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Innocence

Cover of Innocence

Innocence

A Novel
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERIn Innocence, Dean Koontz blends mystery, suspense, and acute insight into the human soul in a masterfully told tale that will resonate with readers forever.He lives in...More
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERIn Innocence, Dean Koontz blends mystery, suspense, and acute insight into the human soul in a masterfully told tale that will resonate with readers forever.He lives in...More
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Description-
  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    In Innocence, Dean Koontz blends mystery, suspense, and acute insight into the human soul in a masterfully told tale that will resonate with readers forever.

    He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen.

    She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found.

    But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance--and nothing less than destiny--has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.

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

    Praise for Innocence

    "A thriller that's both chilling and fulfilling."--People (four stars)

    "Laced with fantastical mysticism, it's an allegory of nonviolence, acceptance and love in the face of adversity. . . . The narrative is intense, with an old-fashioned ominousness and artistically crafted descriptions. . . . An optimistic and unexpected conclusion [mirrors] his theme. Something different this way comes from Mr. Koontz's imagination. Enjoy."--Kirkus Reviews

    "Mystery and terror, the paranormal and romance--all combine to make Innocence a challenging and emotional experience."--New York Journal of Books

    "This novel really is something special. . . . This may just be the book Dean Koontz was born to write."--Thriller Books Journal

    "Entrancing . . . as speedy a chase-thriller as any Koontz . . . has ever constructed. Written in Koontz' late mellifluent and reflective manner . . . [Innocence is] fueled by deep disgust with the world's evils [and] hope for redemption."--Booklist (starred review)

    "[An] imaginative, mystical thriller from bestseller Koontz . . . This is the most satisfying Koontz standalone in a while."--Publishers Weekly

    "Masterful storyteller Koontz delivers perhaps his most eerie and unusual tale to date. The timeline in this amazing story is compact, and readers will be swept along as they try to unravel hints and clues as to the true nature of both the protagonists and the unfolding drama. Unpredictably spine-chilling and terrifying, this is a story readers won't soon forget."--RT Book Reviews

    "Elegant . . . Fans of Koontz's previous series will be left hoping that Addison and Gwyneth, too, will return."--Library Journal
 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    having escaped one fire, i expected another. I didn't view with fright the flames to come. Fire was but light and heat. Throughout our lives, each of us needs warmth and seeks light. I couldn't dread what I needed and sought. For me, being set afire was merely the expectation of an inevitable conclusion. This fair world, compounded of uncountable beauties and enchantments and graces, inspired in me only one abiding fear, which was that I might live in it too long.

    2

    i was capable of love, but i lived in solitude after Father died. Therefore I loved only the precious dead, and books, and the moments of great beauty with which the city surprised me from time to time, as I passed through it in utmost secrecy.

    For instance, sometimes on clear nights, in the solemn hour when most of the population sleeps, when the cleaning crews are finished and the high-­rises darkle until dawn, the stars come out. They are not as bright over this metropolis as they must be over a Kansas plain or a Colorado mountain, but they still shine as if there is a city in the sky, an enchanting place where I could walk the streets with no fear of fire, where I could find someone to love, who would love me.

    Here, when I was seen, my capacity for love earned me no mercy. Quite the opposite. When they saw me, men and women alike recoiled, but their fear quickly gave way to fury. I would not harm them to defend myself, and I remained therefore defenseless.

    3

    on certain nights, beautiful but sad music found its way into my deep windowless rooms. I didn't know from where it came, and I couldn't identify the tune. No lyrics accompanied the melody, but I remained convinced that I had once heard a smoky-­voiced chanteuse sing this song. Each time the song came, my mouth moved as if forming the words, but they eluded me.

    The piece was not a blues number, yet it weighed on the heart as did the blues. I might call it a nocturne, although I believe that a nocturne is always an instrumental. Words existed to this melody. I was certain they did.

    I should have been able to follow those mellifluous strains to a vent grille or a drain, or to some other route of transmission, but every attempt to seek the source ended in failure. The music seemed to issue from the air, as if passing through a membrane from another, unseen world parallel to ours.

    Perhaps those who lived in the open would have found the idea of an invisible world too fanciful and would have dismissed the notion.

    Those of us who remain hidden from everyone else, however, know that this world is wondrous and filled with mysteries. We possess no magical perception, no psychic insight. I believe our recognition of reality's complex dimensions is a consequence of our solitude.

    To live in the city of crowds and traffic and constant noise, to be always striving, to be in the ceaseless competition for money and status and power, perhaps distracted the mind until it could no longer see--­and forgot--­the all that is. Or maybe, because of the pace and pressure of that life, sanity depended on blinding oneself to the manifold miracles, astonishments, wonders, and enigmas that comprised the true world.

    When I said "those of us who remain hidden," I should instead have said "I who am hidden." As far as I was aware, no other like me existed in that metropolis. I had lived alone for a long time.

    For twelve years, I shared this deep redoubt with Father. He died six years earlier. I loved him. I missed him every day. I was now twenty-­ six, with perhaps a long, lonely life ahead of me.

    Before I arrived, my father lived here with his father, whom...

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

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    Random House Publishing Group
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