Dean Koontz is the man we go to for a thrill. He mixes the supernatural with science and makes his books so plausible that they’re scary. In his 1993 book, Dragon Tears, Koontz addresses the ability for people to change, the ability for sad people to become cruel and the ability for people to alter their destinies.
Harry Lyon is a police officer who takes no chances. His life is full of order, reason and completely devoid of chaos. His partner, Connie Gulliver, is the complete opposite. With a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants attitude, and a temper to boot, these cops are polar opposites, and yet they mesh together perfectly.
One day while having lunch, Harry and Connie encounter a crazy gunman who bursts into the burger joint and shoots up the place. They follow him up to the second floor and Connie establishes a dialogue with him via Elvis Presley song titles, believe it or not.
A homeless man named Sammy is being tormented by…something. He isn’t quite sure what it is but it tells Sammy that he’s going to die, and that it is going to kill him.
A woman named Janet is on the run with her son after killing her abusive husband and burying him in the desert. Although no one is after her, she stays cautious and is forced to live in her car. Soon a man begins harassing her, telling her that she’s going to die at dawn; her and her child. Unable to go to the police due to her recent activities, Janet feels helpless and confused.
Harry and Connie encounter this…being. They name him Tick Tock because of the countdown he has given them. At the end of that countdown they are going to die. Little do they know that this being is a boy; a teenager that harnessed mental abilities after a devastatingly awful childhood. He is cruel, merciless and has a love of games. This is all sport to him; their lives are nothing but a game.
Harry and Connie, along with their new friends, struggle to locate the boy while trying to stay away from his far-reaching powers.
This was a fun book. Good, but not great. If you want a light read, or as light as you can get with Koontz, then this is it. The ending seems a bit abrupt, a little too easy, but a lot of Koontz’s books are. There is a sad message in the undertones of this book. When Connie is upset she rattles off awful crimes that have been committed, like a man beating his girlfriend’s child to death because she was dancing in front of the TV. Koontz notes at the end of the book that the things Connie talks about actually happened. These are real stories. The capacity for evil in the human race is staggering. However, at least in books we get a happy ending. The bad guy loses and the good guys win. It may not always be realistic, but we have reality for that. Sometimes you just need a good escape into fantasy and Koontz makes it his job to give it to us.
You can find Dragon Tears at any of Tulsa’s local book stores: Barnes and Noble, Borders and Gardners.
Don’t miss a single article! Click the Subscribe button at the top of the page and have this column sent straight to your inbox!