One Door Away From Heaven

By Dean Koontz

One Door Away From Heaven is an unexpected book that follows three primary groups of people who finally converge in the last few chapters of the book. Writing styles change a bit from chapter to chapter depending on which group is being described, which dumbfounded me the first time I read it. The styles evolve into one style as the characters get closer together, which is an amazing feat! It takes a great writer to do that well.

The book starts out in a dusty trailer park in California where Michelina Bellsong has moved in with her aunt, searching for a way to change the direction of her troubled life. Along comes Leilani Klonk, a precocious handicapped girl with a strong spirit who cuts through the crap and says it how it is. Thrown off guard, Micky isn’t sure how to react but sees a quiet desperation underneath the strength Leilani portrays.

Leilani’s mother is absorbed in her world of drugs, and her stepfather, Preston Maddoc, is not who he appears to be. He has moved the family from place to place searching for UFO sightings, striving to make contact. The story he tells is that the aliens will heal Leilani by her 10th birthday or take her to live with them on their world. Leilani’s older brother, who also was crippled, disappeared after a walk alone with Maddoc, and Leilani fears he was murdered instead of healed.?Striving to help 9-year-old Leilani gives Micky purpose and helps change the direction of her life.

Add to that a boy-who-isn’t-a-boy and his dog, and a worn out private investigator who both have their own problems. It appears that each has their own unrelated story, but as the book progresses, their commonality is revealed and the juncture where they all meet changes life for everyone.

I love reading Dean Koontz because of the way he uses words! The vocabulary is phenomenal, and I love the way he uses the words. His metaphors and use of adjectives in descriptions is a fun read. Sometimes it takes me longer because I am rereading the word mixtures more than once.

One Door Away From Heaven is my favorite Dean Koontz book and I would recommend it to any adult. It is a thriller that does contain violence.


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