cover image Odd Hours

Odd Hours

Dean R. Koontz. Bantam, $27 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-553-80705-9

Quirky humor and an endearing narrative voice lift bestseller Koontz's winning fourth Odd Thomas novel (after ""Brother Odd""), set in the small California community of Magic Beach (whose motto is Everyone a Neighbor, Every Neighbor a Friend). Thomas, a 21-year-old fry cook, takes his prophetic dreams or visions, which often foretell trouble, very seriously. When three male thugs approach Thomas and Annamaria, a pregnant friend of his, on a lonely pier, he finds that physical contact with one of the men triggers his fiery nightmares. Thomas's chivalric impulses soon put his life at risk, and when he finds that his adversaries are ostensibly employees of the town's beach department, he must work to stave off disaster without the assistance of the local authorities, some of whom have conspired with terrorists to smuggle nuclear weapons into the country. Sensitive portrayals of minor characters whose lives Thomas touches are a plus. ""(May 20)"" .