I have to start by saying that there is no romance in this book. I kept hoping that certain characters would hook up and give me my romance fix but it didn't happen. If you are looking for romance, you have to look elsewhere. Even with that being said, I'm still giving this book 4 stars. As a former obsessive reader of all things Dean Koontz, this book really reminded me of one of my first literary loves- paranormal mystery and suspense novels. Strangely, I don't read that many paranormal romances, but whatevs, this is just a good book. I also need to tell you that you can ignore the fact that this is the 16th book in a series, it's a standalone and you don't need to have read any of the other books.
From the very beginning of this book I was completely wrapped up and intrigued. The set up is a small town where people just start vanishing. Not disappearing, you could disappear by running away. No, it is clear from the opening scenes that people in this town aren't just walking away, they are vanishing into thin air without a trace. From there, things just get more interesting. I hadn't read any other books in the series so I wasn't quite expecting the leading character of the book, Jonah, the small town chief of police, to call in a FBI unit of investigators with psychic abilities but yup, that happens.
In the book, Jonah's investigation into the disappearances in his town is aided by Luke Jordan (psychic ability: locating people) and Jordan's wife, Sam, (psychic ability: telepath) and two plain human junior members of the team, Robbie and Dante. As the book goes on, the author really starts to push my Koontzish buttons. The investigators quickly intuit the presence of evil in the small town and they know their is a predator on the loose who must be stopped as he is gaining strength.
This book just gave me everything (except romance and sex...). Mystery, suspense and just enough spooky. I can't go full haunted house Halloween spook but I like the thread of spook woven into the mystery and suspense. That's a blend that works for me. This is a plot driven story. I didn't really feel a significant connection with the individual characters but in a book like this that is really ok, it doesn't detract from anything. I did enjoy the fact that the POVs in the book rotate and we get some glimpses into the mind of the killer. I always like to see into the mind of the killer in these books, it gives me a fighting chance at guessing what the heck is going on. Of course I didn't figure out a damn thing in this book but I would've just been made if I could.
The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars was the ending. Everyone knows I HATE an abrupt ending and this one definitely qualifies under that heading. I'm not sure if the story continues in future series because there is no cliff hanger. I just thought the ending was really fast and there were some more issues with the characters, not the mystery plot, that I wanted to see resolved more fully. Despite that fact, I highly recommend this book. The writing is excellent, the story telling is superb and you will stay glued to your e-reader.
**ARC provided by Publisher**