Travis Cornell is a man for whom life has lost all meaning. But on a hike one day, he runs into a golden retriever, somewhat battered, obviously friendly, but determined to protect him from something. Travis, a former member of the elite Delta Force, finds himself running in a blind panic with the dog. He takes the dog in and, after the dog displays absolutely amazing intelligence, names him Einstein. The two eventually become three when Travis meets lonely Nora Devon through Einstein. She joins with Travis in trying to protect Einstein from the mysterious being known as The Outsider. Unfortunately, The Outsider isn't the only one looking for the group. Can they all protect each other?
Okay, this was Dean Koontz, so it almost naturally follows that I couldn't put it down. I fell in love with Einstein. The humans? Honestly, I could take them or leave them. But a dog with a sense of humor and a clear way to express it? Sign me up. Koontz usually does a good job with this, but I really liked the way that not everything was black and white in this novel. As scary as The Outsider is, he's not always the villain. In fact, he's postively heart-breaking in some scenes. Probably the only thing keeping me from giving this five stars was the huge amount of coincidence involved in Einstein managing to find an independently wealty Delta Force guy to live with. Aren't the odds better that he would find just a regular joe who would lack the knowledge, money and experience to protect him? Really, that's just a small thing, but it did periodically bug me. Overall, I recommend this for all Koontz fans, and really, for dog lovers who have ever wondered what their companions would say given the chance.
Reviewed August 17, 2008
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Friday Flashback Reviews are a weekly feature here on The Introverted Reader. These are old reviews I wrote on GoodReads. Thanks to Angieville and her Retro Friday Reviews for the inspiration and encouragement!I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop's, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.