I am now reading
Next Door to Heaven.
Next Door to Heaven.
Four or five story lines, I am 72% done and it looks like FINALLY the story lines are lumbering together. By lumbering I mean the rate at which I am reading feels lumbering.
Let me recap: Mickey and her Aunt Gen. Micky visits Gen and meets Leilani Klonk who lives in the next parking space over.
Leilani Klonk, 9 y/o disabled mutant girl, brilliant, raised wild and unregistered. Her mother Sensimilla is a drugged out hippy who is dangerous when not pathologically stoned. The step father is Dr. Doom who is an intelligent serial killer and plans to kill Leilani on her 10 birthday.
Ethan is a burned out private detective hired by Mickey to trace Dr. Doom.
Curtis Hammond, an orphaned boy who, as it turns out, really is an alien.
The Selkenfelter twins help Curtis in a shootout with evil aliens who can track him until he truly become Curtis Hammond.
Old Yeller, a dog who gained some basic intelligence after bonding with Curtis.
The characterizations and plot have built in depth and complexity. It wasn't until chapter 33 that I at last comprehended why everyone but the dog was after the kid. I love the Koonzt nod to smart puppies. I truly fear for my ladies. I fear Dr. Doom won't meet his end and if he does will he comprehend his depth of failure with appropriate horror and loathing. I sort of feel like he will glance around trying to figure a way out. I really want a true transformation for Ms. Klonk not to mention liberation. I fear for everyone. As for measuring this book against Odd Thomas, well it compares solidly in favor. Mrs. Brownfield, my fifth grade teacher, would be proud of me, I found the reference to the book title. I have also noted that I usually learn a new word from the not overly erudite Mr. Koontz, can't remember it now; started with an O, definition final stage of butterfly pupa, I think. Also, loided, there was no Wikipedia entry and used in a sentence meaning voided closure. Kinda
I never take this long to read a book unless it as a bad one. I decided to wait to finish reading the last few chapters because I was so fearful of things not going right.
So the denouement came along so very, very late. Dr. Doom had killed the farmer in his house in Nun's Lake (Think Priest Lake, far north Idaho). He caught Mickey and tied her up in the farmers house. He went back to the motor home and snatched Leilani. Everyone else took off in what seemed to be unsuccessful pursuit. Dr. Doom set the house on fire. As it turned out the detective crashed into the house, rescued Leilani and Mickey. Curtis transformed and confronted Dr. Doom who thought he was hallucinating due to the smoke. Dr. Doom did not express remorse, merely confusion that he could not find his way out. Oh yes, when they got back to the motor homes, an ambulance was taking away a very demented Sensimilla, None of them said anything to the authorities.
I will leave you to read the very satisfactory epilogue, very satisfactory. There was redemption after all.