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Relentless

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

A strange but compelling thriller

...about hugely successful writer Cullen Greenwich and his "perfect" family, who are targeted by an almost super-human madman named Shearman Waxx, the literary critic that trashed Greenwich's latest novel. Extreme violence, humor and a supernatural element mix surprisin...
...about hugely successful writer Cullen Greenwich and his "perfect" family, who are targeted by an almost super-human madman named Shearman Waxx, the literary critic that trashed Greenwich's latest novel. Extreme violence, humor and a supernatural element mix surprisingly well in "Relentless" and Koontz keeps the pedal to the metal throughout - I raced through this thing in less than a day. I plan on reading it again though, more slowly, as there seems to be something else going on here beyond Koontz' usual thrills and chills. Could Waxx be Greenwich's id-like alter ego, who puts in print the writer's own true feelings about his bestselling work, and then systematically destroys his staid, picture-perfect life? Is "Relentless" an exaggerated portrayal of the trials and tribulations a bestselling author like Koontz goes through in the modern publishing world? (If you've read the forwards to the new reprint editions of Koontz' older novels you'll know what I'm talking about.) I'm also curious about the names Koontz picked for his characters, which seem carefully thought out and constructed. All in all "Relentless" is one of Koontz' more interesting recent books, well worth reading.
Also recommended: "A STRANGER LIES THERE". This website's editorial review said this mystery is "an appealing blend of SoCal noir and psychological suspense ala Dean Koontz. Two thumb way up."

posted by 156234 on June 8, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

What happened?

An excellent book, typical of Dean Koontz, for about two-thirds of the book. After that, I thought the book made a turn for the worse. I won't divulge what happened, but it lost my interest and I didn't understand the ending. Maybe next time.

posted by lemme14 on August 25, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A strange but compelling thriller

    ...about hugely successful writer Cullen Greenwich and his "perfect" family, who are targeted by an almost super-human madman named Shearman Waxx, the literary critic that trashed Greenwich's latest novel. Extreme violence, humor and a supernatural element mix surprisingly well in "Relentless" and Koontz keeps the pedal to the metal throughout - I raced through this thing in less than a day. I plan on reading it again though, more slowly, as there seems to be something else going on here beyond Koontz' usual thrills and chills. Could Waxx be Greenwich's id-like alter ego, who puts in print the writer's own true feelings about his bestselling work, and then systematically destroys his staid, picture-perfect life? Is "Relentless" an exaggerated portrayal of the trials and tribulations a bestselling author like Koontz goes through in the modern publishing world? (If you've read the forwards to the new reprint editions of Koontz' older novels you'll know what I'm talking about.) I'm also curious about the names Koontz picked for his characters, which seem carefully thought out and constructed. All in all "Relentless" is one of Koontz' more interesting recent books, well worth reading.
    Also recommended: "A STRANGER LIES THERE". This website's editorial review said this mystery is "an appealing blend of SoCal noir and psychological suspense ala Dean Koontz. Two thumb way up."

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    A tense thriller with a disappointing ending

    Relentless is a classic Dean Koontz novel with some small variations. It's written in first person, which is unusual for Koontz (I can only think of one or two other novels he's written in first person voice). It has a great cast of characters -- Cubby (the narrator), his wife Penny, his son Milo, and their dog Lassie -- and a villain who is unique and interesting through most of the book.

    Unfortunately, when the mystery is revealed, it's a lot like ones Mr. Koontz has done a few times before, and I was disappointed in that. I was able to predict most of what happened at the end before it happened, which is unusual for a Koontz novel. Perhaps I've just read too many of his books, and am too used to his style. But this book's "reveal" will not be a big surprise to people who have read some of Koontz's other work.

    The novel is well worth a read, and I enjoyed it... but the ending left something to be desired, by my lights.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Relentless

    Dean Koontz's Relentless is one of those books that seem to feel like you don't know where the book's getting at. Cubby Greenwich is an author who has a loving wife and child, but when one of his books gets poorly reviewed by one of america's top critics Cubby is on the run for his life from the "Relentless" critic that is determined to end his career. The book has an okay plot when said but as the book progresses, and as you think about it it seems a little far fetched. The book started off great and by halfway through it seemed that Mr. Koontz was trying to find something to add that shouldn't of been there. And also it felt like he was cramming to many details to end the book when they should of been spread out. Overall a good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A better Koontz than the last few...

    This was tough to put down...aside from the "Odd" series Koontz has written a few disappointing novels, as of late (for me). I appreciate a well developed character and I like that he ends on the up side, in general. I genuinely liked his characters and I really didn't figure out the end...until he was ready to reveal. I liked it. Watchers and Servants of Twilight are still my favorites, though.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2009

    Classic Koontz

    Anyone who has read any of Koontz's work can begin to recognize certain patterns. He still manages to make these plots and characters work. If you have enjoyed his past books you will not be disappointed here. Escapist and entertaining.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another Dean Koontz Thriller

    In my opinion, this story was a little different from most of Dean's books. The co-main character, usually a well-disciplined, very capable individual, is less so in this story. He seemed to be hesitant, self-doubting and less capable of handling tough situations. The wife seemed more in charge. This is a good divergence from most of his books. It was a thoroughly enjoyable reading. Dean presented very believeable characters - ones you can identify with and feel for. While the ending was somewhat predictable and not as spellbinding as most of his books, I highly recommend it for established Koontz readers as well as new.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Hummmmmm

    The book is a great read. I had a blast running with this adventure but the book gets wild towards the end. Still entertaining and I couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Koontzeriffic!

    LOVED it! I've loved most of them from this author, but he outdid himself with this one.

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  • Posted October 29, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Completely enthralling

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Silly ending but overall fun

    Cullen Greenwich is a bestselling author with the perfect life. He has a loving wife, Penny, also an author, and a six-year-old son Milo, a prodigy who, "...was chronologically six, intellectually twenty-something, and emotionally maybe ten or eleven." (pg. 124) And we can't forget Lassie, an Australian shepherd mix with personality plus. Cullen's newest novel, One O'Clock Jump has just been released and like his previous books, this one promises to be a bestseller. Life is good. That is until a scathing review comes out from Shearman Waxx, the esteemed senior critic from one of the nation's top newspapers. Cubby, as his friends call Cullen, tries to ignore the bad review and focus on all the good ones, but it's hard when everybody keeps reminding him not to think about the Waxx review. When Cubby and Milo run into Waxx at a local restaurant, the real problems begin. After a rather odd bathroom encounter, where young Milo almost "sprinkles" Waxx, the critic walks by the author and says one word, "Doom." While Cubby thinks the whole encounter strange, he's not worried until later that day when he finds Waxx in their house. Going after him, Cubby is unable to catch him and Waxx escapes, leaving no proof of his crime. Cubby thinks of calling 911, but with no proof, what would they do? But that night, Waxx enters their house again, tasering both Cubby and his wife. Again, Waxx gets away, leaving no sign that he had been in the house. Should they call the police? After receiving a call from another author who was also a victim of Waxx's wrath, who tells Cubby how Waxx killed his wife and two daughters, Cubby realizes Waxx isn't just after him, but also his wife and son. The police will never believe them. Soon after, Waxx makes another appearance and the family barely escapes before their house blows up. Realizing they are in mortal danger, the family begins a terrifying ordeal of trying to stay one step ahead of Waxx, who, for whatever reason, is bent on killing the family. Traveling by car, switching cars, taking a bus, not using credit cards, going places they have no connection to should keep them safe, but Waxx has an uncanny ability to find them again and again. The tension the author builds in this story, and the constant, fast pace, keep the story moving along quickly. Indeed, it's apt to be a book you'll read in one sitting, simply to find out what's up with Waxx. How does he do the things he does and more importantly, why? While the character of Milo gets a little annoying - he seems much smarter than a "twenty-something" and seems to grow smarter as the story progresses (perhaps because it was necessary to the plot for Milo to be very, very smart), the other characters were compelling enough to make me care about their safety. Lassie was perhaps the star, with her uncanny ability to crawl into tight spaces, stay hidden, and be perfectly happy about her cramped quarters when found. The ending may leave some readers a bit unsatisfied as it mixes elements of science fiction into the plot, and is something that's been used in numerous other stories, but overall, Relentless is a good, fun read that will keep you guessing. Quill says: If you like your books to offer lots of action and keep you guessing, check out Relentless to see what awful things can come from one bad review!

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  • Posted June 1, 2011

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    I Also Recommend:

    Thrilling Read

    Relentless was a fast-paced thriller that kept me reading. The premise is that Cubby, a best-selling novelist, has one of his books reviewed for the first time by the renowned book reviewer Shearman Waxx. Waxx hates Cubby's newest novel and writes a scathing review of it. Cubby is willing to let it go, but he can't resist catching a glimpse of the enigmatic book reviewer when he finds out the location of his favorite lunch spot. What started out as a harmless encounter ends with the book reviewer furious with Cubby and leaving him with one chilling word: "Doom."

    After that Cubby realizes he has a sociopath on his hands and one that's out not only for his blood but for the blood of his family. He takes his wife, Penny, and his prodigy son, Milo, on the run and together they seek answers to the nature of Waxx's obsession. Relentless was narrated by Cubby, who had a laid-back often humorous voice that juxtaposed with the grim plotline and details of Waxx's previous grisly murders. The characters were very original and entertaining. I found some of the climax and revelations that were made during that part of the book to be unbelievable, but it didn't ruin the overall reading experience. The resolution was satifying and on the whole it was really well written. If you're looking for a light, fast-paced read you should try this one.

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  • Posted January 28, 2011

    Seting on the edge of my seat

    I have been reading Dean Koontz for a while and I love this book found it hard to put down. Reading What the Night Knows and it's been real good also.

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  • Posted November 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    review taken from One Book At A Time

    I've been reading Dean Koontz for years. I think his books aren't for everyone. But, I love them (usually). This one was no exception. In the end, I didn't fully buy into the theory of why the critic was terrorizing Cubby, but I didn't care because the rest of the novel more than made up for the ending.

    This book was as fast past of most of his horror novels. It takes place over a matter of days. When the book still has the normal feel, I was actually a little tense over the events. Who wouldn't be if you wake in the middle of the night to someone in your room and the power cut. While, the events eventually become a little bit more unbelievable (Koontz books often become very science fiction or paranormal), they are still downright terrifying. Having people track you down relentlessly and realizing they've done it to other people before you is a great storyline. And Koontz doesn't mince words in describing some of the torture these villains have used against their victims.

    Oddly enough, there's humor in this novel as well. I was particularly fond of Milo by the end of the story. He had some great lines throughout. Being a boy genius wise way beyond his years brings an interesting twist to the story. He can do things his parents never though possible. Which in the end actually saves the day! I also really loved Penny. You would have to be a special character to have a genius for a son and a husband with the kind of background he does. Add in the dog with a special "talent" and it's just a great story. Cubby is also a great narrative. I enjoyed watching how he reacted to each terror that surrounds them especially in light of what happened to him as a child.

    I was really happy to finally get around to reading this one. Koontz is just so hard to predict. Sometimes his story venture to far off the map to really enjoy. But, this was great!

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

    Total Suspense!

    I literally got mad reading this book, because I couldn't put it down to go to sleep! Every chapter leaves you hanging, and you have to find out what happens next! The end was a little cheesy, though, I have to say. You never see it coming, but nonetheless, it's a little cheesy.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

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    Relentless is Just That

    I'm fairly new to audiobooks, so I feel lucky to have chosen this as my first. I've listened to many more since and know how important the narration is now. The story was gripping and the narration was perfection.

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  • Posted September 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    was engrossing.

    i was into the book, i kept waiting to find out why things were happening the way they were, im still not sure i get why they wanted to kill the family. i did enjoy it but it left some unanswered questions. overall, i would probably just get it from the library than buy it.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    Not quite relentless

    Unfortunately he already wrote Intensity which truly was intense. While this is a good book, it is disappointing if the reader has already read Intensity.

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  • Posted August 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Read

    I'd certainly recommend this as a good summer read. While it wasn't nearly as deep or as philosophic as some of his works, Koontz still knows how to artistically weave a horror story about a sociopath into something we can tolerate...at least in print. I liked the people characters and the dog was my favorite Koontz pet since Einstein in The Watchers.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    Good read

    This is the 3rd Dean Koontz book that I have read. I enjoyed the book as a whole, but I didn't particularly care for part of the ending. I'm not going to say which part since you may not have read it yet. The first book I read by him was "The Good Guy". Liked the book, not so much the ending (My sister-in law agreed). Then I read "Husband". Liked the book and the ending. So I gave this one a shot. Maybe it's just me? Well...... there's my two cents worth.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

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    Slow Start

    I normally love Koontz's books. It wasn't until about 100 pages in that the story really got interesting. The finish of the book was great. The element of mystery with the dog and the boy was crazy. In the end I did enjoy the book, but his books seem like they are taking longer and longer to get into.

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