Koontz manages to preserve a Christian-based redemption allegory behind the grunt of his fascinating text in this modern-set novel, where security officer Ethan Truman begins to connect with Fric Manheim, the son of a movie star and the unwanted kid of infamy. Truman?s gradual evolution into a father figure for the boy whose biological father is never around also adds resolution to the ex-cop?s desire to protect him and the mansion from anything. Unfortunately for Ethan, fate begins to send much more ominous malevolence towards him than he could have ever fathomed, in the form of a psychotic anarchist hell-bent on brutally killing Fric as a statement to the world. Ethan seems unequipped to handle the threat?enter Dunny Whistler, former friend/enemy of Ethan whose childhood idylls with the security guard were blanketed in the thick melancholy of a love triangle between them and Ethan?s eventual wife, Hannah. The bizarre thing? Dunny is dead?and yet he continues to be spotted among the living, granting aide to his friend and accompanied by phone calls from the equally deceased Hannah. Both messengers attempt to warn and grant clues to the struggling Ethan, as he attempts to unravel the mysteries of the esteemed murderer planning to sacrifice Fric as a scapegoat for humanity?s woes. What follows is a startling dramatic adventure into the ideals of protection, the reality behind love that lasts forever, and the story of how one Dunny Whistler manages to save his own soul by selflessly saving the souls of others.
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