Published by Bantam on December 8th 2015
Genres: Paranormal Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
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THE MUST-READ THRILLER OF THE YEAR: Featuring the most exhilarating heroine in memory and a sophisticated, endlessly ingenious, brilliantly paced narrative through dark territory and deep mystery, this is a new milestone in literary suspense and a major new breakout book from the long acclaimed master.\r\n\r\nAt twenty-two, Bibi Blair’s doctors tell her that she’s dying. Two days later, she’s impossibly cured. Fierce, funny, dauntless, she becomes obsessed with the idea that she was spared because she is meant to save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell. This proves to be a dangerous idea. Searching for Ashley Bell, ricocheting through a southern California landscape that proves strange and malevolent in the extreme, Bibi is plunged into a world of crime and conspiracy, following a trail of mysteries that become more sinister and tangled with every twisting turn.\r\n\r\nUnprecedented in scope, infinite in heart, Ashley Bell is a magnificent achievement that will capture lovers of dark psychological suspense, literary thrillers, and modern classics of mystery and adventure. Beautifully written, at once lyrical and as fast as a bullet, here is the most irresistible novel of the decade.\r\n
When I was a young, nerdy teenager, you’d find me surrounded by stacks of library books, and most of them were either Stephen King or Dean Koontz. I read everything I could get my hands on by the two of them, and then re-read the ones I loved. Over the years, Stephen King remained #1 for me, and although I would occasionally pick one up, Dean Koontz mostly fell by the wayside as I discovered new genres and authors. When I saw Ashley Bell, I was immediately intrigued. The synopsis really drew me in and I was really excited to read it (or listen to it, since I chose the audiobook version). It started off great – interesting characters, a plot mysterious enough to keep me coming back, and of course, an appearance by the obligatory golden retriever. For the record, I love that a Golden always shows up in his books. I lost my precious 14-year-old Golden, Toby, last year, so the breed will always have a special place in my heart. I have always enjoyed Mr. Koontz’s style of writing, and this book was no exception. However, about halfway through, he threw me for a bit of a loop, and not in a good way. I won’t reveal any plot twists, but of this one, I was not a fan. That, combined with the ending, pretty much ruined the book for me. I felt like it took me forever to wade through it, and once the plot twist happened, all sense of creepiness was gone. Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz started off with a lot of promise, but ended with disappointment. On a positive note, the narrator was great. The voice that she used for the main character, Bibi, almost reminded me of Kristin Bell, and her tone for the other characters was spot-on, as well. I would happily listen to other books that she narrated. I’m not giving up on Dean Koontz, but this particular book was a let down for me.
“Home is where the heart is. No, nothing quite as simple as that. Home is where you struggle, in a world of endless struggle, to become the best you can be, and it becomes home in your heart only if one day you can look back and say that, in spite of all your faults and failures, it was in this special place where you began to see, however dimly, the shape of your soul.”