Three individuals are forever changed when their paths cross one night in a small Santa Fe motel. Artist Dylan O'Conner is traveling with his autistic brother, Shep, to an arts festival when he is attacked and injected with a mysterious substance by a seemingly deranged "doctor." This mystery man tells Dylan that this substance will either kill him or transform him in some unpredictable way and warns Dylan to take his brother and flee—assassins will be after Dylan because he is now a carrier.

Comedian Jillian Jackson also made a fateful decision to stop at the same motel. Following her close encounter with the mysterious "doctor," she stumbles across Dylan and Shep.

Realizing that their best chance of survival is to stay together, Jilly, Dylan and Shep become an unlikely trio. When their mystery doctor is killed by men in black SUV's, the urgency of their situation becomes more apparent. With an unknown man-made substance flowing in their blood, Jilly and Dylan soon start to experience unusual phenomena. What are they becoming? Whatever it is, it seems to have left them sensitive to discovering evil in those around them.

Koontz does it again. No one is better at delivering eerie, utterly riveting books that explore the essence of good and evil. Spanning just 24 hours, this is a roller-coaster story. (Dec., 431 pp., $25.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith