This is the second book by Dean Koontz with the protagonist, Odd Thomas, a fry cook who can communicate with the dead, in the fictional small town of Pico Mundo, California. I haven’t read the first but I have read the third. There are seven books in the series plus a few interludes, but they don’t need to be read in order.
Odd Thomas is a strange guy, he sees dead people. When he sees the ghost of Doctor Jessup, his best friend’s step father, he senses something is up. He finds the Doctor has been viciously murdered and his friend, Danny, has been abducted by a psychopathic female, Datura, who incidentally runs a phone sex line. Datura, who Danny describes as crazier than a syphilitic suicide bomber with mad cow disease, wants to lure Odd to the rescue so he can help her see ghosts. Most of the action takes place in a casino-hotel complex run by a Native American tribe that burned down killing 186 people, some of whose spirits, Odd can see. Some of the dead are not ready for the next stage and choose to linger, as does the ghost of Elvis, bizarrely, who has no connection with Pico Mundo but seems to like hanging out with Odd. The dead can’t speak and there is usually some reason for them lingering. For a horror novel there is a lot of humour particularly in the thoughts of Odd and the dry wit of Danny.
My rating: four out of five