Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz
Published by HarperCollins
Published 2 June 2016 (first published 2015)
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
Bibi Blair is a fierce, funny, dauntless young woman – whose doctor says she has one year to live.
She replies, ‘We’ll see.’
Her sudden recovery is a medical miracle.
An enigmatic woman convinces Bibi that she escaped death so that she can save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell.
But who is Ashley Bell? And what exactly does she need saving from?
Bibi’s obsession with finding Ashley sends her on the run from threats both mystical and worldly, including a rich and charismatic cult leader with terrifying ambitions.
The year that Bibi Blair turned ten, which was twelve years before Death came calling on her, the sky was a grim vault of sorrow nearly every day from January through mid-March, and the angels cried down flood after flood upon Southern California. That was how she described it in her diary: a sorrowing sky, the days and nights washed by the grief of angels, though she didn’t speculate on the cause of their celestial distress.
WHAT I THOUGHT
I really enjoyed Ashley Bell. This book is an example of what Koontz is great at – complex characters, enough plot twists and turns to make you dizzy and sick to your stomach, and unsettling, creepy, darkness that makes your flesh crawl. Ashley Bell contains 130 short chapters. I liked this. I’ve read a lot of books recently with really looooong chapters so was in the mood for something shorter and snappier. The short chapters and fast pace meant I read the book fairly quickly. As much as I like books that can take weeks to read sometimes I like a book I can get through in a couple of days. I just really enjoyed Ashley Bell. I liked the crazy and seemingly unconnected things that happened to Bibi when she’s diagnosed with cancer. Who are the wrong people the weird medium refers to? Why does Bibi’s old creative writing professor hate her so much? What about the weird encounter with another old teacher? Some of these questions are answered but some aren’t and I’ll draw my own conclusions. I wouldn’t describe Ashley Bell as a thriller – like most of Koontz’s books it’s hard to categorise. I enjoyed Ashley Bell and would recommend it.