I have to admit, that I was a little leery of reading a Dean Koontz book.  He has a reputation for writing horror and I’m not a big fan of the genre (though I do like some of Stephen King’s work).  Hubby will be the first to tell you that zombies give me the willies.  My most unfavorite movie?  “The Last Man on Earth” where zombies/vampires chase Vincent Price around.  Gave me nightmares for WEEKS. 

But my misgivings notwithstanding, I thought Odd Thomas was awesome.  It was less horror (thank goodness!) and more suspense, with a taste of the paranormal added to the thrills.  And of course, there were the humorous aspects of Elvis riding around with our hero, an exploding cow and a cat named Terrible Chester.

Koontz does a masterful job of building the suspense, minute by minute, page by page.  Odd wanders his quiet little town, picking up clues and seeing the signs that something really bad is going to happen, but he’s not sure where or when.  The story had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Odd is a fascinating character and I think it’s great that Koontz has written more books about him.  Picture me reading more stories featuring our hero.  The town of Pico Mundo is a strange mix of contrasts, too.  It’s a dry desert town with a sad abandoned whorehouse at the edge of town but the town also boasts a fine, multi-level mall. And what is up with Elvis hanging around Pico Mundo?

There were eight of us at our gathering on October 17th, which made for a lively discussion.  We were all pleasantly surprised at how much we enjoyed Odd Thomas.  Scary, creepy, kind of weird but a good read.  And was Odd schizophrenic or did he really see dead people?  The general consensus was a thumbs up.

Pam’s Picks (and we had to hold her down to just two) were Involuntary Witness by Gianrico Carofiglio and The Last Enemy by Grace Brophy.  Pam’s in an Italy kind of mood.

We also presented the reading list for 2011, which has a nice mix of cozy, international, true crime and classic mystery titles.  See the sidebar on the right to see what we’ll be reading in the new year.