I like Dean Koontz. His books are always entertaining, at times page-turning, filled with suspense and situations I hope I never have to experience. The Husband is a story of one of those situations. Imagine you are a landscaper making less than most manicurists make, and you get a phone call saying your wife has been kidnapped. You can have her back for a cool two million…which you must come up with PRONTO or your spouse will be slowly tortured.
For Mitch Rafferty, that phone call comes on a typical workday, and he soon finds himself embroiled in a terrifying beat-the-clock game to find the money and get his wife back in one piece. These kidnappers prove right out of the box that they mean business, killing a man walking his dog as an example of their ruthlessness.
Mitch knows he can’t go to the police, so he turns to his older brother, Anson, for some help. He soon discovers his beloved bro ain’t what he used to be; in fact, Anson is knee-deep in the mess, too, and now Mitch has to resort to his own resources to find his wife. By the way, did I mention she was pregnant? The tension builds and builds throughout the book as Mitch dodges a concerned FBI man, the killers, and his own fears and doubts.
The Husband is a great beach read, with a minor flaw I found a bit frustrating. So much tension gets built up in the middle of the story that when you finally hit the climax, it isn’t very climactic. I felt a bit let down at the ending, especially when it turns out Mitch wasn’t as much the save-the-day hero I wanted him to be (I won’t spoil the book, but he gets help…).
Still, books like this are not meant to be filled with intricate characters and plots that are permeated with theme and message. This is a fun read, a suspenseful story that you will want to finish, even if, like a good Chinese dinner, it leaves you a bit hungry a few hours later.