One Door Away from Heaven (Dean Koontz)
Despite her deformed left leg and withered left hand, nine-year-old Leilani Klonk radiates a buoyant and indomitable spirit that inspires Micky. Beneath Leilani’s effervescence, however, Micky comes to sense a quiet desperation that the girl dares not express. Leilani’s mother is little more than a child herself, and her stepfather is educated but threatening. Slowly, more troubling details emerge in Leilani’s conversations with Micky. Most chilling is Micky’s discovery that Leilani had an older brother, also disabled, who vanished after Maddoc took him into the woods one night and is now “gone to the stars.”
While the child-protection bureaucracy gives Micky the runaround, the Maddoc family slips away into the night. So Micky sets out across America to find them–for the first time living for something bigger than herself. Her passion and disregard for danger bring to her side a burned-out detective who joins her on her journey, a journey through terrible darkness to unexpected light. One Door Away from Heaven is an incandescent mix of suspense and humor, fear and wonder, a story of redemption and timeless wisdom that will have listeners cheering.
Dean Koontz virtually invented the cross-genre novel and in One Door Away from Heaven he mixes an action thriller with post-X Files alien paranoia to remarkable effect. Micky Bellsong is a young woman at a crisis point in her life, unsure of where she should be heading and using a stay at her Aunt Geneva's to sort out her life. Then the precocious and deformed Leilani Kronk walks into her life telling stories of her stepfather Preston Maddoc and her drugged-up mother who both believe aliens will beam the girl into their mothership and heal her deformities before her 10th birthday. But tales of Preston's vicious past, including his hand in several murders, leave Micky believing that a far more terrible fate awaits her friend so when the Maddocs head off taking Leilani with them, Micky pursues.
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