Husband [NOOK Book]


BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Dean Koontz's The City.

We have your wife. You get her back for two million cash. On an ordinary afternoon, an ordinary man, a gardener of modest means, gets a phone call out of his worst nightmare. The caller is dead serious....
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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Dean Koontz's The City.

We have your wife. You get her back for two million cash. On an ordinary afternoon, an ordinary man, a gardener of modest means, gets a phone call out of his worst nightmare. The caller is dead serious. He doesn’t care that Mitch can’t raise that kind of money. If she’s everything to you, then you’ll find a way.
Mitch loves his wife more than life itself. He’s got sixty hours to prove it. He has to find the two million by then. But he’ll pay a lot more. He’ll pay anything.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Would you die for love? Would you steal? Would you kill? These are the questions posed in the masterful Dean Koontz's, taut, electrifying thriller about an ordinary man faced with the abduction of his wife. The Husband will exceed the expectations of even the most ardent Koontz fan.
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. Simultaneous release with the Bantam hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 25). (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA - Joanna Morrison
It is just a typical hot, boring day at work when landscape gardener Mitch Rafferty receives an unexpected call on his cell phone from his wife, Holly. She does not sound like herself, an impression reinforced when a man's voice interrupts to tell Mitch that Holly has been kidnapped and that he has only sixty hours in which to raise two million dollars to ransom her. He allows no questions, offers no explanations, and most important, demands no police involvement or Holly will die. Just to be sure that Mitch gets the point, the caller directs Mitch's attention to a man walking a dog across the street, and Mitch watches in horror as the dog walker is shot by a sniper. Mitch is now a believer, but where in the world is a gardener supposed to come up with that kind of cash? The story proceeds at a breakneck pace, piling twists upon twists as Koontz shows why Mitch and Holly have been chosen for this extortion, how Mitch's family background and history has influenced the kidnapping, and movingly the growing determination and outrage of a good, ordinary man pushed too far. Fans of Koontz's Odd Thomas (Bantam, 2004/VOYA February 2005) will appreciate the supernatural slant to Mitch and Holly's relationship, and readers of thrillers will find this novel a genuine page-turner.
Library Journal
Many of the elements that denote a Koontz work are here: mystery, suspense, violence, and tropical suburban California. When landscaper Mitch Rafferty receives a call from his wife, Holly, she announces that she's been abducted; her kidnappers demand a $2 million ransom. Mitch, an ordinary working Joe, doesn't have that kind of money, but the kidnappers know how he can get it. Listeners root for Mitch, who wants nothing more than to live with Holly and raise a family in safe seclusion behind their rose-entwined white picket fence. He won't employ the same questionable methods to rear rational-materialist children as his egg-head parents did, methods that employed sensory deprivation, semistarvation, nudity, and severe verbal analysis. Holter Graham is an excellent narrator, with an interesting ability with accents, but he does not develop enough distinction between his male and female voices. Recommended only for libraries that have either a large budget or a very small audio collection of Koontz titles. David Faucheux, Louisiana Audio Information & Reading Svc., Lafayette Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“A pulse-pounding thriller with echoes of Hitchcock.”—Publishers Weekly
 “Moves like a roller coaster without brakes . . . Koontz is America’s No. 1 author of thrillers [and] The Husband is one of his finest novels.”—The Denver Post
“Breakneck speed and complexities . . . Koontz is a master of the edge-of-your-seat, paranoid thriller—and perhaps the leading American practitioner of the form.”—The Star-Ledger
“[A] hair-raising thriller . . . Nothing should be given away about this sinuous nail-biter’s developments . . . all help ratchet up the suspense.”—Booklist (starred review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307414328
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/15/2007
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 68,974
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives with his wife, Gerda, and the enduring spirit of their golden retriever, Trixie, in southern California.

From the Hardcover edition.

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    1. Also Known As:
      David Axton, Brian Coffey, K.R. Dwyer, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige, Owen West, Aaron Wolfe
    2. Hometown:
      Newport Beach, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Everett, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A man begins dying at the moment of his birth. Most people live in denial of Death’s patient courtship until, late in life and deep in sickness, they become aware of him sitting bedside.

Eventually, Mitchell Rafferty would be able to cite the minute that he began to recognize the inevitability of his death: Monday, May 14, 11:43 in the morning–three weeks short of his twenty-eighth birthday.

Until then, he had rarely thought of dying. A born optimist, charmed by nature’s beauty and amused by humanity, he had no cause or inclination to wonder when and how his mortality would be proven.

When the call came, he was on his knees.

Thirty flats of red and purple impatiens remained to be planted. The flowers produced no fragrance, but the fertile smell of the soil pleased him.

His clients, these particular homeowners, liked saturated colors: red, purple, deep yellow, hot pink. They would not accept white blooms or pastels.

Mitch understood them. Raised poor, they had built a successful business by working hard and taking risks. To them, life was intense, and saturated colors reflected the truth of nature’s vehemence.

This apparently ordinary but in fact momentous morning, the California sun was a buttery ball. The sky had a basted sheen.

Pleasantly warm, not searing, the day nevertheless left a greasy sweat on Ignatius Barnes. His brow glistened. His chin dripped.

At work in the same bed of flowers, ten feet from Mitch, Iggy looked boiled. From May until July, his skin responded to the sun not with melanin but with a fierce blush. For one-sixth of the year, before he finally tanned, he appeared to be perpetually embarrassed.

Iggy did not possess an understanding of symmetry and harmony in landscape design, and he couldn’t be trusted to trim roses properly. He was a hard worker, however, and good if not intellectually bracing company.

“You hear what happened to Ralph Gandhi?” Iggy asked.

“Who’s Ralph Gandhi?”

“Mickey’s brother.”

“Mickey Gandhi? I don’t know him, either.”

“Sure you do,” Iggy said. “Mickey, he hangs out sometimes at Rolling Thunder.”

Rolling Thunder was a surfers’ bar.

“I haven’t been there in years,” Mitch said.

“Years? Are you serious?”


“I thought you still dropped in sometimes.”

“So I’ve really been missed, huh?”

“I’ll admit, nobody’s named a bar stool after you. What–did you find someplace better than Rolling Thunder?”

“Remember coming to my wedding three years ago?” Mitch asked.

“Sure. You had great seafood tacos, but the band was woofy.”

“They weren’t woofy.”

“Man, they had tambourines.”

“We were on a budget. At least they didn’t have an accordion.”

“Because playing an accordion exceeded their skill level.”

Mitch troweled a cavity in the loose soil. “They didn’t have finger bells, either.”

Wiping his brow with one forearm, Iggy complained: “I must have Eskimo genes. I break a sweat at fifty degrees.”

Mitch said, “I don’t do bars anymore. I do marriage.”

“Yeah, but can’t you do marriage and Rolling Thunder?”

“I’d just rather be home than anywhere else.”

“Oh, boss, that’s sad,” said Iggy.

“It’s not sad. It’s the best.”

“If you put a lion in a zoo three years, six years, he never forgets what freedom was like.”

Planting purple impatiens, Mitch said, “How would you know? You ever asked a lion?”

“I don’t have to ask one. I am a lion.”

“You’re a hopeless boardhead.”

“And proud of it. I’m glad you found Holly. She’s a great lady. But I’ve got my freedom.”

“Good for you, Iggy. And what do you do with it?”

“Do with what?”

“Your freedom. What do you do with your freedom?”

“Anything I want.”

“Like, for example?”

“Anything. Like, if I want sausage pizza for dinner, I don’t have to ask anyone what she wants.”


“If I want to go to Rolling Thunder for a few beers, there’s nobody to bitch at me.”

“Holly doesn’t bitch.”

“I can get beer-slammed every night if I want, and nobody’s gonna be calling to ask when am I coming home.”

Mitch began to whistle “Born Free.”

“Some wahine comes on to me,” Iggy said, “I’m free to rock and roll.”

“They’re coming on to you all the time–are they?–those sexy wahines?”

“Women are bold these days, boss. They see what they want, they just take it.”

Mitch said, “Iggy, the last time you got laid, John Kerry thought he was going to be president.”

“That’s not so long ago.”

“So what happened to Ralph?”

“Ralph who?”

“Mickey Gandhi’s brother.”

“Oh, yeah. An iguana bit off his nose.”


“Some fully macking ten-footers were breaking, so Ralph and some guys went night-riding at the Wedge.”

The Wedge was a famous surfing spot at the end of the Balboa Peninsula, in Newport Beach.

Iggy said, “They packed coolers full of submarine sandwiches and beer, and one of them brought Ming.”


“That’s the iguana.”

“So it was a pet?”

“Ming, he’d always been sweet before.”

“I’d expect iguanas to be moody.”

“No, they’re affectionate. What happened was some wanker, not even a surfer, just a wannabe tag-along, slipped Ming a quarter-dose of meth in a piece of salami.”

“Reptiles on speed,” Mitch said, “is a bad idea.”

“Meth Ming was a whole different animal from clean-and-sober Ming,” Iggy confirmed.

Putting down his trowel, sitting back on the heels of his work shoes, Mitch said, “So now Ralph Gandhi is noseless?”

“Ming didn’t eat the nose. He just bit it off and spit it out.”

“Maybe he didn’t like Indian food.”

“They had a big cooler full of ice water and beer. They put the nose in the cooler and rushed it to the hospital.”

“Did they take Ralph, too?”

“They had to take Ralph. It was his nose.”

“Well,” Mitch said, “we are talking about boardheads.”

“They said it was kinda blue when they fished it out of the ice water, but a plastic surgeon sewed it back on, and now it’s not blue anymore.”

“What happened to Ming?”

“He crashed. He was totally amped-out for a day. Now he’s his old self.”

“That’s good. It’s probably hard to find a clinic that’ll do iguana rehab.”

Mitch got to his feet and retrieved three dozen empty plastic plant pots. He carried them to his extended-bed pickup.

The truck stood at the curb, in the shade of an Indian laurel. Although the neighborhood had been built-out only five years earlier, the big tree had already lifted the sidewalk. Eventually the insistent roots would block lawn drains and invade the sewer system.

The developer’s decision to save one hundred dollars by not installing a root barrier would produce tens of thousands in repair work for plumbers, landscapers, and concrete contractors.

When Mitch planted an Indian laurel, he always used a root barrier. He didn’t need to make future work for himself. Green growing Nature would keep him busy.

The street lay silent, without traffic. Not the barest breath of a breeze stirred the trees.

From a block away, on the farther side of the street, a man and a dog approached. The dog, a retriever, spent less time walking than it did sniffing messages left by others of its kind.

The stillness pooled so deep that Mitch almost believed he could hear the panting of the distant canine.

Golden: the sun and the dog, the air and the promise of the day, the beautiful houses behind deep lawns.

Mitch Rafferty could not afford a home in this neighborhood. He was satisfied just to be able to work here.

You could love great art but have no desire to live in a museum.

He noticed a damaged sprinkler head where lawn met sidewalk. He got his tools from the truck and knelt on the grass, taking a break from the impatiens.

His cell phone rang. He unclipped it from his belt, flipped it open. The time was displayed–11:43–but no caller’s number showed on the screen. He took the call anyway.

“Big Green,” he said, which was the name he’d given his two-man business nine years ago, though he no longer remembered why.

“Mitch, I love you,” Holly said.

“Hey, sweetie.”

“Whatever happens, I love you.”

She cried out in pain. A clatter and crash suggested a struggle.

Alarmed, Mitch rose to his feet. “Holly?”

Some guy said something, some guy who now had the phone. Mitch didn’t hear the words because he was focused on the background noise.

Holly squealed. He’d never heard such a sound from her, such fear.

“Sonofabitch,” she said, and was silenced by a sharp crack, as though she’d been slapped.

The stranger on the phone said, “You hear me, Rafferty?”

“Holly? Where’s Holly?”

Now the guy was talking away from the phone, not to Mitch: “Don’t be stupid. Stay on the floor.”

Another man spoke in the background, his words unclear.

The one with the phone said, “She gets up, punch her. You want to lose some teeth, honey?”

She was with two men. One of them had hit her. Hit her.

Mitch couldn’t get his mind around the situation. Reality suddenly seemed as slippery as the narrative of a nightmare.

A meth-crazed iguana was more real than this.

Near the house, Iggy planted impatiens. Sweating, red from the sun, as solid as ever.

“That’s better, honey. That’s a good girl.”

Mitch couldn’t draw breath. A great weight pressed on his lungs. He tried to speak but couldn’t find his voice, didn know what to say. Here in bright sun, he felt casketed, buried alive.

“We have your wife,” said the guy on the phone.

Mitch heard himself ask, “Why?”

“Why do you think, asshole?”

Mitch didn’t know why. He didn’t want to know. He didn’t want to reason through to an answer because every possible answer would be a horror.

“I’m planting flowers.”

“What’s wrong with you, Rafferty?”

“That’s what I do. Plant flowers. Repair sprinklers.”

“Are you buzzed or something?”

“I’m just a gardener.”

“So we have your wife. You get her back for two million cash.”

Mitch knew it wasn’t a joke. If it were a joke, Holly would have to be in on it, but her sense of humor was not cruel.

“You’ve made a mistake.”

“You hear what I said? Two million.”

“Man, you aren’t listening. I’m a gardener.”

“We know.”

“I have like eleven thousand bucks in the bank.”

“We know.”

Brimming with fear and confusion, Mitch had no room for anger. Compelled to clarify, perhaps more for himself than for the caller, he said, “I just run a little two-man operation.”

“You’ve got until midnight Wednesday. Sixty hours. We’ll be in touch about the details.”

Mitch was sweating. “This is nuts. Where would I get two million bucks?”

“You’ll find a way.”

The stranger’s voice was hard, implacable. In a movie, Death might sound like this.

“It isn’t possible,” Mitch said.

“You want to hear her scream again?”

“No. Don’t.”

“Do you love her?”


“Really love her?”

“She’s everything to me.”

How peculiar, that he should be sweating yet feel so cold.

“If she’s everything to you,” said the stranger, “then you’ll find a way.”

“There isn’t a way.”

“If you go to the cops, we’ll cut her fingers off one by one, and cauterize them as we go. We’ll cut her tongue out. And her eyes. Then we’ll leave her alone to die as fast or slow as she wants.”

The stranger spoke without menace, in a matter-of-fact tone, as if he were not making a threat but were instead merely explaining the details of his business model.

Mitchell Rafferty had no experience of such men. He might as well have been talking to a visitor from the far end of the galaxy.

He could not speak because suddenly it seemed that he might so easily, unwittingly say the wrong thing and ensure Holly’s death sooner rather than later.

The kidnapper said, “Just so you’ll know we’re serious . . .”

After a silence, Mitch asked, “What?”

“See that guy across the street?”

Mitch turned and saw a single pedestrian, the man walking the slow dog. They had progressed half a block.

The sunny day had a porcelain glaze. Rifle fire shattered the stillness, and the dogwalker went down, shot in the head.

“Midnight Wednesday,” said the man on the phone. “We’re damn serious.”

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 216 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 217 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2008

    What Would You Do For Love?

    I've always thought of Dean Koontz as the master of psychological suspense. His novels are aways full of weird and over the top characters that he makes believable and then he puts them in situations which are weird and over the top and makes them believable. This time around Dean changes things up a bit. He takes an average Joe and puts him in a seemingly no win situation. Mitch Rafferty, owner of a two man landscaping business gets the phone call no husband would want. Someone has his wife. That's the bad news. The worse news is, the someone wants $2 million in 60 hours. He doesn't have that kind of money and they know it. Still, they're convinced he'll find away to get the funds. If he loves his wife. He loves her. No question. The kidnappers tighten the screws from that moment on by first killing someone 'innocent' so Mitch will know they mean business. Things go down hill for our hero from there. One of the things I really liked about this story was how Dean shows two people who were raised in the same dysfunctional environment could respond to that upbringing in totally different ways. You'll have to read the book to find out what I mean. I try to never include plot spoilers in my reviews. I gave a rating of 5 stars because I loved the story. Koontz in one of my all time favorite novelists. I dream of one day writing my own novels half as well as he does. However, this novel wasn't without its problems for me. One, the scenes with the wife when she's held captive just didn't work for me. When I read the sections with Mitch it was like I was right there with him. Almost like what happened to him happened to me. With those sections devoted to his wife I felt somehow distant from the situation. I don't know why. I don't believe this is the desired affect Dean meant. The second thing I didn't care for was just a pet peeve of mine and it didn't really take away from the story. Most stories have this same element in them. I've just never understood why. Here's what I'm talking about. The novel is 68 chapters. In chapter one Mitch learns of his wife's kidnapping. From chapter two on Mitch is doing everything he can to get her back. After all that can happen happens, we come to chapter 68. It's 3 years later and everything is normal again. What's the rub for me? Mitch did some pretty terrible and even illegal things in an attempt to get his wife back. Seemingly, there were no repercussions for his actions. I know one would say he was justified, but I'm just not sure how the law would take this in the real world. Maybe that's the point. It's not real life, it's a novel. And a great thrill ride it is. Pick up a copy and see what you think. I believe you won't be disappointed.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Hey, pretty good.

    I wrote a pretty scathing review of 'Lightning,' also by Dean Koontz a little while ago. I hated that book. But now let's talk about some good Koontz, shall we? I read this book in about a week (which may not seem like a too short of a time, but to me it is, I'm a slow reader.) And I loved every minute of it. Well sort of. The beginning was epicly epic, the plot of the novel exploded in your face, there was no way NOT to read the rest of it after the first one hundred pages (Which I read in one night). The one hundred pages after that were also very good, but not as good, they seemed to stall (As many of Koontz's books do at some point) a little bit, but were very enjoyable. The last hundred pages are why this book is recieving a 4/5 instead of a 5/5. They weren't bad at all, but they weren't very great either. It seems to slow down muchos, and get bogged down in the details (Another very common attribute of Koontz's writing) The pages which chronicled the standoff between Mitch and the bad guy were, to me, the most boring part. Koontz has many trademarks in his books, one of them is dogs, another is a way too keen sense of plants, another is the desert...Oh god, it was hard to read those pages. For some reason I can't hear Koontz talk about the desert and not cringe a little. He describes it in such boring detail, he doesn't really bring anything new to the table. Not like Stephen King, who I'm sure would find some way to make the desert interesting. But other than getting slow and over detailed in a few points the book was very good, very fast, a thrill ride. I liked it a lot. The ending was good, it was happy, as most of Koontz's endings.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    Dean does it again

    never have I read a book that moves so intensely fast (in a good way!). Not once did I read something that made me say "meh, he could have left that out." This is a must-read for all Koontz fans :)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    I'm so confused. I have been a Dean Koontz fan for years, ever since I first found Strangers in my high-school library. There had NEVER been a book that I didn't like, until the release of VELOCITY. I actually, almost, nearly, dare I say it?--hated that book. Then along comes THE HUSBAND, and I wanted so badly to love it like I loved previous books like WATCHERS, ODD THOMAS, and PRODIGAL SON. Alas, it was not to be. <BR/><BR/>The premise of thrusting an ordinary man (a gardener/landscaper) into unbelievably horrific circumstances was a good one. Unfortunately, I couldn't "like" the characters. Said gardener was bland and boring; his wife (who has been kidnapped) seemed to be little more than an afterthought. The "extra" characters in the book didn't seem to flesh anything out at all. To be honest, I didn't finish the story, although I did flip to the last chapter to see how it ended. <BR/><BR/>Overall, it was okay, but I long for the days of more supernatural magic that Mr. Koontz's early books brought.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2008

    Could have been better

    This book started off so wonderfully intense and became mediocre in the end. Koontz spends too much time describing the unnecessary. I hoped for something great , but did not get it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2008

    It's not 'The Good Guy'

    Love the story idea, but wish another author had written the book. Koontz has a tendency to go on and on. He did so much of that in this book, I fell asleep twice.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2007

    not impressed

    I have read all of dean koontz books and this one was not up to parr. I wonder if he is getting mellow with his writing over the years.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012


    So this book took me less than three days to read! Would of been much faster but real busy i had to write a review because my friend and i decided to read the same book '
    One part of the book made me say oh my god outload on the bus many eyes looking at me
    That day i knew i was reading a fab book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2007

    Pretty Weak Overall

    Great pemise and cover description to get you excited to buy the book but thats where the excitement ends. Not at all on the level of Grisham and Patterson

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2006

    Koontz descriptive flare missing

    I have read many of Mr. Koontz's wonderful novels over the years, and I found this to be lacking in his usual masterful use of language. Most of this book was dialog, resulting in very short and clipped paragraphs.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Great book

    Koontz is always good

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    Excellent book !

    Absolutely loved it ! Could not put it down !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Lot's of Suspense

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Koontz is usually very intense, but this time it had just the right amount of suspense. It is one of those books that you can't put down, although there was something slightly familiar about it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2011

    Page turner

    Kept me reading non-stop. Good book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Kept Me READING

    This book had a great. story with some. twists. i really enjoyed it..

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2010

    Good story

    I liked this book, It is an easy read and kept me reading way to late a few times. 5 stars

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010


    I enoyed the plot, but everything is detached, nothing seemed to mesh together, and the incessant horticulture references were annoying. How can anyone not know their brother is pure evil? Why would a brother throw another brother under the bus? It seemed the explanation of the family dynamic should of been in the beginning, it would have made for more interesting reading. The New Mexico references were not only annoying, but odd and made no sense. Koontz, you do better with horror than mystery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    The Husband

    This book is very well written. The author keeps your attention by adding new people and new twists. Its also romantic. Mitch is willing to do anything to get his wife back, even if it means murder. I think anyone would enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Changed premise is its only flaw - 4-1/2 Stars

    As you know, I am a big Koontz fan, but the last few novels of his that I've read have failed to dazzle me. I picked up this book on Ebay with high hopes, and I'm pleased to report that most of them were met.

    "The Husband" is a fantastic "what would you do?" novel! The title character, Mitch, is out gardening when he gets a phone call; his wife has been kidnapped and the ransom is $2 million. The problem is, Mitch honestly does not have that kind of money, but the kidnappers do not care, and they gun down one of his neighbors just to show how serious they are.

    What follows is difficult to describe without giving too much away, and I hate spoilers as much as the next guy. Suffice to say that it is very intense in the best nail biting Koontz fashion.

    I have only one problem with this book, one complaint that prevents me from giving it 5 stars. It's not the fact that, once again, we are treated to the same character types in new situations; I have discussed this before, and have realized that if I'm going to read Koontz's work, I have no choice but to accept that he has a very limited range of character types.

    My complaint is that the novel does not really unfold as the initial premise suggests. The tag line of, "What would you do for love? Would you die? Would you kill?" suggested a tale along the lines of the Harrison Ford movie "Firewall," with a desperate family man doing whatever it takes to protect his loved ones. What would Mitch do to save his wife? Would he rob a bank? Would he take his own hostage and demand a ransom? Barred from contacting the police for help, how far would this desperate husband go?

    But in very short order, Mitch turns to his brother for help, and not long after that, it is revealed that Mitch's family tree is not as "average" as the premise suggested. Again, I do not want to give too much away, but let me just say that I thought I would be getting "Firewall," and instead got something more along the lines of a Martin Scorsese mafia story! It was very jarring, and not in a good way.

    However, that stands alone as my reason for holding back that last 1/2 star. Koontz's prose is top notch, his writing visceral and the tension sky high. If the book ha just been marketed a little differently, this might have ended up as one of my favorite Koontz books yet.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very Slow Read

    This book started off to a decent start, then slowed down A LOT. It finally got good in the last few chapters. I didn't really enjoy this book like I expected to.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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