Picks and Pans Review: Hideaway

updated 03/30/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/30/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Dean R. Koontz

Hatch Harrison, killed in a car crash, is miraculously restored to life by a mysterious surgeon. Hatch and his wife, Lindsey, are understandably grateful.

But since this is a book by Dean Koontz (The Bad Place, Whispers), whose horror novels rank in sales just behind, and in gore just beyond, those of Stephen King, there's a great deal more going on. Hatch believes he has brought some malevolent force back with him. Soon a madman named Vas-sago is stalking people who have had run-ins with Hatch and Lindsey. Hatch agonizingly sees each murder enacted in his mind, almost as if it were he doing the deed. How can he end the carnage?

Koontz's prose can be a touch stilted, but he makes up for that by honing his fearful yarns to a gleaming edge. Hideaway is, in fact, arguably his best work since Phantoms. While King is still leader in the horror field, Koontz is a hellhound on his tail. (Putnam, $22.95)

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