One night after his shift, bartender Billy Wiles, whose fiancée was accidentally poisoned four years ago and remains in a coma, discovers a note on his windshield that reads: "If you do not take this note to the police, I will kill a blond school teacher in Napa. If you do take this note to the police, I will kill an elderly woman active in charity work." Uncertain what to do, Billy approaches his police officer friend Lanny Olsen. He thinks it's a hoax and advises Billy not to do anything. But when a Napa teacher is murdered, it's frighteningly apparent the killer is for real.

Soon, Billy realizes that he's being framed and tries to find a way to stop the killer on his own. This life-and-death dance with a madman is forcing Billy into action and produces emotions that may haunt him for the rest of his life.

Only Koontz could devise such a simple, twisted and truly horrifying premise. This book is gut-wrenching, fast-paced and unforgettable. Hang on for the ride. (Jun., 401 pp., $27.00)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith