Harry is a cop who prides himself on order and logic and everything being in its proper place. So how exactly is he supposed to deal when he learns that a dangerous and incredibly powerful psychic has set his sights on Harry with the intention of killing him by dawn?
I’d forgotten how fun Dean Koontz books can be. Mainly because I have a pretty sordid past with his novels. I managed to get enough poorly written ones in a row that I finally gave up. And yet I could never bring myself to get rid of the ones I hadn’t read. I gave in and picked up Dragon Tears, insisting that if I don’t read these things, then I need to get them out of my life, so then read them and shut up! It was like a big spoonful of medicine you don’t want to take, because you’re afraid of the taste. But then it surprises you by tasting pretty awesome. My analogy is getting out of hand.
What I mean to say is this book was actually good. I wonder how much my low expectations are making me some self-fulfilling prophecy, but I really enjoyed this one. It was suspenseful and page-turning. I wanted to see what happened next, and as a result, I powered through it. I liked the characters. As much as the villain was somewhat evil for the sake of being evil, I liked how he came off as genuinely disturbed. If you want something exciting with a kind of urban fantasy/cop drama vibe, pick this up.
But I have to mention drawbacks. One being it’s rather dated. Not in any quaint or interesting way. In a very stuffy way. Koontz used this book as an author tract more than once, getting on a soapbox and ranting about how evil the 90s were. There was even a passage where he took a break from storytelling altogether to make sure his audience understood how dangerous drugs are in a very lecturing tone. First, breaking the “show don’t tell” rule there. Secondly, there are more effective ways of illustrating a point like that than listing statistics. A room full of drug-addled teens, and he couldn’t think to make one appear to be overdosing? No, he’d rather treat his audience like they need to be spoon fed.
Yes, this was a distraction. “Welcome to the 90s” became the book’s catchphrase indicating that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Until you find yourself saying, “I get it, Dean! I really do. Pull back a tad.” How much was that worth knocking down the score for me? One star. So obviously not a story ruiner. But just enough to make it good, not great.