Saturday, June 10, 2006
Dean Koontz ~ The Husband
Hardcover: 416 pages
Bantam (May 30, 2006)
Reviewed by: Eric Wilson
Koontz is a master craftsman, mixing rapid-fire pacing with social commentary. In "The Husband," he builds another solid foundation, using: a wife in the hands of deranged men, a man pushed to his limits for love, and a family's twisted history.
The story is satisfying on a number of levels. It delivers suspense, humor, insight, and moral challenges to readers. I raced through 300-plus pages in a day and a half, thoroughly engrossed in this struggle for love and survival. To what lengths would I go for my wife's safety?
Along the way, Koontz raises questions about sociopaths, child-rearing, and the presence of evil in a materialistic world. In the somewhat predictable climax, however, I experienced little emotional reaction to a story so rooted in the depths of the heart. Is love all about emotion? Is it merely a feeling? Or is it, as "The Husband" discovers, a commitment to a relationship which requires every resource of our physical, emotional, and spiritual strength?
Perhaps this is Koontz's point, in the lack of emotion. Perhaps he wants us to think about the costs of love, instead of about its rewards. If so, his point is well made; the story is well worth reading--and yet, I still wish there'd been just a portion of deep feeling.