A couple of weeks ago I posted my review of Dean Koontz’s newest novel, “Ashley Bell.” But a little before Ashley was published Koontz released a short story called, “Final Hour.” Like any good fan of the author I dutifully read the story a couple of weeks before Ashley. The reason why that’s important is because “Final Hour” introduces us to a character that makes an important appearance in Ashley. Relax, it’s not Ashley.

In “Final Hour” we meet Southern California surfer Makani Hisoka-O’Brien who has a talent she wishes she didn’t have. By just touching a person she can see every evil thing they’ve done and are thinking about doing.

One day Makani inadvertently touches a woman and is horrified by what she “sees.” The woman is holding someone hostage and intends to kill this person. Makani knows she has to help the hostage but how? She has no idea who the woman is, where she lives, or where the hostage is being held. So with the help of a friend and a very brave dog, Makani is determined to do what has to be done.

First of all, yes, Koontz has a brave dog in this story too. Brave dogs are in lots of his novels and stories, get used to it. I often think that it’s the same dog that appears in his novels only with different names. But that doesn’t matter. I like the dog, I like all the dogs in Koontz’s books.

As for “Final Hour” I enjoyed this short story too. Okay, it was a tad too violent for me in a couple of places. I’m not into violence, gore, and disgusting things but I overlooked that portion of the story because by the time it happened I was too far into it and wanted to know the outcome. But you might as well be forewarned.

If you’re a fan of Koontz and plan to read “Ashley Bell” read “Final Hour” first. It won’t take long. It isn’t imperative to read Ashley first, it stands on its own but it’s nice, to me at least, to recognize the recurring character. And for all we know this character might make an appearance in another book or story.

Now, if you’re not a fan of Koontz and can’t tolerate  violence and gore I’d stay away from “Final Hour.” And if you’re one of the many who are getting fed up with yet another brave dog helping to save the day, don’t read this story either because the dog has a big part.


Kindle Edition, 87 pages

Published October 27th 2015 by Bantam


Edition Language English

Series Ashley Bell .20


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