Hideaway. Dean R. Koontz is the author of many best-selling horror novels. Hideaway stands as one of his most affecting works.
The characters may not be much more than one-dimensional creations, but Koontz has a way of hooking his readership with edge-of-your-seat terror that, for the most part, makes up for the lack of strong character development.
In Hideaway, Hatch Harrison and his wife Lindsey are involved in an automobile accident, as they make their way down from the San Bernardino Mountains.
After striking a beer truck that was stuck in the road, the Harrison’s Honda plunges into a ravine. The car finally stops in a river, where Hatch apparently drowns before a rescue team can get to him.
He is transported by helicopter to Orange County General Hospital, where a special resuscitation project team, headed by Dr Jonas Nyebern, has had good luck in bringing patients back to life.
Harrison is successfully resuscitated. He and Lindsey become determined to appreciate each new day that they have been given. They even decide that they will adopt a child.
Their relationship had been struggling ever since they lost their five-year-old son a few years ago, but now they feel that the bond between them is stronger than it has ever been.
Just when they think that this second chance at rekindling their relationship is the answer to their prayers, Hatch begins having frightening visions.
He cannot explain why he feels connected to the murders that flash inside his head. He wonders if he is possibly going crazy, but, in reality, people who have done him harm, such as the driver of the beer truck, are being killed.
There seems to be an evil force that is taking pleasure in killing, and Hatch concludes that he is the only person who can stop it. In true Koontz fashion, there is a climactic struggle in which Hatch must destroy the evil psycho-killer before he can harm the child the Harrisons have adopted.
Koontz makes use of religious symbols. The killer calls himself Vassago, supposedly one of the crown princes from Hell, and Hatch senses that he is being controlled by the archangel Uriel.
Hideaway may be humorless and somewhat plodding, but Koontz’s loyal fans will not be disappointed with the novel.
About the Author – Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz is a bestselling thriller writer who has been keeping readers on edge since the late 1960s with titles like The Door to December and Odd Thomas.
Dean Koontz was born in Everett, Pensylvania, on July 9, 1945, and graduated from Shippensburg University in 1966 with a degree in English. Koontz quit his high school teaching job to work on his writing career, and he published his first novel, Star Quest, with Ace Books in 1968. He soon began branching out into various genres under several pseudonyms before settling on the thriller novel, an arena in which he would become a massive worldwide success. Today, Koontz has written more than 120 books with over 450 million copies in print.
Dean Koontz grew up an only child in nearby Bedford. To find respite from an abusive alcoholic father, Koontz turned to reading and watching movies, pastimes that would greatly influence the rest of his life.
“When I was a kid, writers were my heroes because they took me out of that awful house,” Koontz has said. “Books were an escape from the violence of the household and the poverty.”
You might say Koontz’s writing career began when he was eight, when he started writing short stories and selling them to his relatives for change. Following that path, Koontz graduated in 1966 from Shippensburg State College (now Shippensburg University) with a bachelor of arts in English. His college career was punctuated his senior year with the Atlantic Monthly Creative Writing Award, which he won with a short story titled “The Kittens”
Becoming a Published Author
Soon after graduation, Koontz married Gerda Ann Cerra, his high school girlfriend. His first jobs were with the Appalachian Poverty Program, where he worked with children, and as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg Area Senior High School.
Koontz continued to pursue his passion, writing when he wasn’t busy with work, and he produced notebooks full of short stories. During this period, his wife made a deal with him. He could quit his job and work for five years toward getting a writing career off the ground, while Gerda supported him.
In 1968, the first of Koontz’s many novels appeared, a sci-fi work called Star Quest, and it was followed by several others in the genre. In 1971, Koontz’s novella Beastchild was recognized with a Hugo Award nomination, and after that Koontz began experimenting with other genres under pseudonyms.
Publishing under such names as Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, K.R. Dwyer and Brian Coffey (among several others), Koontz produced books in genres such as suspense, gothic romance and mystery.
Great Literary Success
After releasing scores of titles, Koontz’s 1980 novel Whispers became his first paperback bestseller. A series of suspense books followed including Phantoms (1983), Darkfall (1984), Strangers (1986) and Watchers (1987). Since those early days, Koontz has written dozens of books, and he has gone on to sell more than 450 million copies in 38 languages.
Of those books, many have hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Among them The Bad Place (1990), Hideaway (1992), One Door Away From Heaven (2002) and What the Night Knows (2010). In 2003, he released Odd Thomas, another New York Times bestseller and the first in a popular series which included Forever Odd (2005), Brother Odd (2006), Odd Hours (2008), Odd Apocalypse (2012), Deeply Odd (2013) and Saint Odd (2014).
Graphic Novels and Screenplays
Not content to dominate the paperback thriller, Koontz also writes graphic novels, creating such unique works as the series Nevermore, Frankenstein: Prodigal Son and In Odd We Trust. Several of Koontz’ books have also been turned into TV movies and theatrical releases, including Demon Seed (1977), Whispers (1990), Hideaway (1995, (starring Jeff Goldblum and Alicia Silverstone) and Odd Thomas (2013).
Koontz isn’t prolific by accident: He says he puts in 60 to 70 hours per week on his creations, working through dozens of drafts before he gets each book just right.