The fourth entry in the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz is entitled Odd Hours and follows immediately from the end of the third novel, Brother Odd. There our protagonist, Odd Thomas, who has the ability to see and interact with the lingering spirits of dead people, thwarted the schemes of a disturbed scientist/monk at a monastery in the high Sierras. After this adventure, Odd decided that it was time to head back to his desert town home of Pico Mundo. However, on the way back he felt a strong compulsion that he was needed somewhere else, that some new danger was imminent. This feeling is part of his special abilities, what he calls his psychic magnetism. Ultimately, he ends up in a small, peaceful, resort town on the California coast called Magic Beach.
Arriving in this new place, completely unsure of why he has been drawn there, he begins to have powerful premonitions that are confusing and utterly disturbing. Images of destruction on a scale that rocks him to the bone. As he is trying to make sense of what all of this could possibly mean, his psychic magnetism leads him to a group of men who are clearly out of place in the idyllic setting of the sleepy resort community. When the leader of this brutish group tries to intimidate Odd by laying hands on him, somehow Odd's vivid dream plays before both of their eyes. The leader of the group is so spooked that he tries to take Odd out. As Odd flees for his life, he comes to understand that he has stumbled upon a nefarious plot on an unimaginable scale. Relying on his instincts, his gifts, and some beautiful people along the way, he once again saves the day in his own simple and humble way.
Another fun and enjoyable read that I recommend. While some may gripe that the plot is more than a bit unrealistic, and I wouldn't disagree, the enjoyment comes from Odd's character. Even though he finds himself in difficult situations, he does not shy away from trying to make a difference in the world. He has a palpable joie de vivre that is infectious. He also has a wry sense of humor that keeps me smiling, but also stirs warm feelings in me quite often. Now onto the fifth book in the series Odd Interlude.