This book has been on pipeline for almost 4 months now. Ever since Covid was tagged as “made in Wuhan” this book has been on the news for the fact that, there is a similar premise that is being mentioned on the book. When I read the reviews, they were mostly mixed and nothing majorly was being referenced to Covid and the theme of the book. I had made up my mind that this book was going to be another Robin cook kind of a thriller written by a different author. The initial chapter itself, threw me off the rails. It felt like a Stephen King horror story with paranormal and ghost related setup. To be honest I have never read books with horror or paranormal theme. Watching them as movies itself is scary and reading them would be allowing those thoughts to take visuals via my imagination and that would make it even scarier. But for this book, I was unprepared as well for such a setting. Eerie sounds, banging windows, falling things, messages suddenly appearing on boards, music systems blasting on their own – you name it, everything is included. It was copy book ghost scene setup that makes up good amount of the first half of the book, making me wonder, if I had picked the wrong book of similar name. Story wise, it is about a lady who had lost her son on a school trip accident. But her mind refuses to believe it and she sees her kid everywhere. In her nightmares she visualizes her kid calling for help and wakes up wondering if it is his ghost who is trying to seek her help. She also happens to be the owner for a stage production on a major casino where her ex husband also works as a dealer. She happens to meet a lawyer, the hero of the book, and falls for him immediately. To put her doubts to rest, she requests for an exhume of her son’s body, for it was buried without even being shown to her as the body was badly damaged in the accident. The story takes a totally different shape from then on, with assassins trying to kill both the lady and her lawyer friend, car chases, shoot outs. The genre moves from horror to full blown spy thriller. Finally, almost near the end of the book, there is a reference to the virus made on Wuhan lab. Apparently to catch up with China on bio-warfare US govt clandestinely does something which triggers the whole game of cat and mouse. Like proper Tamil masala movies, the dead kid is found to be alive, surviving through one whole year of lab tests being done on him, which actually had given him superpowers of mind control. They all escape in a hastily cooked up ending, similar to disaster movies, where everything goes down except for the lead people.
Gils verdict – This is the first book I’ve read of Dean koontz. Not sure what kind of genre this author specializes in. The Wuhan virus is a bad analogy or reference point for tag this novel. In fact you cannot place it on any genre as the theme keeps changing. But quite racy and well paced.