The Other Emily
By Dean Koontz
When one begins The Other Emily, one might wonder if Dean Koontz has produced a lyrical romance story. The writing is beautifully descriptive. It starts at the very beginning:
“Crystal confetti showered on the city, a final celebration of a winter that, on this twenty-fourth day of March, lingered past its official expiration date.”
“The end-of-season storm lacked force. Snow spiraled through windless canyons, as gray as ashes until it fell below the hooded streetlamps and was bleached by the light.”
Later, when the principal character, David Thorne, sees Emily for the first time:
“The swollen sun was still five minutes from immersion in the sea when he glanced toward the noisy bar and saw her. He froze with the wineglass halfway to his mouth and for a moment forgot that it remained in his hand. She was in that highest rank of beauties that inspired stupid men to commit foolish acts and made wiser men despair for their inadequacies.”
But we soon see that Koontz is laying out a mystery for us. This woman is identical to David’s lost love, Emily, who went missing ten years earlier; however, the woman is Emily of ten years ago, not having aged a day. With that conundrum established, can a Koontz sociopath be not far behind?
Of course not. That sociopath is soon to come into the picture and eventually, so is the sci-fi element on which Koontz depends to make the unexplainable plausible. Our good friend, Mr. Koontz, does not draw a straight line to solve the puzzle, and the reader will spend a good portion of their experience on red herrings.
A fan of Dean Koontz will not be disappointed. Readers who have never picked up one of his more than a hundred works will enjoy it as well.