This is a thriller. You will have little time to relax while reading this one. Koontz uses every writer trick known.
He opens with:
A man begins dying at the moment of his birth.
Eventually, Mitchell Rafferty would be able to cite the minute that he began to recognize the inevitability of his death: Monday, May 14, 11:43 in the morning—three weeks short of his twenty-eighth birthday.
Why that day and time? Mitch received a cell phone call while he was working on a lawn. The caller made his wife scream over the phone and told him he had to raise two million dollars or they would start chopping off her fingers. They at least gave him thirty hours to do the impossible.
In all, seven men were killed, but Mitch only accounted for three of them. To be fair, killing was an on the job training experience for the mild-mannered lawn-care businessman with $10,000 to his name.
If you have read much of Koontz you will know that he likes to take dear reader into the Twilight Zone. But this book is a straight thriller, and so well written there was no need for an alternate universe.
That said, Koontz was able to build in plot twists that seemed to come out of left field.