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Book Review

Book Cover

Saint Odd


Author: Dean Koontz
Publisher: Harper Collins
RRP: £7.99
ISBN: 978 0 00 752015 2
Publication Date: 07 July 2015

Odd Thomas is returning home; home to where he lost the woman he loved one fateful day, during a Mall massacre he was unable to prevent. That he thought he should have been able to prevent it sprung, from his wild talents, the ability to interact with the dead and his psychic compass which allowed him to find both people and objects. Having thrust himself into the world, finding it more strange and dangerous than he could have imagined, Odd is ready for a reckoning...

Saint Odd (2015) is the eighth and last in a series of books about Odd, written by Dean Koontz.

The end of the story and Odd Thomas’s eventual destiny will not come as a shock to anyone who has been following the series, as it was pretty much sign posted in the first book. For one last time Koontz takes his small town cook and places the fate of, if not the world, then the people of his home town, on his shoulders.

One of the endearing things about Odd as a character is his level of naivety and innocence, even when he has to kill cultists to save the innocent, it never sits well with him and even with his gifts he cannot be anything other than self appreciating. There is a running joke where he will meet someone; even a close friend, who insists that he call them by their first name, but Odd seems incapable of being seen as so intrusive.

Although the story is a new one, it is very much tied to what has happened in the previous seven books, so much that Koontz revisits what can be thought of as the highlights, enough that the book actually works well as a stand-alone novel.

Odd returns to his home town of Pico Mundo, the scene of his girlfriend's murder, only to find that the carnival which he and Stormy had gone to all those years ago is back in town. The carnival holds special significance for him as the fortune teller machine had predicted that he and Stormy would be together forever, but Odd is stuck in the world of the living, not knowing if Stormy still waits for him on the other side. Odd has returned to stop the cultist, he previously defeated, bring a crisis of apocalyptic proportions to his friends and neighbours.

Koontz takes his time in telling the tale and Odd spends a lot of time meandering in and around the town as if neither the character nor the writer is quite ready to let go. For those waiting to revisit the location of the first book, and some of its characters, this will surely be a delight. For others, the unhurried pace may feel a little slow.

Koontz writes with his usual clean style, making this an easy read. There are some more minor characters introduced. Some, with powers like Odd’s, who could do with a book of their own - the ones that survive anyway.

The story ends in the kind of way we would expect, but if you’re looking for Koontz to wrap the whole thing up neatly, with all the questions answered, you’re going to be sorely disappointed, as the series ends up having more questions than answers.

Still, it felt like an appropriate end to an enjoyable series and I get the feeling that whilst Odd may not appear again, Koontz is likely to revisit this world he has created.


Charles Packer

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