Friday, 19 February 2016

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of what was happening in this story, when whamo, every changed.  It was a major 'what the heck, I didn't see that coming' moment.  Way to go Mr. Koontz, you are one devious plot master.

At twenty two, Bibi Blair is a successful novelist and is looking forward to her fiance returning home from his current deployment.  Upon experiencing some severe symptoms, she is diagnosed with a rare brain cancer that will kill her within the year.  There is no hope for a cure or remission, it has never happened.

Miraculously she is cured, but at what cost.  She must find and save the life of young Ashley Bell.  This task is made harder by a mysterious organization which opposes her quest.

I was hooked into this story from the opening pages.  Bibi is an engaging young woman who is well poised for success.  When that is taken away, I wanted to stick with her and help her get back on track.  I cheered for her at every turn.

I live in a land locked area and really enjoyed the west coast California feel of the novel.  Bibi's involvement in the surf community,  and the surfer lingo helped transport me in this created world.  Once I accepted that world, I had no trouble believing everything else I read.  I was easily lead down this garden path.

This novel is made of stories within stories and shows the true power of the imagination.  Even after reading the conclusion, I am left wondering where that dividing line is between truth and fiction, does it even exist.

A tip of my hat to the unknown man with the golden retriever.

Cover image courtesy Random House Books.

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