Review: Innocence / Author: Dean Koontz / Publisher: HarperCollins / Release Date: Out Now
Innocence is the latest violent, intriguing and utterly compelling novel by best-selling American writer Dean Koontz. Once described as the “master of our darkest dreams”, Koontz has again created a contemporary landscape, within which are multi-layered realities.
The protagonist, the peculiarly named Addison Goodheart, is introduced as being “not like other people”. Indeed he is not. The reasons for this are only unveiled in all of their intriguing glory towards the climax of Koontz’s narrative.
In brief, Addison Goodheart is a man in his mid-twenties who is totally alone in society with no surviving family or companions. He lives hidden within the bowels of the city’s infrastructure. The landscape of Addison’s life is one of a claustrophobic hidden existence. His necessary nightly journeys above ground in search of sustenance see him risking his own mortality. From bitter and unforgiving past experiences, Addison recognises that all humans will recoil from and/or savagely attack him, such is the level of revulsion that his appearance engenders.
During one of Addison’s nightly excursions, he witnesses the attempted attack of a teenage girl. Addison’s world from that moment changes. Addison must face his greatest challenge yet… to reveal his true self to another both emotionally and physically. But will it be a case of life or death for Addison and all who consort with him?
As always with Koontz, the characters aren't quite what they at first seem. In Addison’s case, the reader is continually challenged as to whether or not his surname ‘Goodheart’ is an apt one. Will he ultimately suffer the fate of those of his kind who have gone before him, a case of hell’s damnation or eternal bliss?
The narrative is tightly controlled right to the final page. This really is one of those rare books that’s almost impossible to put down. One of Koontz's best!