Book Review: Dean Koontz’s Odd Hours

Posted May 7, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Dean Koontz’s Odd Hours

Odd Hours


Dean Koontz

horror that was published by Bantam on May 23, 2008 and has 352 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Odd Thomas, Forever Odd, Brother Odd, Odd Apocalypse, Deeply Odd, The City, Odd Thomas: You Are Destined to Be Together Forever (Short Story), Saint Odd, The Silent Corner, The Whispering Room

Fourth in the Odd Thomas philosophical horror-lite series. This story finds Odd in Magic Beach, California.

My Take

Being an odd-attractant is certainly a useful, um, skill? It certainly explains how Odd attracts the, um, unusual, not to say, odd and leaves Koontz the leeway to use this as an excuse to not explain anything to the reader.

It was irritating to try and figure out what’s going on, but then Odd works his charm and I fell into it, slowly, wonderingly, confusedly. Brother Odd, 3, appears to have been, not a bridge, but a break to allow for Odd’s new trek out into the world. And his encounter with the enigmatic Annamaria appears to be the connection, the initial path out into this brave new world of Odd’s. It should be interesting to see where this pregnant “madonna” will lead.

I’m still hunting for the reason that the three thugs came after Annamaria and Odd in the first place… Oh, I understand why they come after Odd, after that touch. But why touch him in the first place? Koontz leads you to believe one thing about why they’re tracking Annamaria — paranormal connection — and later events don’t bear it out. And what’s with the coyotes?

Oh, yeah, I can see what an amazing psychic Portentia was…

“…two days later, at the hour Portentia foretold, she shot him.”

The thing is, I don’t need Annamaria’s cryptic avoidance to want to read the next story as I like Odd. He’s a decent guy who has given up any thought of his own life in exchange for helping the world. But he provides this aid with no thought of remuneration; he never wonders how it will help him. Koontz has created such an interesting dilemma for Odd with his odd abilities and a sure bet that no one would believe him. Which makes it even odder that so many do believe him without need of an explanation.

Think James Bond zenned out.

I did appreciate Odd’s casually careful carelessness during his police interview. I could only hope I should be so relaxed…appearing.

There’s an odd quality…I know, I get so caught up in Odd that he permeates my thoughts. A sign of a good writer, yeah, like I’m one to judge, LOL, when characters and words continue to leap out at you when you’re not reading! The thing is Annamaria’s presence is peculiar with a Delphic-quality of communication. And Koontz doesn’t give us a reason to trust her. I suspect the intention is to drag us along to Odd Apocalypse, the next in the series. A possible fulfillment of what Annamarie is insinuating.

The Story

Something, some pull has caused Odd to come to Magic Beach, to work for an ex-actor who hasn’t worked on-screen in 50 years. A man who has been honing, instead, his paranoia about all the minute possibilities of harm. He is, however, a kind man, with skewed observations.

The truth of which hits us over the head the night that Odd gets in the way.

The Characters

Odd Thomas sought refuge from the demands on his psyche, but it turned out only to be a another instance where his help would be needed. Now he’s following yet another demand, waiting to learn where and how his help will be needed. Boo is the ghost of a white shepherd-mix Odd encounters at the monastery in Brother Odd. “Raphael” may well be joining the troupe.

Lawrence “Hutch” Hutchinson is eighty-eight years old and a retired actor with a strong fantasy life as well as his paranoia. His primary income these days is the children’s series he writes. There’s an oddly surreal quality to his conversations with Odd, particularly toward the end.

Annamaria is pregnant. Blossom Rosedale is a survivor and a quilter, who lives in the Cottage of the Happy Monster. Birdena “Birdie” Hopkins seems to have a calling just as Odd does. She’s certainly a character!

Samuel Owen Bittel is one identity for Sam Whittle. Reverend Charles Moran is with St. Bartholomew’s Church; Melanie is his wife. Hoss Shackett is the chief of police in Magic Beach; he runs a rather terrifying jail. Utgard Rolf is one of his police officers. Buddy, Jackie, Joey, Jonah, and Hassan are helping out along with Valonia.

Chief Wyatt Porter, the chief of police in Pico Mundo, California, Odd’s hometown, vouches for him. P. Oswald “Little Ozzie” Boone is his author friend and mentor who writes several series of books about detectives. Frank Sinatra‘s ghost has taken up where Elvis left off. Pearl Sugars is his now-deceased grandmother who trailed high-stakes poker games. Bronwen “Stormy” Llewellyn was Odd’s girlfriend before she died in Odd Thomas, 1.

The Cover and Title

There’s something about the way Odd is sitting with his back to us, his elbows up on the park bench, looking out over the nothingness and the roiling clouds of blue- and pale-grays that seems very peaceful, but the darkness hints at what’s yet to come.

I suspect the title refers to how long he has before everything will blow up in his face. He’s on Odd Hours, which may be fewer than we think.