Velocity - Dean Koontz About as close as I have come to "horror/thriller" are the movies Signs and Secret Window. But I am adventurous and will attempt to read pretty much anything.
Billy Wiles is a very seclusive bartender in Napa Valley. His life is pretty ho-hum until he finds a note on his car. He is given the choice: to remain silent and a young schoolteacher will die or go to the police and an elderly woman will die. At first, he thinks it is a joke. But when Gisele Winslow, a young schoolteacher, dies, Billy realizes that the notes wasn't a joke and that he--and those around him--is in serious danger

If I could think of one word for this book, I would think "intense". Dean Koontz doesn't spend much time detailing every last minutiae about Billy's life, his neighborhood, his dog; he forces the audience to leap feet-first into a whirlwind of tense sequences, chilling revelations, and spine-tingling events and reveals Billy's chilling past in short, quick side stories. The writing is terse and quick; it is completely easy to get lost in the writing and find huge sections are behind you. The environment is described so well, that you are actually transported into the scene. Everything said or done is easy to follow and draws you more and more into the story.
What I found I actually liked was when Koontz would have a conversation and interspersed between dialogue would detail the surrounding environment. At first, I wondered why Koontz spent so much time on something so irrelevant, but when I realized that it was symbolism, I enjoyed it.
Speaking on symbolism, Koontz uses the entire tale to leave the audience with the message that Billy's real problem wasn't what the "freak" was doing to him, but that the fact that Billy had no one else to turn to. I loved the message and how it was intricately wrapped into the fast-pace of the novel.
My favorite characters are Billy (of course) and, of all people, Ralph Cottle. Billy, our hero, is an everyman. He isn't that pleasant but isn't unkind (he considers the loss of any life terrible). He has abandoned his dream to write, has committed crimes, and has dedicated his life to his fiancée, Barbara, who resides in a coma. Ralph Cottle, on the other hand, is a man who has lost pretty much everything, has nothing to lean on, but who is so scared to lose what little he has left that he will make a deal with the devil. Koontz wrote him well and made him easily accessible.

Well, as you will read below, the violence is pretty hefty. For a squeamish person like myself, this is a real turn-off.
While the novel is great, what really is the draw-back is the end. (Some minor Spoilers ahead.) The story goes along well, but you get hooked on a particular red herring to discover that the person wasn't the "freak". Instead, the actual killer or "freak" is someone the audience barely knows (a complete stranger to Billy too) and comes off as an almost dues ex machina. Then, when Billy has his confrontation with said "freak" you get another shocking surprise about the "freak" that makes you want to go, "Ugh!" And the actual conclusion, while okay, made you wonder how the police never realized that a total of six people were dead and that their deaths were related.
Although petty, I found it silly that Billy kept referring to the killer as a "freak". Dean, you have written so many beautiful passages, can't you think of a better word to describe this guy than "freak"?

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
The dialogue is very tame here. A few wandering b****, da**, and he**'s but other than that, very mild.
Sexual situations are a bit more involved. Ivy's sexual attraction is constantly mentioned as are how "hot" men are when around her. Further Steve Zillis has a sexually twisted hobby.
Violence, however, is not tame. Over the course of the entire novel, six people die and their deaths, while not described in depth, are still vividly alluded to (along with the reason they died). A woman's face is kept in a jar by the killer. Billy ends up with fishhooks in his forehead and nailed to the floor.

Wow. After the brisk pacing of this book, I feel like I've run a marathon.
Anyway, I enjoyed the book but the violence was too much for me (I'm terribly squeamish). If you can stomach some violence and don't mind a few bumps in the night, I would definitely recommend this one.