Author:  Dean Koontz
Title:  "The Husband"
Publisher:  Bantam

Mitchell Rafferty owns a small landscaping company. He's planting red and purple impatiens when his cell phone rings. At 11:43 a.m. on Monday, May 14, his nightmare begins, and his life is altered in ways he never imagined. Holly, his wife, is on the phone until it's snatched away by a stranger. Mitch hears a slap, followed by a scream. Ice water sloshes through his veins in spite of the hot California sun.

An unfamiliar voice informs him they've kidnapped his wife. Mitch can get her back – for two million dollars cash. If he goes to the police, the kidnappers will cut up his wife, bit by bit, before they kill her. Or let her die a slow death. The kidnappers don't care that Mitch is a gardener with a mere eleven thousand dollars in the bank. The price for Holly is two million dollars ... cash. He has sixty hours to raise the money. To clarify, a man walking his dog on the other side of the street from Mitch is executed with a shot to the head.

The police finish the shooting's preliminary investigation and Mitch has lost two hours and gained a detective. Like a pebble wedged into the sole of a shoe, Lieutenant Taggart refuses to be dislodged. Suspicious, he dogs Mitch and each meeting brings more pointed questions. Mitch's cell phone rings after each encounter and his conversations with the detective are re-played, word for word. Is Taggart an honest cop or one of the kidnappers testing Mitch?

Mitch seeks out his older brother, Anson for help. Anson was the rock that got the Rafferty children through an abusive childhood. Anson realizes he knows the men who've kidnapped Holly and vows to get her back.

But trust leads to betrayal. Two lives forfeit for one. As the hours click away, this simple gardener finds himself in battle with men whose power and influence wrap around the globe. Power derived from the most defenseless among us.

The clock keeps ticking. What happens when time runs out?

"The Husband" is not just another page-turning thriller from Dean Koontz. At its core, this book is a love story. Mitch Rafferty is a husband who cherishes his wife. Without her, his life has no meaning. In a world where relationships seem to disintegrate faster than water racing through a broken dam, Mitch Rafferty is a rarity. Every decision he makes has Holly at its center. Commitment to his wife and self-sacrifice on her behalf resonate throughout "The Husband." Mitch's love for his wife supersedes anything and everything else, including his own life.

Koontz also highlights the worldwide influence of the child pornography industry as well as psychological abuse inflicted on children by their parents. When parents treat their children as objects and withhold love and support, the ramifications can shatter the lives of many, worldwide.  All from the privacy of home.

Disturbing, spine-tingling and hopeful, "The Husband" is highly recommended.



 © 2006 Infuze Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.