Whispers – Dean Koontz

I picked this up about a week ago when I was out buying a birthday present for my boyfriend. I had a $50 gift card to Barnes and Noble for graduation, so I figured I might as well grab as much as I can.

Whispers is the story of Bruno Frye, who believes his mother keeps coming back from the dead in different bodies, no matter how many times he kills her. Now, he thinks his mother is inhabiting the body of Hilary Thomas, a successful screenwriter who lives in LA. After having killed his mother successfully many times before, Frye is not prepared when Hilary fights back.

When Hilary reports the attack to the police, they find something astonishing: Frye had been in his Napa Valley home the entire time the attack was occurring. Hilary, convinced it was Frye who attacked her, believes there is something more to the case than what meets the eye. Tony Clemenza, a sympathetic LAPD detective, believes her. But what dark secret could possibly allow Bruno Frye to be in two places at once?

I believe Whispers was one of Koontz’s first bestsellers. On one hand, that doesn’t surprise me, because it’s true to Koontz’s best form: A lot of characters, a few separate storylines, and one major thread that eventually ties them all together. On the other had, while I liked the story, I found there was rather a lot of gratuitous sexing. Not that people shouldn’t have sex, but almost all of it was graphically described. And I mean graphically. Leave it for the romance novels, Dean.

On a similar tack, another thing that was slightly disturbing was the amount of sexual deviancy going on here. Like, weird shit. For the first time in a long time I felt embarrassed while I was reading this and wondered what the heck was going on in his head when he wrote it. By the end I understood that most of it was necessary for the storyline…but not all of it was. I feel like some of it could probably have been left out, and the book would have made me feel a little less dirty.

Overall, though, I did enjoy it and I’m glad I read it. The characters were drawn really well, and I particularly enjoyed Joshua Rheinhart, Bruno Frye’s attorney. He’s a work-a-holic curmudgeon who has been trying very hard not to be a work-a-holic curmudgeon since his wife died, and I find his gruffness particularly adorable – especially since he’s described as having “fluffy white hair” and I can just picture him scowling and trying not to smile.

I would definitely not recommend Whispers as highly as I would recommend some of Koontz’s other books, and I would especially not recommend it to those who blush easily—but if you’re a fan of classic Koontz, this is a must-read.


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