Review of “Ashley Bell” by Dean Koontz



THE MUST-READ THRILLER OF THE YEAR: Featuring the most exhilarating heroine in memory and a sophisticated, endlessly ingenious, brilliantly paced narrative through dark territory and deep mystery, this is a new milestone in literary suspense and a major new breakout book from the long acclaimed master.

At twenty-two, Bibi Blair’s doctors tell her that she’s dying. Two days later, she’s impossibly cured. Fierce, funny, dauntless, she becomes obsessed with the idea that she was spared because she is meant to save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell. This proves to be a dangerous idea. Searching for Ashley Bell, ricocheting through a southern California landscape that proves strange and malevolent in the extreme, Bibi is plunged into a world of crime and conspiracy, following a trail of mysteries that become more sinister and tangled with every twisting turn.

Unprecedented in scope, infinite in heart, Ashley Bell is a magnificent achievement that will capture lovers of dark psychological suspense, literary thrillers, and modern classics of mystery and adventure. Beautifully written, at once lyrical and as fast as a bullet, here is the most irresistible novel of the decade.


I am at a complete loss for words.

This book started off pretty well. I was quite invested in it for about the first 20 chapters. I really liked Bibi, the main character. I admired how determined she was to fight the brain cancer and how spunky and brave she was. I liked the sub-plot about Olaf. I was fascinated by the plot and was eagerly awaiting to find out exactly why this is labeled as the “Must Read Thriller of the Year”.


But then it was as if an avalanche hit because all of my hopes for this book came crashing down. It was obvious as the novel progressed that it wasn’t going to get any better.


I can’t even begin to comprehend how on earth this book was written by Dean Koontz. Dean is, by far, one of my favorite authors. I have loved The Husband, Intensity, Velocity, The Good Guy, etc

His books have been amazing and he’s perfectly capable of writing absolute masterpieces! But this? This made absolutely no sense whatsoever. I found myself reading chapters more than once just to try to wrap my mind around a certain concept, but I didn’t gain any understanding from rereading those chapters. All I got was a pounding headache.

This book had so much potential but then it just became word vomit. I stopped trying to look at it from the author’s POV or from the POV of other readers who really enjoyed it. I still love Dean and will continue to recommend his other books, but this one was just not for me. I was really disappointed.


2 out of 5 stars!

Special thanks to the publisher for approving my request to read this book through Netgalley!

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Favorite Quotes:

“Home is where the heart is. No, nothing quite as simple as that. Home is where you struggle, in a world of endless struggle, to become the best you can be, and it becomes home in your heart only if one day you can look back and say that, in spite of all your faults and failures, it was in this special place where you began to see, however dimly, the shape of your soul.”

“There is no adult terror equivalent to what an innocent child experiences when first confronted with the truth that evil is not merely a figment of fairy tales, that it walks the world in countless forms, and that what it seeks most aggressively is the destruction of the innocent.”

“People hide truths about themselves from themselves. Such self-deception is a coping mechanism, and to one extent or another, most people begin deceiving themselves when they’re children.”

“She had big dreams, though she didn’t call them dreams, because dreams were wish-upon-a-star fantasies that rarely came true. Consequently, she called them expectations. She had great expectations, and she could see the means by which she would surely fulfill them.”

“Dogs were the ultimate practitioners of the therapy of touch. Dogs knew and accepted the hard realities of life that human beings could not acknowledge until those obvious truths were exhaustively described with words, and even then there was often more bitter acknowledgement than humble acceptance.”

She wanted to be plucky, intrepid, and lionhearted. Stalwart. Valiant. Superman and Supergirl had no appeal for her, everything was too easy for them and other invulnerable superheroes, without genuine danger. Bibi knew that life could never be that way. Every surfer surfed with sharks unseen and swam with the risks of riptides. Death was real. You had to face that truth if you were ever to grow up. She wanted no caped costume with an S upon her chest. But she would have been proud to wear a sweater with a small V – a V for Valiant – though only if by her actions she earned it.

Lionhearted girls seldom retreated when they were threatened, and they never turned tail and ran without good reason.


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