From Publishers Weekly Koontz's latest thriller, slated for fast track silver screen adaptation in a joint venture between Random House and Focus Features, presents a spellbinding Hitchcock-flavored tale of an innocent, unassuming everyman caught in an intricate web of duplicity. While toiling away in the yard of a client, Orange County landscaper Mitch Rafferty casually answers his cellular phone and learns that his wife, Holly, has been taken hostage; the humble man of the soil must raise a $2 million ransom to prevent the unthinkable from happening. Graham, fresh from such recent audiobook triumphs as John Berendt's The City of Falling Angels and Lisa Gardner's Alone, delivers a smooth single-malt scotch of a performance. Graham brings a straight-arrow, earnest 20-something cadence to Mitch's voice. He also skillfully navigates the diverse cast of Southern California characters?young Holly facing danger with both grace and bravery, a seasoned homicide detective, a sadistic kidnapper obsessed with New Age spirituality, and a high-tech entrepreneur hiding a sinister secret?with masterful use of vocal inflection and carefully timed pauses. Copyright? American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition. Read more From Booklist *Starred Review* It's another boring day in paradise for gardener Mitch Rafferty, planting impatiens on a rich client's lawn. Then his cell rings. It's Holly, his wife, and she doesn't sound good. Someone slaps her, she screams, and a man comes on to tell Mitch that he has 60 hours to raise $2 million to ransom her. Just so Mitch knows they mean business, the man says, see the guy walking a dog across the street? Mitch looks and blam! A bullet to the head kills the dog walker. Let this be a warning, too, that the kidnapper-killers will know if Mitch says word one to the cops about his predicament, and Holly will suffer. Where is a gardener supposed to get $2 million? The sinister caller says he'll let Mitch know; just be a good machine and follow instructions. Despite his terror, Mitch does until . . . But uh-uh-uh, nothing should be given away about this sinuous nail-biter's developments. Suffice it to say that Mitch's intensely warped family, managed according to his rigidly materialistic psychologist-father's theories; two betrayals, one of Mitch, the other of the kidnappers; a slick child pornography entrepreneur; a humane but persistent police detective; and a New Ager psychopath all help ratchet up the suspense and the violence. But Koontz focuses relentlessly on Mitch and, in chapters scattered judiciously throughout the latter 230 pages, Holly. Not for him the flirtation with evil thinking that an Elmore Leonard does so well or the temptation to sympathize with evildoers that an Alfred Hitchcock offers. And yet Koontz is no less an artist for his championing of the good and his determination to have readers identify with it, as this hair-raising thriller attests. Ray OlsonCopyright ? American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition. Read more See all Editorial Reviews
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