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The Good Guy [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Dean Koontz , Richard Ferrone
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 29 2007
Timothy Carrier, having a beer after work at his friend’s tavern, enjoys drawing eccentric customers into amusing conversations. But the jittery man who sits next to him tonight has mistaken Tim for someone very different—and passes to him a manila envelope full of cash.

“Ten thousand now. You get the rest when she’s gone.

The stranger walks out, leaving a photo of the pretty woman marked for death, and her address. But things are about to get worse. In minutes another stranger sits next to Tim. This one is a cold-blooded killer who believes Tim is the man who has hired him.

Thinking fast, Tim says, “I’ve had a change of heart. You get ten thousand—for doing nothing. Call it a no-kill fee.” He keeps the photo and gives the money to the hired killer. And when Tim secretly follows the man out of the tavern, he gets a further shock: the hired killer is a cop.

Suddenly, Tim Carrier, an ordinary guy, is at the center of a mystery of extraordinary proportions, the one man who can save an innocent life and stop a killer far more powerful than any cop…and as relentless as evil incarnate. But first Tim must discover within himself the capacity for selflessness, endurance, and courage that can turn even an ordinary man into a hero, inner resources that will transform his idea of who he is and what it takes to be The Good Guy.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bestseller Koontz (The Husband) delivers a thriller so compelling many readers will race through the book in one sitting. In the Hitchcockian opening, which resembles that of the cult noir film Red Rock West (1992), Timothy Carrier, a quiet stone mason having a beer in a California bar, meets a stranger who mistakes him for a hit man. The stranger slips Tim a manila envelope containing $10,000 in cash and a photo of the intended victim, Linda Paquette, a writer in Laguna Beach, then leaves. A moment later, Krait, the real killer, shows up and assumes Tim is his client. Tim manages to distract Krait from immediately carrying out the hit by saying he's had a change of heart and offering Krait the $10,000 he just received. This ploy gives the stone mason enough time to warn Linda before they begin a frantic flight for their lives. While it may be a stretch that the first man wouldn't do a better job of confirming Tim's identity, the novel's breathless pacing, clever twists and adroit characterizations all add up to superior entertainment.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Big Tim Carrier maintains the lowest possible profile, but that tactic crumbles after he is mistaken for a hit man, and when the hit man arrives, poses as the client and tries to cancel. But no one aborts this guy's missions. Tim rushes to shield the prospective victim, writer Linda Paquette, and it soon becomes obvious that the killer has access to every auto-, phone-, and credit-tracing device known to law enforcement (is he a cop?). Moreover, he somehow can pressure law enforcement to be unhelpful, as Tim and Linda discover when Tim's police friend Pete Santo is warned off so firmly that he joins Tim and Linda on the run. For most of its length, this is white-knuckle suspense as gripping as any Koontz has ever written, and the principals all have intriguing backstories that are eventually, with the frustrating exception of the killer's, fully disclosed. Yet the climax and the denouement seem half-baked and perfunctory. This is, however, as politically passionate and common-guy witty as his other, better recent books. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars ONE FOR THE GOOD GUYS... March 16 2009
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is a suspenseful thriller, lightly laced with humor. Replete with some interesting twists and turns, it will definitely keep the reader turning the pages. I read it in one sitting, as it is was an easy and enjoyable read. Once again, the author creates n original opening gambit that will grip the reader.

Here, Tim Carrier, a self-effacing mason, is having a drink at his local gin mill after work. While sitting at the bar, he is approached by a complete stranger who engages him in a bizarre conversational exchange and gives him a manila envelope stuffed with ten thousand in cash, with the rest to come after the deed is done. Tim is then given a photograph and the victim's address. Clearly, the stranger has mistaken him for a hit man!

Moments later, yet another stranger enters the bar and, thinking Tim to be the person who wants his services, also engages Tim in a bizarre conversational exchange. When a light bulb goes off in Tim's head, and he realizes this is the person for whom he was mistaken, he give the stranger the envelope of money, and tells him that is a payment for simply doing nothing. Since the stranger doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would take payment for doing nothing, Tim, keeping the photo and the would be victim' s address, is galvanized into action. Nothing like a lady in distress to bring out the John Wayne in the opposite sex.

Suddenly, the chase is on and there is definitely plenty of action. Both Tim and the potential evil doer are somewhat mysterious. Both are headed towards a moment of reckoning, taking the reader with them as they careen towards the eventual climax that will pit good against evil. Though somewhat formulaic, the reader will barely notice, as the author takes the reader on a quick, but fun, joyride.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kootnz keeps delivering May 30 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'The Good Guy' is a taut, twisting fast-paced novel that is up to the usual Dean Koontz standards.
The prevailing theme is good vs. evil intertwining action and suspense. The Good Guy is Tim Carrier, a seemingly average man who helps keep a female stranger from a relentless hit man. The only person who is truly revealed in this story from the beginning is Krait, the "evil" hit man in this story. The rest of the characters are slowly revealed to the reader in a tantalizing fashion that leaves one wondering who these characters really are.
Koontz always seems to be able to create characters who live on both ends of the moral spectrum, and this is no exception.
If you've never read Dean Koontz, you should. For those that know and enjoy his writing, The Good Guy will more than satisfy.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Falters at the end Aug. 22 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
From the start 'The Good Guy' exceeded my expectations by being quickly engrossed with the story. It starts out innocently with Tim Carrier sitting at a bar nursing a beer, but within moments becomes a desperate rescue attempt of Linda Paquette. The battle between Tim and the hit man hired to kill Linda intensifies as the story takes twists and turns at a quickening pace. However, towards the end of the story some of the twists were disappointing and after finishing the book I was left with the feeling that the last few twists should have been left out of the book. Overall the book was an interesting read, and I would recommend it for Dean Koontz fans but wouldn't recommend it for everyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic May 17 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Koontz at his best. Koontz not only has his lead character keeping the bad buys on their toes but also keeps the reader on their toes with twists and turns full of excitement and subtleties for a classic tale of the all American hero.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  321 reviews
78 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Koontz just gets better and better June 10 2007
By Kcorn - Published on
First off, there is nothing supernatural in this book. That deserves to said up front, as some people prefer Koontz when he is writing in a different vein.

This was one of the most riveting suspense novels I've read lately. The basic dilemna? A guy walks into a bar and is mistaken for a hired killer. He tries to pay off the REAL killer and, for a time, it seems as if this will work. But the killer catches on and the chase is on, as "the good guy" tries to save a beautiful woman from death.

To add to the intrigue, she has no idea why anyone would want her killed. Neither does he, of course. So they have to keep running from a guy who seems to be almost psychic, a man with connections that run deeper than could ever be expected.

I loved the way each character practically jumped off the page, the interaction between them and more. The subtle details Koontz adds are what separates him from other, less skilled writers. His writing is also tight, tense and neither stereotypical or too dense. Take this one with you this summer or have it on hand for times when you want a good read. You won't be disappointed!

Other Koontz books worth checking out:

The Husband

Brother Odd (Odd Thomas Novels)
44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thriller Clinic June 6 2007
By Kevin Joseph - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Good Guy" Tim Carrier, a mason by trade with a body (and head) like John Wayne, finds his low-key lifestyle interrupted by a bizarre barroom encounter, during which he's handed an envelope full of money and kill instructions intended for a contract killer. Forced to make the first of what will be many quick life-or-death decisions, Tim removes the target's photograph and address from the envelope and attempts to call off the kill minutes later, when the real assassin arrives at the bar, by posing as the buyer and offering up the $10,000 as a no-kill fee in consideration for his change of heart. As Tim suspects, however, this ruse buys him only limited time, which he uses to alert the intended victim, the physically lovely but psychologically fractured Linda Paquette, of the murder plot. In short, an opening hook that I found every bit as irresistable as the one that kicked off last year's "The Husband."

What ensues is a classic cat-and-mouse thriller, in which Tim and Linda must draw upon all of their physical and mental reserves to stay a step ahead of an assassin for whom the term psychopath doesn't begin to do justice. What's worse, he seems to almost magically anticipate Tim and Linda's every move, giving the impression that he's acting under the direction of a group with law enforcement connections and daunting technological capabilities. As always, Dean Koontz finds clever ways to build suspense, telling the story from several points of view and propelling the story line forward in bite-sized chapters that could easily be visualized as scenes in a blockbuster movie.

Koontz uses another interesting technique to build suspense that I found particularly effective. While we gradually learn, through Tim's incredible skill in evading the killer and his unflappable grace under pressure, that he must harbor a past profession in which he cut things other than stone, Koontz withholds this secret from the reader until the final pages of the book. He does the same with Linda and her past, contributing not only to the suspense but also to the extended first-date-type-thrill of romance that blossoms amidst the carnage.

Other than one creaky floorboard in the plot structure (the explanation behind the contract on Linda's life), "The Good Guy" is, cover to cover, one of the finest thrillers I've ever read. Some professional critics have faulted the ending, something that Koontz has struggled with in some of his books, but I thought he nailed this one perfectly. In Tim Carrier, he also has created a humble hero for our times, and perhaps kept the door open for a sequel.
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great concept - but Koontz doesn't quite deliver Aug. 8 2007
By J. Norburn - Published on
Koontz has become very adept at giving his readers a suspense novel that features a unique, high concept idea. The opening chapter of The Good Guy sets up yet another intriguing concept. A man in a bar is mistaken for a hired killer and given $10,000 and information on a woman he is to murder. Before our hero realizes what has happened, the man is gone. Moments later the real killer sits beside him and Tim (our hero) passes the killer the money but tells him he has changed his mind and no longer wants the woman killed. It doesn't take the killer long to realize that a mistake was made and soon he is after the woman and Tim who is determined to save her life.

It's a clever concept, but Koontz doesn't do enough with it. The bulk of the novel is a straightforward series of chance scenes. Koontz builds suspense effectively enough, but there are few significant twists and turns in the plot, and those that are provided are not entirely satisfying. The mystery, as to why this woman has been targeted for murder, is unlikely and wafer thin.

The most nagging irritant for me is that the opening sequence in the bar, which serves as the foundation of the novel, makes no sense when we learn more about the killer. The killer works for people he communicates with whenever he needs information, fresh clothes, or some collateral damage cleaned up, yet the original contact is made in person in a bar. This is completely inconsistent with everything else we know about the killer and the people who hired him. The obvious reason for this is that Dean needed an in-person exchange to occur so that Tim could get mixed up in the action.

The bottom line: If you can excuse the flawed premise to the novel and are willing to accept a highly improbable (and somewhat anticlimactic) resolution, The Good Guy is an unexceptional but solid suspense novel.

But it could have been so much better. Dean had a great concept for this novel but (while he comes close) he doesn't quite deliver with The Good Guy.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rivetting thriller by a modern suspense master June 12 2007
By DanD - Published on
Tim Carrier is just a nice guy with a big head. When he enters a bar, no one notices. When he saddles up to the counter and orders a drink, only his friend the bartender really pays attention to him. Well, the bartender, and the nervous man who followed Tim into the bar--the guy who thinks Tim is a contract killer.

Confused, Tim watches as the man leaves...only to be replaced, minutes later, by the REAL hitman. This guy is cool, collected, with dark eyes that convey all manners of evil. It won't be long before this man realizes Tim is not his employer; and soon Tim and the target, a beautiful woman named Linda, will be running for their lives from the ultimate human evil.

"The Good Guy" starts out like Koontz's last few novels; i.e., rivetting and suspenseful, but not entirely unique (Koontz has created a new genre: the too-good-to-be-true hero with a mysterious past, running from a sociopathic human evil). However, "The Good Guy" soon branches into territory Koontz hasn't explored since the eighties, and is a wonderful return to a darker suspense form. It's a shame Koontz has been branded a horror novelist (ironically enough, the sole novel that earned him that monicker was in fact a science fiction tale), because he is truly a master of suspense. Nobody writes like he does; his imagery is breathtaking, his knack for banter un-paralleled. True, I'd like to see more grit in his writing (starting in the late nineties, with the exception of "Odd Thomas," his novels have been almost happy-go-lucky), but when it comes to analyzing happiness and love and everything that makes us human, few do it better than Koontz.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous thrill ride!!!! June 12 2007
By Edward Hancock II - Published on
Dean Koontz is The Man! Period! End of story! He has topped many of his earlier efforts and that is saying something! Granted, I have not liked many of his recent works, but with this book (and The Husband just to name another example) Koontz has really returned to what makes him so great. A vivid imagination and a firm grasp on minute detail.

I disagree that the language in this story was too "flowery" or whatever. There were a couple of instances where Koontz perhaps went a bit overboard but I found it almost comic relief. I found it as a way of further developing the way a certain character thinks or views the world.

Some characters might express themselves by saying "The level of noxious odors radiating from within was unbearable..." Still another character might more succinctly declare "That really stinks!"

Koontz knows what he's doing and I'm glad to see his best work shining through. I'd highly recommend this book. Tim is a great character and one that many of us should celebrate.

A good guy... created by a GREAT guy!
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