On the stormy night of Jimmy Tock's birth, his paternal grandfather, Josef, lies dying in another room of the same hospital. Just before Jimmy is born, stroke-felled Josef suddenly sits up in bed and makes 10 predictions. After correctly predicting Jimmy's name, time of birth and vital statistics, Josef also announces that Jimmy will face five terrible days in his life. Immediately after, Josef dies.

Twenty years later, the first of those five terrible days approaches. Is there anything Jimmy can do to avoid the trauma, or is facing them square on the only hope of surviving? With a dark, treacherous evil stalking Jimmy and those he loves, finding a way to triumph will test the limits of his spirit and ingenuity.

Leave it suspense impresario Koontz to deliver an utterly engrossing story of five days in the life of one unique man. While the suspense is crackling, the humor and wit keep the story balanced between laughter and fear. (Dec. '04, 401 pp., $27.00)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith