Published by Penguin on 2006
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, General, Horror, Psychological
Format: Audio Book
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Buy on: Audible
Martin Stillwater has a vivid imagination. It charms his loving wife, delights his two little daughters, and gives him all the inspiration he needs to write his highly successful mystery novels. But maybe Martin's imagination is a bit too vivid… One rainy afternoon, a terrifying incident makes him question his grip on reality. A stranger breaks into his house, accusing Martin of stealing his wife, his children—and his life. Claiming to be the real Martin Stillwater, the intruder threatens to take what is rightfully his. The police think he's a figment of Martin's imagination. But Martin and his family have no choice but to believe the stranger's threat. And run for their lives.
But wherever they go—wherever they hide—he finds them…
It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Dean Koontz, so when Audible had a mystery sale not too long ago, I decided to grab it as part of my deal. I remember enjoying his work in the past and assumed it would be a good one to pick up. Mr. Murder tells the story of Martin Stillwater, a mystery writer who finds his life turned upside down when a stranger shows up on his doorstep claiming Martin has stolen his life. This may seem like an easy situation to resolve, except for the fact that the man is Martin’s doppelgänger. The police believe Martin is pulling some elaborate publicity stunt to promote his new novel and a write-up in People Magazine, leaving Martin to flee town with his wife and daughters. The only problem is, no matter where they go the stranger always seems to be able to find them.
I enjoyed the premise of this story, but it did seem extremely familiar and called to mind Stephen King’s The Dark Half. Yet, this novel went in a completely different direction which made it seem new at the same time. I really thought the characters were pretty well-developed and likable. The stranger was very creepy and downright insane, so the character lent an air of unpredictability to the story. However, I thought the novel took an easy out towards the end, and I didn’t like the resolution. Things just began seeming too implausible. Despite the ending, I did really enjoy the story and it made my commute to work more pleasant.
One aspect of the audiobook I enjoyed was narrator Jay O. Sander’s reading of the novel. His voice suited the book as Sanders was able to bring life to all characters despite differences in age and gender. I enjoyed him so much, that I’d definitely like to read other novels he’s narrated. His inflections added to the suspense and really made the action scenes come alive for me. In fact, I think his narration was part of the reason I enjoyed the book so much. As you may notice I’ve only given the book three stars, but that’s mainly due to how similar the story is to The Dark Half, which was better written by King.