Mitch Rafferty has just sixty hours to save his wife.
A suspense novel – and love story – from one of the most acclaimed and popular authors of modern times.
What would you do for love? Would you die? Would you kill?
Landscape gardener Mitchell Rafferty was busy planting beds of impatiens for one of his clients when his phone rang. It was a voice he didn’t know. ‘We have your wife. You can get her back for two million cash.’
Now he’s standing in a normal suburban neighbourhood on a bright summer day having a phone conversation out of his darkest nightmare.
Mitch thinks it must be some kind of a joke. But whoever is on the other end of the line is dead serious. ‘See that guy across the street?’
Rifle fire shatters the stilllness as the man goes down, shot in the head. ‘An object lesson.’
The caller doesn’t care that Mitch has no way of raising such a vast sum. He’s confident that Mitch will find a way. ‘If he loves his wife enough.’
Mitch does love her enough. He’s got sixty hours to prove it. He’ll pay anything. He’ll pay a lot more than two million dollars.
A story of love, tenacity and courage with the pace of a runaway train, from its tense opening to its shattering climax, ‘The Husband’ is a thriller that holds the reader in its relentless grip.
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It must be tempting for writers such as Dean Koontz to rest on their laurels. After all, they've achieved more bestseller placings than most writers could shake a stick at, and acquired as dedicated following as their accountants could wish. But The Husband shows that Koontz still has several tricks up his sleeve, and that he can still do plotting more ingeniously than most of his contemporaries.
Mitchell Rafferty is a landscape gardener--not a rich man--who receives a phone call that he initially thinks is some kind of a hoax: he is told that for two million in cash, he can get his wife back from the people who have abducted her. But he is quickly given an object lesson in the seriousness of the people he is dealing with--while on the phone, trying to take in what he's been told, it’s suggested to him that he looks at a man across the street. A rifle shot rings out, and the man falls, shot in the head. The terror and desperation that Rafferty feels are compounded by one simple fact: he has absolutely no way of acquiring such a massive sum. But his caller doesn't seem to be interested in such niceties--if Mitchell loves his wife enough, he'll find a way. And he has exactly 60 hours in which to do it.
With a premise like this, any halfway decent writer would be able to ratchet up the tension to ensure that the reader is comprehensively gripped. But Koontz isn't just interested in the execution of a precision-tooled plot (although, God knows, he’s an old hand at handling such things). What we get along with the cleverly orchestrated tension is a series of killer twists--the kind that Koontz has always been adept at. It goes without saying that a setup such as this allows little room for nuances of characterisation, but that's never been Koontz’s métier in any case. However, if you're looking for a thriller that is the purest escapism, look no further.
‘There’s surprise after surprise, including a killer finale … a read-in-one-go novel.’ Independent on Sunday on ‘Velocity’
‘Hits its pace from the first page and races through to a suitably climactic ending.’ Sydney Sunday Telegraph
'Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler.’ The Times
'Psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying.' The New York Times
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