The Other Emily

The Other Emily by Dean Koontz

3.5 out of 5 stars

The Other Emily was the first Dean Koontz novel that I read. I remember looking through his works in my local library some years ago, as a teenager I think, but I never read one until now. I actually listened to most of it on Audible, and it was also the first time. Lots of firsts for one book, right?

It is not easy for me to rate this novel.

 It is a crime story, a thriller and a love story mixed in equal measures. David Thorne is a successful writer whose past hides a secret. Ten years ago, his girlfriend disappeared in puzzling circumstances, leaving him lonely and desperate for an explanation. His obsession with Emily Carlino peaks when he meets mysterious Maddison Sutton—a girl who looks exactly like Emily did before he lost her. Davis starts an investigation that links the two women, forcing him to explore a madman’s mind and embrace ideas he never before thought possible.

The Other Emily starts as a brilliant thriller. We have a desperate man searching for answers, a storyline full of plot twists and a steadily rising body count. It is the resolution that leaves us speechless. Without going into details and spoilers, the ending explains all the novel’s mysteries, but it does it in a highly unrealistic way. It seems too much, too far-fetched or maybe simplified. Maybe the author got lost in the intrigue he created and needed a trick that would solve all of his problems. It worked, and it didn’t at the same time. All the questions are answered, but the readers are left with the feeling that the author made fun of them and their intelligence.

Adding a few words on my experience of listening to a book instead of reading one, I have to say that I enjoyed it and found a few other positions I plan to listen to next. The narrator reads in a very dramatic, almost theatrical way, which adds interest to the most exciting moments in the plot. The only negative was the way he modulated his voice when reading the female character’s dialogue parts. It was unnecessary and slightly ridiculous.

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