The stallion reared over me, silently slashing the air with the hooves of its forelegs, a creature of such immense power that I stumbled backward even though I knew that it was as immaterial as a dream. . . .
The woman astride the ghostly mount reaches out desperately, the latest spirit to enlist the aid of Odd Thomas, the unassuming young fry cook whose gift—or curse—it is to see the shades of the restless dead, and to help them when he can. This mission of mercy will lead Odd through realms of darkness he has never before encountered, as he probes the long-held secrets of a sinister estate and those who inhabit it.
Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogul during the Roaring ’20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, at least for the moment, it’s also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria, the Lady of the Bell. In the wake of Odd’s most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor’s comforts should be welcome. But there’s far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven.
A harrowing taste of Roseland’s terrors convinces Odd that it’s time to hit the road again. Still, the prescient Annamaria insists that they’ve been led there for a reason, and he’s promised to do his best for the ghost on horseback. Just how deep and dreadful are the mysteries Roseland and her masters have kept for nearly a century? And what consequences await whoever is brave, or mad, enough to confront the most profound breed of evil? Odd only knows. Like his acclaimed creator, the irresistible Odd Thomas is in top-notch form—as he takes on what may well be the most terrifying challenge yet in his curious career.
ACCLAIM FOR DEAN KOONTZ AND HIS ODD THOMAS NOVELS
“This is Koontz working at his pinnacle, providing terrific entertainment that deals seriously with some of the deepest themes of human existence: the nature of evil, the grip of fate and the power of love.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review), on Odd Thomas
“Supernatural thrills with a side of laughs.”—The Denver Post, on Brother Odd
“The nice young fry cook with the occult powers is Koontz’s most likable creation . . . candid, upright, amusing and sometimes withering.”—The New York Times
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An interview with Michael Koryta (The Prophet).
MICHAEL: In the new novel, Odd Apocalypse, you write that "between birth and burial, we find ourselves in a comedy of mysteries." That statement could be a guiding light for the Odd series, and perhaps even your work in general of late. Was allowing the laughs to join the darkness a conscious decision?
DEAN: Humor began to enter my work as far back as Watchers (1987), and by Lightning (1988), my agent and publisher at that time became alarmed and counseled me that suspense and humor never mix. They were not able to offer a cogent explanation of why the two never mix. One of my favorite films of all time is "North by Northwest," which is tense and funny; so I just kept doing what I was doing. By the time I moved to Bantam Books with Fear Nothing (1998), humor became the binding glue in all of my books except for The Taking, Velocity, The Husband, and Your Heart Belongs to Me.
Odd Thomas is speaking for me when he says, "Humanity is a parade of fools, and I'm right up front with a baton." Odd is a spiritual guy, and in my experience, genuinely spiritual people--as opposed to those for whom faith is either a crutch or a bludgeon--have a great sense of humor. They recognize that our fallen world is not just tragic but also absurd, often hilariously absurd, and that laughing at humanity's hubris and reckless transgressive behavior is a potent way to deny legitimacy to that hubris. Besides, if a character is able to make you laugh out loud, a bond is formed that ensures you will worry more for him when he finds himself in jeopardy. And I will always remember that it wasn't my looks or my sartorial splendor or macho toughness--ha!--that won Gerda; she says that she laughed so much on our first date, her stomach hurt the next day. That was better than being told, as I expected, that her stomach hurt because, after I took her home, she spent the night throwing up.
MICHAEL: A three-part short novel titled Odd Interlude was released in ebook-only form this summer. Tell us a little about the way this was conceived and written. Did you have that planned before the new novel or did it come to you later in Odd's journey?
DEAN: I had written a 32,000-word ebook novella, The Moonlit Mind, to intrigue readers about a forthcoming novel, 77 Shadow Street. The novella sold very well and drew strong reader response. In fact, I'm pretty sure a lot of people liked Moonlit better than 77 Shadow Street! So as I was finishing Odd Apocalypse, my publisher asked me to write a 60,000- to 70,000-word short novel in three parts to reintroduce readers to Odd. It was outside the seven-book arc of the series, and I had great fun with it. By the way, those readers who don't do ebooks tend to get exercised about a piece appearing only digitally. In order to avoid being whacked by an irate reader while waiting at the counter for my Big Mac, I am happy to tell you that Odd Interlude will be published in paperback within a few months.
MICHAEL: Rumor has it a movie of Odd Thomas is on the way, and that you're pleased with it, which is anything but the rule when it comes to adaptations. What can you tell us about the film version and why you are so pleased with Stephen Sommers' take?
DEAN: I have a glowing review of the film at deankoontz.com and on my official Facebook page. Anton Yelchin and Addison Timlim give wonderfully nuanced and affecting performances. Steve's sense of pace and his writing are even better than his previous best, and his scene transitions are amazing, something really new and highly effective. The picture drops much from the book, but at the same time it's absolutely true to the book, to its characters and its themes.
Steve is also a great guy and a family man. When he'd send me long emails about progress on the picture, he'd write also about his daughters and family things. After one such email, I wrote him back to say that he was so normal, compared to most of my Hollywood experiences, that I was getting suspicious. I said I was steeling myself to wake up one morning and discover that he'd been arrested with Charlie Sheen, crossing the border from Mexico in a school bus loaded with drugs and explosives.
>Read the full interview
>See all of Michael Koryta's books
About the Author :
Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.
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