One Door Away From Heaven (Dean Koontz)

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9780739341490: One Door Away From Heaven (Dean Koontz)

In a dusty trailer park on the far edge of the California dream, Michelina Bellsong wants to change the direction of her troubled life but can’t find her way. When a new family settles into the rental trailer next door, she meets a young girl who will change Micky–forever.

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.

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Review:

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, using a stay at her Aunt Geneva's to sort things out. Then the precocious and deformed Leilani Klonk walks into her life, telling stories of her stepfather and drugged-up mother, who believe aliens will beam the girl into their mothership and heal her deformities before her 10th birthday. But tales of the stepfather's vicious past, including his hand in several murders, leave Micky believing that a far more terrible fate awaits her friend. So when the parents take off with Leilani, Micky pursues.

As is typical with a Koontz novel, nothing turns out to be what it seems, and the meticulously crafted plot tightens like a noose with every turn of the page. His characters are exceptionally drawn, driving the novel forward with realism and warmth. Micky is one of his more attractive young heroines, but the real star is Leilani, a mature young girl whose plucky nature and sparkling dialogue instantly make her Koontz's most memorable creation. She embodies his belief that despite violence, pain, and suffering, there is always goodness to be found in every person and situation. Koontz has once again proven why he is one of the premier novelists of his generation. --Jonathan Weir, Amazon.co.uk

From the Inside Flap:

Performance by Anne Twomey
13 Cassettes, approx. 22 hrs.

ONE DOOR AWAY FROM HEAVEN introduces a young woman, Micky Bellsong, searching for meaning in her troubled life. When she meets the radiant Leilani Klonk, a child whose physical disabilities cannot quench her spirit, Micky unexpectedly finds the purpose she so desperately needs. Leilani's stepfather, Preston Maddoc, is a fanatical UFO believer who claims that aliens will heal the girl by her approaching tenth birthday or take her away with them. Micky's foreboding escalates with her discovery that Leilani had an older brother, also disabled who is now "gone to the stars" after Maddoc took him in search of the aliens to "heal" him. When the family vanishes, Micky sets off on a daunting quest to find them, joined by a detective drawn by her passion and courage. Pitted against an adversary as fearsome as he is cunning, they will journey together through terrible darkness to unexpected light.

Suspense and humor, tragedy and joy, terror, wonder, and hope combine to make ONE DOOR AWAY FROM HEAVEN a new triumph of storytelling from Dean Koontz.

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Dean Koontz
Published by Random House Audio (2007)
ISBN 10: 0739341499 ISBN 13: 9780739341490
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Book Description Random House Audio, 2007. Audio CD. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0739341499

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