Dean Koontz virtually invented the cross-genre novel, and in One Door Away from Heaven he mixes an action thriller with post-X-Files alien paranoia to remarkable effect. Micky Bellsong is a young woman at a crisis point in her life, using a stay at her Aunt Geneva’s to sort things out. Then the precocious and deformed Leilani Klonk walks into her life, telling stories of her stepfather and drugged-up mother, who believe aliens will beam the girl into their mothership and heal her deformities before her 10th birthday. But tales of the stepfather’s vicious past, including his hand in several murders, leave Micky believing that a far more terrible fate awaits her friend. So when the parents take off with Leilani, Micky pursues. As is typical with a Koontz novel, nothing turns out to be what it seems, and the meticulously crafted plot tightens like a noose with every turn of the page. His characters are exceptionally drawn, driving the novel forward with realism and warmth. Micky is one of his more attractive young heroines, but the real star is Leilani, a mature young girl whose plucky nature and sparkling dialogue instantly make her Koontz’s most memorable creation. She embodies his belief that despite violence, pain, and suffering, there is always goodness to be found in every person and situation. Koontz has once again proven why he is one of the premier novelists of his generation. —Jonathan Weir, Amazon.co.uk
I know..I said I like Dean Koontz for spine tingling terror (or something of the sort), but this; while not a “terror-ific” novel by any means, is quite possibly Koontz’s best ever. I laughed, I felt like crying, my heart raced and I breathed a sigh of relief at several points in the story. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a great read, scary or not.
Oh, and it did cause a little hair raising moment.