ordinary guy, is at the center of a mystery of extraordinary proportions, the one man who can save an innocent life and stop a killer far more powerful than any cop...and as relentless as evil incarnate. But first Tim must discover within himself the capacity for selflessness, endurance, and courage that can turn even an ordinary man into a hero, inner resources that will transform his idea of who he is and what it takes to be The Good Guy.
Bestseller Koontz (The Husband) delivers a thriller so compelling many readers will race through the book in one sitting. In the Hitchcockian opening, which resembles that of the cult noir film Red Rock West (1992), Timothy Carrier, a quiet stone mason having a beer in a California bar, meets a stranger who mistakes him for a hit man. The stranger slips Tim a manila envelope containing $10,000 in cash and a photo of the intended victim, Linda Paquette, a writer in Laguna Beach, then leaves. A moment later, Krait, the real killer, shows up and assumes Tim is his client. Tim manages to distract Krait from immediately carrying out the hit by saying he's had a change of heart and offering Krait the $10,000 he just received. This ploy gives the stone mason enough time to warn Linda before they begin a frantic flight for their lives. While it may be a stretch that the first man wouldn't do a better job of confirming Tim's identity, the novel's breathless pacing, clever twists and adroit characterizations all add up to superior entertainment.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-7 of the 7 most recent reviews
1 . Just a story
Posted December 16, 2010 by kw , LaGrange, GAI am not a big fan of Koontz but am always willing to give the guy a chance. I enjoyed the "Odd" series so was hoping for something similar. This wasn't in the same category, but it was okay. The bad guy was a sicko right from the start, not fooling the reader for a minute, although I did wonder how it could end with the good guys winning. It was an okay read, not heart-thumping fast nor sound-asleep boring, just right in the middle.
2 . dissappointed
Posted October 23, 2010 by Jean , Powelli found this book to be very dissappointing. no surprises or thrills or anything unexpected. the murders were for gore's sake only.
if you like thrillers or mysteries-- skip this one.
3 . worth reading
Posted March 11, 2010 by Thundergirl , Saint PetersLots of action and alittle love story in there too. I thought it was worth the read.
4 . Mystery
Posted June 24, 2009 by Melanie , TexasI love stories where you're never exactly sure where it's leading or what had happened until you finish. It gives some kind of a superior feeling I guess, but this book gave me just that. Dean Koontz knows what he's writing about.
5 . Awesome book
Posted April 16, 2009 by Kristin , OverseasThis was my first Dean Koontz book. It was a great thriller with a lot of twists and turns...it has you pushing for the "good guy." My family couldn't wait for me to read more chapters so I could tell them what was happening. It was so good, I'd probably read it again in the future.
6 . Great Thriller
Posted February 13, 2009 by Kris Weaver , Stafford, VAWonderful! Hitchcocklike and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the book!
7 . Great characters with a gripping and frightening story line.
Posted December 15, 2008 by Nelson , Spokane WADean Koontz does what he does well. Even though this continues with the typical maniacal psychopath being battled by the strong, talented yet thoughtful and gentle good guy in defense of a developing love interest, it has fantastic pace and wonderful twists. I always enjoy the intensity and quickness of his writing and how much fun he makes it to lose oneself in such a disturbing way.
May 28, 2007
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Excerpt from The Good Guy by Dean Koontz
Sometimes a mayfly skates across a pond, leaving a brief wake as thin as spider silk, and by staying low avoids those birds and bats that feed in flight.
At six feet three, weighing two hundred ten pounds, with big hands and bigger feet, Timothy Carrier could not maintain a profile as low as that of a skating mayfly, but he tried.
Shod in heavy work boots, with a John Wayne walk that came naturally to him and that he could not change, he nevertheless entered the Lamplighter Tavern and proceeded to the farther end of the room without drawing attention to himself. None of the three men near the door, at the short length of the "L"-shaped bar, glanced at him. Neither did the couples in two of the booths.
When he sat on the end stool, in shadows beyond the last of the downlights that polished the molasses-colored mahogany bar, he sighed with contentment. From the perspective of the front door, he was the smallest man in the room.
If the forward end of the Lamplighter was the driver's deck of the locomotive, this was the caboose. Those who chose to sit here on a slow Monday evening would most likely be quiet company.
Liam Rooney-who was the owner and, tonight, the only barkeep-drew a draft beer from the tap and put it in front of Tim.
"Some night you'll walk in here with a date," Rooney said, "and the shock will kill me."
"Why would I bring a date to this dump?"
"What else do you know but this dump?"
"I've also got a favorite doughnut shop."
"Yeah. After the two of you scarf down a dozen glazed, you could take her to a big expensive restaurant in Newport Beach, sit on the curb, and watch the valets park all the fancy cars."
Tim sipped his beer, and Rooney wiped the bar though it was clean, and Tim said, "You got lucky, finding Michelle. They don't make them like her anymore."
"Michelle's thirty, same age as us. If they don't make 'em like her anymore, where'd she come from?"
"It's a mystery."
"To be a winner, you gotta be in the game," Rooney said.
"I'm in the game."
"Shooting hoops alone isn't a game."
"Don't worry about me. I've got women beating on my door."
"Yeah," Rooney said, "but they come in pairs and they want to tell you about Jesus."
"Nothing wrong with that. They care about my soul. Anybody ever tell you, you're a sarcastic sonofabitch?"
"You did. Like a thousand times. I never get tired of hearing it. This guy was in here earlier, he's forty, never been married, and now they cut off his testicles."
"Who cut off his testicles?"
"You get me the names of those doctors," Tim said. "I don't want to go to one by accident."
"The guy had cancer. Point is, now he can never have kids."
"What's so great about having kids, the way the world is?"
Rooney looked like a black-belt wannabe who, though never having taken a karate lesson, had tried to break a lot of concrete blocks with his face. His eyes, however, were blue windows full of warm light, and his heart was good.
"That's what it's all about," Rooney said. "A wife, kids, a place you can hold fast to while the rest of the world spins apart."
"Methuselah lived to be nine hundred, and he was begetting kids right to the end."
"That's what they did in those days. They begot."
"So you're going to-what?-wait to start a family till you're six hundred?"
"You and Michelle don't have kids."
"We're workin' on it." Rooney bent over, folded his arms on the bar, and put himself face-to-face with Tim. "What'd you do today, Doorman?"
Tim frowned. "Don't call me that."
"So what'd you do today?"
"The usual. Built some wall."
"What'll you do tomorrow?"
"Build some more wall."
"For whoever pays me."
"I work this place seventy hours a week, sometimes longer, but not for the customers."
"Your customers are aware of that," Tim assured him.
r. You're afraid of your potential."