Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Good Guy

I went rummage sale-ing yesterday, and I made the most amazing find at a church rummage sale. I found a vintage white cast iron patio set with four cushioned chairs and a glass-topped table. It was in terrific condition and only $40! I called Jesse at work to ask his opinion, but he didn't answer, so I called him on the cell, and he still didn't answer. After two more tries, I gave up and called the one person who would definitely tell me to go for it: my mom. Two very nice men helped me load it into the van, and I drove very carefully all the way home (after stopping at another two sales that just happened to be on they way). Jesse was pleased with my purchase (yay!), and it's set up under the cedar trees in the yard. The picture is of the three kids goofing around as Jesse tries to take their picture on it. You can see Molly's sunburn and Mia's ballerina skirt. I also came across two ironstone pitchers at a sale for a song. Mom has a large collection of them, but she won't share, so I have to find my own.

Mia went to a mini-tractor pull today. My step-dad Jeff and my brother Jake remodeled a lawn tractor into a pulling tractor, and today was their first competition. Yes, they actually have real contests where grown men sit on these things and compete for trophies while their families fill up the bleachers to watch. Personally, I don't get it, but they are having a blast.

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz is a classic what would you do story. Tim Carrier is in a friend's bar having a beer when a man sits down next to him and gives him an envelope with $10,000 and the picture of a woman and the instructions to take care of her. The mystery man leaves and before Tim can figure out exactly how he was mistaken for a hitman, the real hitman arrives and mistakes Tim for his employer. Tim keeps the picture, tracks down the woman, Linda, and they are soon in the run for their lives from the hitman and the people who hired him. First of all, curse Dean Koontz for writing books that encourage my insomniac habits. Second, this book doesn't live up to this great writer's reputation. Krait, the hitman, is so much of an enignma even he doesn't understand himself. He's smart in the way all suspense genre killers are, but because his background is a mystery, there's no drama, and when the trick to his supernatural-seeming intelligence is exposed, he's simply a weirdo with a gun. Tim and Linda each have unique histories that have shaped them, but Tim's former life as a soldier doesn't explain all of his unusual skills, and Linda's family history may be awful, but her secret past as a novelist isn't fully developed and seems completely unnecessary to the plot. In many of Koontz's books, each sentense appears to have been polished until it shines. The only gem to be found here is the repartee between Tim and Linda, and the action rises as they flee Krait. But once the true bad guy is revealed, the plot quickly fizzles. It's like a horror movie where the villain is terrifying as long as you only catch a glimpse, but once you see him completely, much of the suspense is lost. The Good Guy plays out the same way. My advice: after Krait is dead, put down the book and walk away. In many of Koontz's recent books, there has been a spiritual aspect, and perhaps that's why this story has no real heart. Tim and Linda are terrific characters who have been dropped down into a clunker of a story. If this is the kind of book we get when Koontz pushes out 3-4 a year, I'd be glad to go back to an annual entry.

Speaking of insomnia, I was up until quarter to four Friday morning, and then I had too much to do, so I ran all day yesterday. Today I can't walk very well, so I'm staying on the couch and catching up on some reading. Hopefully a good night's rest tonight will fix me in time for church tomorrow.

On Monday I'm starting my blog tour for Gone with the Groom along with a contest to win the book. Come back then for complete details!