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Book Review of Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, Bk 4)

Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, Bk 4)
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Dean Koontzs fourth offering in the Odd Thomas series left me underwhelmed at times. A few interesting characters here and there, which Mr. Koontzs has shown a talent in weaving, is not what redeemed the book totally but it was enough to make me forgive him a little.

After leaving St. Barts, the monastery Odd spent 7 months at in the previous book Brother Odd, he finds himself in Magic Beach, a quiet beach side community in California that is home to roughly 15,000 residents. He has not gone back to being a simple fry cook, but an all around the house type of employee for a retired actor turned childrens book writer named Lawrence Hutch Hutchinson. No bodachs are present in this book but he has been having a premonition dream of a giant crimson tsunami coming in on the shore of the pier.

Soon in the book he meets up with a peculiar young pregnant woman named Annamaria sitting along the pier. She has an easy going, almost perplexing nature, seemingly speaking in vague hints and riddles when confronted with any question, no matter how simple. A little annoying, because even through the end of the book, either by insufficient story telling by the author, or a hook into the next book, you still have no clue about what kind of significance she plays.

A few minutes into the meeting Odd is attacked by three armed gunman and has to make an escape by jumping off the pier after leading Annamaria to her safety. This scene is a little fast paced, ill-described, and confusing. Its like one minute you are reading about Odd and Annamaria at the pier and the next minute youre off the pier, being chased by 3 men after they for no described reason appeared and started to become menacing.

After the big scene Odd is eventually apprehended by the Magic Beach Police Department after he pocketed one of the gunmans ID from the above perilous flight scene and went into his home to find clues, which I was hoped to be given myself, because the whole thing was still confusing to me. There were none. Just more mysteries and a few dead bodies stacked in the bathtub reminiscent of the first book, Odd Thomas.

After the apprehension, and Annamaria tucked safely away at Blossom Rosedales house, (another interesting character that breaks up the monotony of confusion), he learns that almost the entire Harbor Department and police force is in on a conspiracy operation to get nuclear bombs transported there via harbor and taken elsewhere to perform the act of detonating American cities for the age old world domination move. Odd bluffs his way out, mostly, being the Chief of Police which, you guessed it, is in on the conspiracy, thinks he is a FBI/Homeland Security agent on to their plan.

Since Odd sees spirits of the dead, and in lieu of Elvis following him since he has moved on to the afterlife, now he has Frank Sinatra there, who is really neither as entertaining or as pleasant as the King. As a Sinatra fan, I was disappointed in the representation of Old Blue Eyes. Mr. Sinatra however was known for a bit of a temper in life helped him get out of the police station before being hooked up to a polygraph machine by throwing a huge poltergeist temper tantrum.

Confused yet? Me too, and I read the book.

Odd eventually gets all the pieces together with some twists and turns escaping town after the FBI was properly called in with Annamaria, Blossom soon to be joining, Boo, and his new friend, Raphael the Golden Retriever. He was a cute addition I must say.

All in all, through the rushed storyline, Odds usual humor made the book shine a little so if you arent into the storyline described, which myself I found had the blah factor, it more than makes up for well, a small portion of it. Some of the unusual characters will also be memorable to me, except for Annamaria whom I hope to learn something more about in the next book or two.

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