Dean Koontz knows exactly what story you’ll be thinking about after the opening chapters of Innocence. His narrator-protagonist Addison Goodheart, a shunned outcast who lives alone deep below the city streets, comes up to the surface late one night and, making his way through the public library, catches sight of a haunting young woman fleeing an angry pursuer. Once the threat has passed, Addison figures out where she must be hiding and reaches out to her; she agrees to meet and talk with him. “I have no illusions about romance,” he tells her during that first conversation. “Beauty and the Beast is a nice fairy tale, but fairy tales are for books.”
Of course, Innocence is a book, and so ultimately there will be much of the fairy tale in Addison’s account of how he becomes 18-year-old Gwyneth’s companion–not so much her hero or protector as a bearer of witness. Gwyenth’s father was murdered by the man who had stolen much of his fortune, the same man from whom she was running earlier (who has an even more sinister fate in mind for her). Addison tags along as she tries to find evidence of this villain’s crimes–and stays with her as she scrambles to protect those closest to her from the inevitable attempts at revenge. He has fallen in love with her, and his devotion is absolute. “She would always be blameless,” he tells us, “for I knew the purity of her heart.”
Read the full review and an Interview with Dean @ Shelf-Awareness.com.