Your Heart Belongs to Me

 
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Product Description

From the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense comes a riveting thriller that probes the deepest terrors of the human psyche¡ªand the ineffable mystery of what truly makes us who we are. Here a brilliant young man finds himself fighting for his very existence in a battle that starts with the most frightening words of all¡­

At thirty-four, Internet entrepreneur Ryan Perry seemed to have the world in his pocket¡ªuntil the first troubling symptoms appeared out of nowhere. Within days, he¡¯s diagnosed with incurable cardiomyopathy and finds himself on the waiting list for a heart transplant; it¡¯s his only hope, and it¡¯s dwindling fast. Ryan is about to lose it all¡­his health, his girlfriend Samantha, and his life.

One year later, Ryan has never felt better. Business is good and he hopes to renew his relationship with Samantha. Then the unmarked gifts begin to appear¡ªa box of Valentine candy hearts, a heart pendant. Most disturbing of all, a graphic heart surgery video and the chilling message: Your heart belongs to me.

In a heartbeat, the medical miracle that gave Ryan a second chance at life is about to become a curse worse than death. For Ryan is being stalked by a mysterious woman who feels entitled to everything he has. She¡¯s the spitting image of the twenty-six-year-old donor of the heart beating steadily in Ryan¡¯s own chest.

And she¡¯s come to take it back.





From the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

From the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense comes a riveting thriller that probes the deepest terrors of the human psyche¡ªand the ineffable mystery of what truly makes us who we are. Here a brilliant young man finds himself fighting for his very existence in a battle that starts with the most frightening words of all¡­

At thirty-four, Internet entrepreneur Ryan Perry seemed to have the world in his pocket¡ªuntil the first troubling symptoms appeared out of nowhere. Within days, he¡¯s diagnosed with incurable cardiomyopathy and finds himself on the waiting list for a heart transplant; it¡¯s his only hope, and it¡¯s dwindling fast. Ryan is about to lose it all¡­his health, his girlfriend Samantha, and his life.

One year later, Ryan has never felt better. Business is good and he hopes to renew his relationship with Samantha. Then the unmarked gifts begin to appear¡ªa box of Valentine candy hearts, a heart pendant. Most disturbing of all, a graphic heart surgery video and the chilling message: Your heart belongs to me.

In a heartbeat, the medical miracle that gave Ryan a second chance at life is about to become a curse worse than death. For Ryan is being stalked by a mysterious woman who feels entitled to everything he has. She¡¯s the spitting image of the twenty-six-year-old donor of the heart beating steadily in Ryan¡¯s own chest.

And she¡¯s come to take it back.

Amazon Exclusive Essay: Dean Koontz on Writing Your Heart Belongs to Me

I have been asked by the secret masters of Amazon how much research into transplant surgery I did before writing Your Heart Belongs to Me. I would like to reveal that, in the interest of accuracy and the accumulation of vivid detail, and because I bring total commitment to my writing, I underwent a heart transplant myself, even though I didn't need one. This would be a lie, however, and people without a sense of humor would write by the hundreds to accuse me of taking a perfectly good heart needed by some patient who really needed it.

To prepare for this novel, I read a few books on the subject of transplants, watched two educational films during which I passed out repeatedly at the sight of blood, and spoke with a few medical specialists in the field--largely to ascertain how they manage not to pass out in surgery every time they expose the pulsing internal organs of a patient.

Ryan Perry, the lead of Your Heart Belongs to Me, is 34, wealthy from the Internet social-networking site that he created, with an ideal life ahead of him. Then he learns he suffers from cardiomyopathy and will die within a year if he does not undergo a heart transplant. The procedure is successful, but a year later he begins to receive gifts--such as a heart-shaped locket--with the message "Your heart belongs to me. I want it back."

Although it might seem to be a ghost story, Your Heart Belongs to Me is something else entirely. In addition to being a thriller with a medical procedure as a key element, it is an unusual love story. Those who have never read my books--we know who you are--might be surprised to learn that more often than not, a love story is part of the mix. In a romantic relationship, we're vulnerable; and when a character in a novel is vulnerable, we are more likely to worry about him or her and to relate more intimately to the story. Furthermore, people in love have something precious to lose, and in their sometimes desperate efforts to hold fast to that love, they reveal themselves more profoundly than they might otherwise.

In the early years of my career--or what we here in Koontzland call "the long slog"--publishers resisted me when I wanted to mix genres. These days, my publisher encourages me to pursue fresh ways of telling stories. Consequently, Your Heart Belongs to Me is a suspense novel and love story with a thread of the supernatural weaving through it, set against a backdrop of medicine and medical mystery, concerning certain issues of ethics that are timeless--and others that are unique to our time. And I promise you that the medical detail is not so graphic that you will pass out.


A Q&A with Dean Koontz

Q: Your Heart Belongs to Me is very suspenseful but at the same time an affecting love story. How difficult was this to pull off?
A: Well, life is full of suspense and, if we're lucky, it's full of love as well. From minute to minute and day to day, we never know what will happen to us, good or bad, so suspense is the fundamental condition of existence. That doesn't change when we fall in love or when we love a child or a sibling or a great dog. In fact, the more we love, the more we have to lose, which puts a sharper edge on the suspense in life and in Your Heart Belongs to Me. Ryan Perry, the lead of the story, enjoys self-made wealth and good health and the love of a good woman--so when all that starts to slip away from him, it's actually easier for me to move readers to the edge of their seats and keep them there.

Q: Your books are full of details about how things work in the real world--like life in a monastery in Brother Odd, the management of a great Bel Air estate and the intricacies of police work in The Face, Your Heart Belongs to Me is rich with details about medical conditions and heart transplants. Since you don't specialize in one kind of novel, how do you learn about all these different things? Do you engage in a lot of Internet research?
A: I never go on-line. My writing schedule and other obligations keep me busy 18/7. The other six hours, I sleep. I know that I am a potentially obsessive personality and that it's easy to become obsessed with one aspect or another of the Internet, until hours a day are consumed by it. Therefore, I stay away. I do most of my research from books and publications, and by conducting interviews with specialists in whatever fields my story will touch upon. One of my assistants is on-line, and in a pinch, if I can't turn up a fact I need, she can get it for me. As a high-school and college student, I hated research and libraries. I always shamelessly made up the facts in reports that I wrote, and cited nonexistent books by nonexistent writers in my footnotes. And I always got away with it! But as a novelist, I've been surprised to find that I greatly enjoy doing research. I think the difference is--in school, they told me what I had to learn, and I bristled at authority; when I chose the subject, I proved to be an industrious autodidact.

Q: Your hero in Your Heart Belongs to Me, Ryan Perry, is different from your other heroes, like Odd Thomas and Mitchell Rafferty and Tim Carrier. What was it about the story you were telling in Your Heart Belongs to Me that required this change?
A: Most of my heroes come from ordinary occupations--a fry cook, a baker, a mason, a gardener, a bartender--which makes them like many of my friends in real life. But Ryan Perry in Your Heart Belongs to Me has made a couple hundred million from an Internet business. For this story, I needed a hero who, at the opening, has everything: he's wealthy, he has a beautiful girlfriend whom he loves and who loves him, he essentially leads a life of leisure at 34, he's vigorous and handsome and charming.... And then everything that really matters begins to slip away from him. He had to be at the top in order to be at risk of a long fall. As he begins to think that some people in his life are involved in a conspiracy to kill him, he needed to be a man of exceptional resources to pursue that investigation.

Q: Where did the idea for Your Heart Belongs to Me come from?
A: I was on the phone with a friend, talking about a smorgasbord of things, when the subject of heart transplants came up, and he told me something, an anecdote, that astonished me. Before I hung up, I had spun that small fact into a story that I couldn't wait to write. I've already made it clear to him that he gets no royalties! Story ideas have come to me from lines in songs, from a scrap of overheard conversation, from just about everywhere. And sometimes a story pops into my head, and I have no idea what the source of it was. Thank God this keeps happening; otherwise I might have to learn an honest trade like plumbing.

Q: What is next for you? Another Odd Thomas novel?
A: There will be three more Odd Thomas novels, but my book for spring 2009 is not one of them. It's titled The Other Side of the Woods and is in the vein of Life Expectancy. I'm having great fun with it. Even when writing is hard, I always have fun with it. In fact, the harder it is, the more fun it is, because the challenge is what makes the work worthwhile.

Customer Reviews:

  • A Short Story At Heart
    Your Heart Belongs to Me could have made an interesting novel. The premise is unusual and memorable. Ryan Perry, the central character is thoughtful and introspective enough to wrestle with the ethical issues Koontz raises. His wealthy lifestyle, his beautiful girlfriend and his terrible dilemma all make for a potentially exciting book about how one man's having everything can blind him to how the world works for the rest of us.

    Yet we never know much about Ryan. Or his girlfriend Samantha. It's true we know a little more about these two then the other characters who make their brief appearances before trotting offstage again - but not much more. Ironically though, we get descriptions of Ryan's dreams, his house, his security system, his food preferences, minor character's looks, etc. And long descriptions of minor events; I almost expected to have three or four paragraphs describing Ryan's walking through his house, the sound his feet made as he walked, whether he swung his arms or turned his head, how hard he was breathing, what random thoughts flitted through his consciousness.

    If inflating a short story to a novella was necessary, couldn't it have been done by showing us more of Ryan or Samantha, rather than tediously transcribing dull conversations and overly elaborate descriptions? Why, for example, is a year skipped in Ryan's life after the surgery? That would've been more worthwhile than pages of writing where everything's described as if Koontz were a reporter, hurriedly scribbling in his notebook conversations and places passed by.

    (I won't even get into the larger-than-average fonts, wide margins and almost double-spaced sentences. Those aren't a first for a Koontz book.)

    While I like Koontz's ideas, his humanity, and often his writing, this isn't even one of his mediocre books. Subtract the extended descriptions, the repetitive information, the go-nowhere background info and you have a short story....more info
  • A thinker, like it the more I think about it
    I'm a huge Dean Koontz fan. I've read 50+ of his works and look forward to many more. I got this book for Christmas and plowed through it pretty quickly. I'm not sure I let everything sink in the first time. This is a very interesting Koontz and a little different from a lot of his. The protagonist, Ryan, is a complex character and the story is told with a very tight focus around him. Many things go on in the beginning to middle of the book that really aren't understood until the end and even then you should not be expecting the answers to slap you in the face. The understanding of these things is more deep and subtle than a cursory reading will at first reveal. It is there and readers should dwell on the meaning of this one a bit.
    Overall this would not be my first recommendation to someone new to Koontz but a good read for someone looking for something worthy of deeper consideration than the typical industry thriller. There's not a ton of action but more psychologically taut scenes that flow one to another. Thank you very much, Dean, for another top-notch novel for thinking readers. ...more info
  • Don't waste your time (or money)
    If you've read the description of the book, you know the premise. However, by the halfway point of the book -- which is as far as I got -- the main character still hasn't had his heart transplant! This book was so slow, so tedious and so devoid of interest for me that I saw no reason to continue after 160 pages. The main character is a total jerk who you wouldn't want to have lunch with, and his girl friend has been given zero characterization. Koontz has written some compelling novels, but this isn't one of them. It belongs in the recycling bin. I checked this out of the library, so I didn't waste any money -- only time. But I wish I had those 2 hours back!...more info
  • Kinda Bad...
    This book has some good elements, but in the end it just falls flat. The writing was tiresome and I only finished reading it because it was a Dean Koontz novel. He is my favorite author, but this was the worst of his books I have read....more info
  • Possibly His Worst
    I wont be long winded - I normally really enjoy Dean Koontz.
    However this was just outright poor - the plot was weak, it felt like he changed his mind half way through as to the direction of the book.

    I will carry on reading him - but I wish we could get some more Christopher Snow or Odd Thomas soon. (I also adored twilight eyes - wish that had been followed up as well).

    ...more info
  • Worth the Time and Effort
    This was the first time I had ever read a Dean Koontz novel. I used to read horror novels before I became a Christian but I haven't read any in over 20 years. I was impressed by the vocabulary and excellent poetic descriptions, although both slowed my reading speed. =) Guess I'm rusty!

    I wasn't too spooked by the book. The worst parts for me were Spencer's apartment and the violence near the end. Those parts were quite creepy, but that's to be expected in a horror/suspense novel.

    At the very end of the book {don't read this if you don't want me to give a large chunk of the end away}, the author missed the point of life and faith and all that, and I am going to write to him and tell him nicely where he went wrong. =)

    It is my privilege to witness to him and tell him no one can redeem oneself by good works! If we could do that, Jesus would not have had to die on the cross, right?! It is his righteousness imputed to us that we need in order to be saved. Yeah! ...more info
  • Couldn't put the book down
    As always, Dean Koontz has kept me glued to the book till the end. I almost didn't want to pick up the book, cause I knew I wouldn't be able to put it down till I was finished - I was right. Great story. Great suspense. ...more info
  • Is greed only about money?
    Can a man be greedy if he is happy with his life? Ryan Perry has great wealth, a beautiful girl friend that he keeps trying to convince to marry him. But when he is told that he has maybe a year to live unless he has a heart transplant his life changes. Is it a genetic fault, or is there a sinister reason for his heart problems? Using his wealth he begins to hunt for the truth. Trouble is that he misses a truth that is the most important one of all. A year after the transplant strange things begin to happen. Gifts begin appearing inside his ultra secure home, all with the same message, "Your heart belongs to me, and I want it back. It isn't till the end that he finds the truth that he missed, and it isn't a pretty one.
    Again Mr. Koontz has given me something to really enjoy, as well as something to think about. ...more info
  • Not His Best Work
    This book was a waste of time from beginning to end. It seems that becoming a best selling author gives you a license to write junk like this....more info
  • "From the day we are born we should all be afraid, but not of dying..."
    Ryan Perry is a wealthy software developer (he's responsible for one of those annoying social networking sites) who's madly in love with a beautiful woman (a "vision," as he frequently thinks of her). One day while surfing, Ryan--34, in superb physical health--suffers an anxiety attack. Later that night, he finds himself having some kind of fit, one that forces him onto the floor, in intense agony, waking up hours later not knowing what happened. That's enough to send Ryan to the doctor. But the really troubling stuff is about to begin: mysterious whispering and knocking in the night; strangers coming and going from his girlfriend's apartment; strange feelings of deja vu. Ryan is thrust into a paranoid world where he trusts no one--not even himself. Is he going crazy? Or is someone trying to get under his skin, to untangle his sanity?

    First of all, I don't know why the review here on Amazon (as well as the jacket flap of the hardback) summarizes the book by mentioning the mysterious woman who haunts him; that doesn't occur until the last hundred pages or so of the book. (Sometimes you gotta wonder if people even READ these books before reviewing them; though, to their credit, the book would have been MUCH more interesting if that had been the entire plot, rather than a climactic point.)

    That out of the way, let me bemoan the fact that Dean Koontz doesn't pack the punch he used to. "Your Heart Belongs to Me" certainly has its moments; at its best, it's reminiscent of the paranoia that fueled his earlier espionage works such as "The Key to Midnight" and "The House of Thunder" (remember those? No? Shame.). It is in this hundred page stretch where Ryan trusts no one that we see the Koontz that was, unafraid to scare the hell out of us, while admirably staying above any horror/suspense cliches. Unfortunately, that paranoid stretch is bookended by a dull opening and an unclimactic climax (which is at least plausible, if not probable; Koontz hit an all-time low with the ending of "The Darkest Evening of the Year," which made me drop my book and curse). Koontz's prose is still strong, though he's been far better before; he's always used "big" words, but in this novel he seems to layer them on. Do we really need to know the name of the condition that causes one eye to blink uncontrollably for short periods of time? The answer is no--especially if it is a minor point meant to make a character more charming (which Ryan isn't, and I say that to Koontz's credit; he's likable, but you really wouldn't want to be friends with this spoiled man-child).

    Koontz has always written about hope in the face of tragedy and horror. Lately, however, he's taken a far too optimistic turn with it, forcing happy endings on his readers. (Remember the ending to "Odd Thomas"? Now THAT was golden Koontz, and probably his last decent ending.) I've been a Koontz fan for years; I can honestly say his novels encouraged me to read further, and to start writing my own stories. There are few writers as talented out there, especially in the pop-fiction genre. The problem is, Koontz's stories have become outlandish, almost too intricate for their own good, requiring endings and plot events that just aren't acceptable. He's still a great writer--you can do far worse than reading this novel--but he's not AS great as he once was. And the worst part is, "Your Heart Belongs to Me," at its best, shows us that Koontz still has what it takes to make us think and scare us at the same time. If only he would put more emphasis on the latter, and lay up a bit on the preaching....more info
  • When everything is taken from you, what really matters? Koontz explores the nature of love in this thriller
    In Dean Koontz' newest thriller, YOUR HEART BELONGS TO ME, Ryan Perry, 34, is rich beyond imagination thanks to his successful dot.com venture. He shares a wonderful life with a beautiful writer named Samantha Reech, 28. Ryan has proposed marriage but Sam has yet to say "yes." One night, Ryan suffers a seizure. A medical exam confirms the worst. Thanks to a terminal heart disease, Ryan only has a year or so to live, and his only hope is a heart transplant. Ryan at first wonders how a healthy man like himself could have a flawed heart. Ryan gets it in his head that he may have been poisoned and immediately suspects everyone from his housekeepers to his girlfriend may be involved.

    To go into more of the plot would spoil some of the novel as well and Koontz' intentions to the novel. As a few other reviews have said, the actual heart transplant and the woman claiming "your heart belongs to me" doesn't happen till the middle of the novel. This isn't a standard thriller like VELOCITY or THE GOOD GUY that Koontz has written over the last few years. Instead, it is a moody character study that tells a simple love story to explore grand themes. There is also some thriller and mystery mixed in as well. Ryan Perry has everything money can buy, but will he discover the truth about life before its too late?

    I must admit, I enjoyed the novel. I listened to it on CD and the reader gave a great performance. That may be part of it. Also, I like Koontz so I will give him the benefit of the doubt. However, I can see where fans may be bored and disappointed by parts. As mentioned earlier, this isn't a thriller, and many scenes that occur really have no ultimate payoff. Some of the turns the book takes are surprising and rewarding however, and I recommend this book to all Koontz fans. Not every book can be his best ever. I think this is a good book that should be accepted for what it is. A gripping story about a character going through a moral and physical crisis.
    ...more info
  • Great Read...
    I am sick and tired of reading customer reviews that just complain about this book not being like every other book Dean Koontz had written. I bet these are probably the same people who would write a review about a book and say, "this book sounded just like his last book, get an original idea already." As a writer, I'm sure he wants to experiement with different styles and different means of telling a story. I loved the book and thought that psychological aspect was riveting, even though at times the main character was not always likeable. For me that made the character growth even more rewarding. In my opinion this book was one of the better books of his I have read. I admit I have not yet read everything he had written but I'm working on it. I am currently readying The Darkest Evening of the Year and Your Heart Belongs To Me, blows that one out of the water. I hope to see more books of this caliber....more info
  • I love Koontz; This was disappointing
    Aside from the Odd Thomas books, the last Koontz book that held me strong was "The Face". I was looking forward to reading this one; sounded like a good ghost story... Well, no such thing. It's a very nice love story, and, ultimately, a man's coming to terms with his own life decisions. Ryan is an endearing character, as is Samantha (though not thoroughly fleshed out; really, only seen through Ryan's eyes). Koontz' books often have sub-plots that seem unnecessary at first, but loom high in the resolution of the plot. There's a lot of talk about subtext, but there's really none here. The wild-goose chases prove to be useless. The character of Ismay could've been enhanced to create a fine supernatural situation, but the final resolution left me flat...and baffled and confused as to why I stuck it out to the end. Certainly, there's evil, deception, revenge and arrogance in the world. It's been written about before, and Mr. Koontz gave no insight as to a new approach to make these vices interesting. The premise of the plot suggested a whole world of interesting "ghost story" stuff, but it was only another book about lonely people doing what lonely people do. C'mon Dean; write a good ghost story. Whatever you write, I'll read. I'm crazy about you, especially after "Dark Rivers of the Heart" and "Shadowfires". I know you can do it. This was way too mundane for the Koontz I love. Also, boring at times, and wondering what interesting direction you were taking. Perhaps this was a take on Tennessee Williams' "Summer and Smoke", where the magnificent, complex characters' personalities totally turned around, with no hope of turning back. I wanted very much to enjoy the book, but the ultimate result was disappointing. ...more info
  • A Page Turner, But...
    I've been a fan of Dean Koontz from way back (mid 80's--remember when his books were attributed to Dean R. Koontz?), and bought this on impulse (even though I've been disappointed at a few of his recent books, like The Taking).

    While this book was a page turner--I couldn't put it down--the ending was so unsatisfying, so...preachy...that my heart sank.

    On one hand, it's a 5-star book in that it's engrossing and Koontz (as always) has a poetic flair for description (fortunately, this time, he doesn't go overboard with the weather metaphors...and susurration doesn't even make it in there this time!). And the basic plot is an intriguing one.

    But the ending just didn't feel right to me. I can accept, of course, that many books don't end up like you'd hope. Yet, in addition to the disappointment at a certain element of the ending, I felt preached to at the end. I think it was Koontz's attempt at a "redemptive" story, but I never got what needed "redeemed" in the main character, Ryan Perry, in the first place. (Sorry, but being rich isn't a character flaw in and of itself, and Perry is painted as a kind, fair, level-headed wealthy young man.)

    To say any more would get into plot spoilers (and, quite frankly, I feel the dust jacket and Koontz's interview here at Amazon.com gives WAY too much information--we don't find out about the "mysterious stranger" until midway through the book!), but suffice it to say that this book feels a bit like The Taking in that God is capitalized as "He"...and "He" apparently requires some kind of sacrifice from humanity in order to be happy....more info
  • Your heart belongs to me
    This book was just OK. It took a long time to start to get interesting and just kind of petered out at the end. A very anti-climatic ending....more info
  • A Fast Paced Trip Through Paranoia and Loss of Control
    One of the greatest things about being a Dean Koontz fan is not having to wait long periods between novels. The author is amazingly prolific, and maintains a higher quality of storytelling and writing than many more authors published half as frequently.

    "You Heart Belongs to Me" is a fun story, that takes you on a quick journey into one man's fall into a nightmarish paranoid world. Ryan Perry, a multi-millionaire seems to have it all, a wonderful house, tons of dough at his disposal, and a beautiful woman who he is deeply in love with. All of that changes when Perry suffers a "panic attack" while out surfing one morning. The events following the "panic attack" lead Perry from sunny California to a corpse filled home in Las Vegas and into the mountainous beauty of Colorado. Is someone trying to kill Perry, why is he hearing rapping noises at all hours of the night, what has lead to his suddenly serious health issues?

    Koontz does a great job of placing the reader into Perry's mind, letting us feel the paranoia swirling around the man's life, letting us experience what it might be like to suddenly loose control of your fate (as if we had any control to begin with??), and as Perry hunts for answers, the pace of the novel refuses to let up.

    If you are a Koontz fan, then you will enjoy his latest entry. If you associate Koontz with monsters and gremlins hiding under the bed, then give "You Heart Belongs to Me" a chance to show you Koontz's "thriller" style of writing, and that he is not just a "horror" writer....more info
  • Jumped the shark
    "*SPOILERS*
    I have always enjoyed his works but this one really didn't do it for me. Personally, I am a bit fed up with the goody-two shoes characters in all his books. I've also grown tired of his little messages about moral values and the fact that anyone in his stories who's not completely straight-edged may as well be Satan himself. Ryan's dad smokes weed and listens to the Dead and is therefore, Mephistopheles personified. Not to mention people in past books who drink or screw around wind up dying horrible deaths. I actually found myself detesting this Ryan Perry and Samantha. For crying out loud, they even transfer potato salad and cole slaw from the deli into ceramic bowls. Who the *%$# does that when eating deli??? Oh and *SPOILER ALERT* The only way for Ryan to find redemption was to give up all his money?? Come on, Mr. Koontz! I think you've been listening to too many sidewalk preachers. Give it a rest, will you?

    I hope this book isn't a sneak peek at what's to come for the next few years. What a shame it would be for him to spiral into a bitter old man who hates everyone with a few minor vices and turn into Carrie White's mother. "...more info
  • Strange Koontz Outing
    I've read a fair amount of Koontz novels by this point (upwards of 20) and I have to say that "Your Heart Belongs To Me" is a strange one. It suffers from lapses that Koontz doesn't typically suffer from. For instance, why does the Chinese intelligence agent have green eyes? (How many people from mainland China have green eyes? Not to deal in stereotypes, but I'll bet it's about the same number of Norwegians who are born with afros, or Zulus who are born with red hair and freckles.) Furthermore, he makes this green-eyed Chinese woman (and her murdered sister) have Western names. Add to that auto-plagiarisms [like the metaphor he's re-hashed a dozen times over at least eight different books where he describes clouds poetically as "ghost galleons," or beams of sunlight as "leaving coins of brightness" on tables] and one hardly has time to address the massive (and fundamentally more damaging) logic-lapses in the story's structure. Why, for instance, would an irate sibling target the patient--and not the evil doctor? Or the sinister government officials?

    Still, for all its failings, it nevertheless has a lot of Koontzian merits that make it rate at least a three to three-and-a-half star review. (The first half of the book alone rates a four-and-a-half, but is brought down--according to the law of averages--by the sagging and unsatisfying end-half.)...more info
  • Your Heart Belongs to Me is Sad
    I have read every single book Dean Koontz has ever written and I will continue to do so. But I have to make a comment on this one. It was terrible. I know it did not follow the same themes as his others books and that is okay...I like variety. But I think he was trying to get in the popular mainstream and write books like other popular authors (Jodie Picoult-Change of Heart). I am not sure what he was trying to do. But this book was not well written. The book left so many things hanging, so many loose ends, so many things were brought up in the book and you never know why. No excitement, thrill, very little chemistry between the two main characters and Dean is usually so much better at that. I love Dean Koontz...please write the next Frankenstein novel. I'm still a fan...just didn't like this one!...more info
  • Whose Your Daddy?
    Whose heart is it? Is Ryan Perry's character too heart broken, too damaged and too controlling? Why is his desire to have a new heart, and stay alive causing him too overlook divine guidance? Of course these are questions that would challenge everyone. Yet day to day survival is not Perry's only problem. There is a hidden subtext to his search hinted at by Koontz. The mystery for Perry and the reader alike is too discover the heart felt truth: your heart does not belong to you. Well who does your heart belong?
    Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Mystery themes so well told by Koontz that readers waited anxiously for each new book to appear.
    What is driving the reader to continue reading book after book by Koontz. Besides having detailed character development and who done it plot lines that invisibly surprise; Koontz also tantalizes the reader with answers to eternal questions. Life according to Koontz is paying attention to the messages and patiently waiting for the answers that God will supply. Koontz is careful to only hint at his spiritual inclinations but Koontz's position is very clear by the end of the book
    The controversy I am reading in many posts concerns Koontz's subject matter,the not so imaginative heart disease and the ending, Perry's final decision.
    Here is where each reader brings there own history to bear on his opinion. I am not crazy about his choice of subject matter. I don't find reading about operations entertaining, or mans failure to see the truth fun. Yet that is what is amazing about Koontz, he is able to seduce excitement and mystery into
    the everyday horrors of our lives. I recognize that Koontz has tackled a tough subject. I just wish redemption would conclude more with two kids, a golden retriever and the love of your life. ...more info
  • Disappointing
    I have to begin by saying that I have always been a huge fan of Dean Koontz going way back to Whispers and have rarely been disappointed. Not this time around. What a dopey book. While I will give him credit for roping me in from the very beginning the book eventually falls flat, very flat. The ending is beyond lame ("there are always dogs to wash,stables to paint, lawns to mow" did he really say that? @@ <-----huge eye roll here). Truth be known, I don't know how this book got published. I guess they figure Koontz can slap his name on anything and it'll sell. This may be true up to a point, but anymore like this and fans will begin dropping like flies. Save your money....more info
  • Stop writing so quickly!!
    It's funny. I just finished reading Duma Key by Stephen King before reading this book. I thought to myself how wonderful it is that King can still write a fully fleshed out novel like Duma Key and how I have become increasing dissapointed in Koontz efforts to do the same. And after reading this book I feel even more so that his recent books feel like the work of a lazy writer, or one who does not have the discipline anymore to really get down into it and produce rich, complex stories.

    I kind of liked his "DogL book last year but that may be becuase I love dogs.

    He is certainly off his game these days....more info
  • Not recommended from long time Koontz fan
    Definitely not the best Koontz book I've read. It's slightly depressing undertones are not the biggest reason why you should not undertake a read. The minuscule character development and lack of an engrossing plot line, however, are. ...more info
  • Really Enjoyed
    Another Dean Knootz's novel I enjoyed. It kept me in suspense until the very end. Dean Knootz did it again. Written another novel I really enjoyed. I highly recommend if you enjoy Dean Knootz or suspense novels....more info
  • Good start - empty middle - brings it home
    Ok, I'm a long time fan and will cut Koontz some slack. I think if this was another author's book it would get a 3.5 but for Dean I rounded up. It started off gangbusters, a riddle wrapped in a mystery. Everyone in the book was suspect but the reader was not sure "of what?" We have the perfect girlfriend (or was she), her uncaring mom (who's dating a Dr. Kevorkian clone), the creepy housekeepers (are they Tong members?)A state of the art electronically controlled house (was Dean having a Demon Seed flash back) - all the elements of a great mystery were set in place.

    Then we got to the middle of the book and were in the doldrums. I actually asked the book aloud "what happened?" The girlfriend's gone, the ex-future mother in law and Dr. Death are gone, and the Tong's are gone. Nothing happens and to be honest, I'm of an age where I don't need the 5-second sound bites but geeze give me something, anything. Then.....

    Dean brings it home and in a way I surly hadn't anticipated. The ending and the pure physiological horror of what happened made it a worthwhile read. What's worse - this surely happens in this canted world of ours..bg

    ...more info
  • I guess I'm weird...I loved it!
    Ryan Perry made a fortune after he created the internet's largest social networking website. Only thirty-four years old, Ryan is one of the wealthiest men in the country and has everything a man could want. Even his love life is better than he could have hoped, and he has no doubt Samantha is the one he will spend the rest of his life with.

    One fateful day while Ryan is surfing he feels an intense pain in his chest, scaring him enough to visit the doctor. His worst fears are confirmed when he discovers he needs a heart transplant to live. As Ryan waits for a donor his world is torn apart by strange events and suspicions that he has no answer for. He begins to believe that those who are closest to him may be responsible for his medical condition. His search for the truth will lead him down a dark road that could destroy him in ways he never imagined.

    Your Heart Belongs to Me might be one of the most unique novels of Koontz's career. Depending on your perspective, that can be good or bad. It's hard to fit this story into one clear cut genre. While there are terrifying moments, this is not a horror novel. Much of the story is full of drama, emotion, and romance, yet this is not a typical love story. This novel is very suspenseful, but driven at a much slower pace than Koontz's previous works.

    Much of Koontz's early career was highlighted by suspenseful stories with both supernatural and horror elements. Many of his die hard fans still want that from him, and subsequently are quick to turn on his later works that are full of powerful explorations of light overcoming the darkness. While I enjoy many of the vintage Koontz novels, I have also thoroughly enjoyed his more recent approach to storytelling. This latest offering is certainly no exception.

    In my book, no one equals Koontz when it comes to prose and dialogue. Those strengths shine here, but what carries this story is the character of Ryan Perry. His journey is full of struggle, hope, torment, and redemption. Koontz gives us a rich guy that has everything, and he still makes us care for and hurt alongside him at every turn. We're able to see through the riches and security Ryan has built up around him and look into the heart of a person who is frightened by the realities of life and death. As we're drawn deeper into the story, we are effectively drawn deeper into Ryan's life, making this a more profound, heartfelt tale.

    While the pacing of this story is slower than we've come to expect from Koontz, in no way does it take away from the suspense. Ryan's paranoia about his situation and his search for truth amidst a world of confusion makes for a very addictive read. This is also one of the most spiritual themed novels Koontz has written and maybe one of the most poignant. In the end, Koontz delivers a great little twist that is both powerful and sobering. Even if you are aching for some classic Koontz give this one a chance and enjoy yet another wondrously crafted tale from the master.

    ...more info
  • Not my favorite
    While I am a huge Dean Koontz fan, this book did not do it for me. The book dragged in the beginning and I was wondering how long before the plot starts to pick up. Well, the plot did pick up and suddenly there were a number of different seeming 'subplots' which I found very interesting. But alas, in the end, all the subplots fizzled. I was quite dissapointed with the way the book wrapped up. ...more info
  • An Unmitigated Disaster
    Gaping holes in the plot, preachy and egotistical narrative, unsound and petty moralizing, one-dimensional characters, events that make absolutely no sense... it leaves the reader wondering whether this was ghost-written by Trixie Koontz via ouija board.

    I got this used, for only a couple of bucks, and *still* regret the purchase, as well as the time spent reading this disaster--this is definitely one to skip. By far the worst thing he's ever written, and that includes his early megaflops. ...more info
  • Not the quality of novel I have come to expect from Koontz!
    I am a huge Koontz fan and rushed to buy this book when in was first released. I read the short synopsis of the book on the back cover and then began to read. The back of the book basically told me everything the first half of the book was about. I felt that there should have been a warning on the book that if you read the dust cover please skip to the second half of the book for the rest of the story. In a nutshell, I didn't enjoy this book at all and hope that when Relentless is released in the spring it will redeem Koontz and make all of his fans as happy as he usually makes them....more info
  • Booorrring!
    I'm a big fan of Dean Koontz, but I can't recommend this book to anyone, unless they are trapped on a deserted island and there simply is nothing else available to read. Too much mystic philosophical rambling, too many loose ends that were never really resolved, and an ending that was unsatisfying. Don't waste your time, and please, Mr. Koontz, return to the thriller genre that is your forte. ...more info
  • Good Premise but Not Well Done....
    YHBTM had some pretty good foundations to rise from,but,unfortunately,it never got off the main floor and worse-never really developed into much at all. I won't rehash the plot here again,as it's already been said countless times by other reviewers,but I will make a list of some of it's more inexplicable points in no particular order.
    1.Spencer Barghest-a strange man that Seemed to have a sinister pivotal role but turned into Nothing.
    2.Jimmy the Paranoid Burned-out Hippie Dude Father...uhh..Huh?? Why didn't "Bramble" kill him??
    3.The Evil Dr. Dougal Hobbs-apparently either forgotten or allowed to keep on doing what he was doing at the finish.
    4.Ismay Clemm-a Fascinating character who Promised well,but was soon dropped from the action and basically did nothing in the end.
    5.Samantha-the weird girlfriend with issues she could never say out loud (even though she was a novelist)Her actions are never clearly explained for those of us that either can't or don't understand about "Subtext"-a word that is much overused but never really explained either.
    6.Wilson Mott-another character of interest that was never much developed.
    7.Teresa Reach-a dead woman Much written about but of apparently no connection to much of anything in the end.
    8.The "Deja Vu" in Denver....why was it needed?
    9.George Zane and Cathy Sienna-2 Very Much loaded with Potential characters-especially the somewhat mysterious but formidable Cathy Sienna-who ended up doing little more than driving the main character around.
    10. Groves of Red Bamboo??
    11. The Tapping..the Tapping...WTH??
    Dean Koontz can and Has done Much better than this latest obviously rushed book. Sadly,I cannot say that I would recommend this one to anyone seeking a page turner. The Real Villain gets away-the "Hero" loses everything-the Girlfriend turned strange and goes away and the "Other" Villain (who could do things that would make James Bond sick with envy)never gets what they wanted to begin with. I won't even go into the ending,other than to say it came out feeling somewhat Flat and Had to,of course,include...what else?..Golden Retrievers...Enough Said...
    ...more info
  • great start, disapponting end
    The book started as a real page turner that I couldn't put down. It felt like one of Koontz's best early writes. However, the ending felt rushed and inconclusive with many of the plot lines introduced never addressed or explained. I would have totally enjoyed the book if it wasn't for the lame ending....more info
  • Dean Koontz is a great storyteller.
    I really enjoyed this book. There were some unexpected twists. Dean knows how to entertain his readers! I couldn't put it down. He is one of my favorite authors. This guy knows how to grab your attention! I will read this book again!...more info
  • Nice premise but .....
    I have read every book he has put out but this one seemed a little out of sorts. I just lacked the pace that I am used to in his books. The idea seemed ok but when you find out who the villain is it just seems...well flat....more info
  • The end made the book not worth reading.
    I am an avid Dean Koontz fan and eagerly await each newly published book. In Your Heart Belongs to Me, the author introduces too many eerie, unexplained events that he never really ties into the ending. I found the ending very annoying that Ryan decided to do what he did. Ryan, was, after all, an innocent victim. He really didn't know that anything was not on the up and up regarding his heart transplant. And given the ending, there was no reason to introduce some of the creepier events that took place earlier in the book like the eerie rapping Ryan heard or the feeling of deja vu he felt at the church in Denver. All in all, a very forgettable book....more info
  • Goodby
    It's time for this writer to retire and start spending some of his money and stop pretending he has anything more to say.
    what a waste of time....more info
  • HATED.IT.
    I spent the first half of this book not liking the main character. Why was he so paranoid, can someone tell me? And why did it take so loooooooooooong to get to a simple point? The first half of the book can be summed up in a sentance. He has a girlfriend, he gets sick, then goes all paranoid (unfounded, the reason was never made clear)and uses his money to invade the privacy of almost everyone he knows. Was I supposed to like him?

    Also, his girlfriend. What was the point of her character? She seemed so angsty, but why? Why did they breakup? Is there a point here? This seems like what I kept repeating, as I read.

    I got so fed up with the book, that I went trolling for spoilers to see if this was going anywhere. I found out, that it does not. I will not likely finish it. By far, my least favorite Koontz book. Awful. Anti-climactic at best. Save your money.
    ...more info
  • want to skip reading a koontz book? this is the one
    i love koontz, i have read or listen to all of his books that i know of over these past many many years. i have always liked the good guys vs bad guys approach and the positive endings. i like how he has portrayed Christians and people of religion including earth mothers who love nature. but this book....

    who will love this book
    folk who feel that succesful people are ruthless and selfish, who have class envy and wealth jealousy. who love to see a rich person get whats coming to him and in the end to see that person humbled and contrite like the re-education camps for the land owner and business classes in countries that have been taken over by the communists. or if you prefer keynes over friedman.

    who will hate this book:
    people who have worked hard and become succesful seeing myths about themselves being continued by an author who seems to be drifting politically left with this work. maybe he will catch up with steven king.

    i will re-read koontz other books where its the government that is the potential BIG BAD GUY and not a self made business man.
    ...more info
  • Just going through the motions now...
    To this point, I've read everything Dean Koontz has written. That being said...
    It seems like with the last few books he has just been going through the motions of writing...and "Your Heart Belongs To Me" is a prime example. A largely unsympathetic main character, contrived plot and overtly preachy tone pervading the book made this the first Dean Koontz book I have regretted reading.
    Please, Dean, abandon the multi-book-per-year business plan and get back to crafting the intricate and thoroughly polished prose your fans expect. I'll take quality over quantity anytime....more info
  • Not as Good as I hoped for
    I'm a Huge fan of Dean Koontz books, he had me hooked when I was back in High school and I read Phantoms, it kept me awake for three nights...

    Over the last few years his books have taken a new direction and feel and I've enjoyed that, maybe because i'm growing older and my taste in reading material is changing with me, but like another reader I look foward to every Spring and Fall for a new book from Dean and this time I had to force myself through the book, got to the end and wound up saying...huh? I'm not sure I get it. This isn't to say I won't keep reading his books but i have to say in all these last years this is my least favorite of his books.

    Hopefull and waiting for the next one......more info
  • good read
    It was riveting until the end. I did not like the ending of the story!...more info
  • Not the best he's done
    Normally I inhale Mr Koontz's work but this one just didn't click for me. It did ask some interesting questions, but when I read his books I usually walk away with a smile on my face, thinking about the wonder of the human spirit.

    In this case, I wasn't really smiling. I don't want to give spoilers, but in general the question asked is: if great evil is done on behalf of someone who does not know about it, is that person responsible? Does that person have to spend the rest of his life atoning for the evil, just because he ends up thinking he *should* have known about it?

    If the clues were more obvious, I might have felt better, but frankly I missed them too. When the explanation came, I thought, 'Wow, never saw THAT coming...' So it's hard to believe that the main character beats himself up over having believed in the sort of people that we've all spent our lives being taught to trust...especially when they seem so darned NICE...

    There were also an awful lot of loose ends. Some characters who seemed to have been put there just so we could love to hate them ended up completely uninvolved with the story.

    I have always bought this author's work in hardcover, on release day, and I will continue to do so. I don't regret buying this one, but it won't go onto my 'reread this' pile....more info
  • Couldn't put it down
    I really loved this book. Sometimes it's hit or miss with Dean Koontz, but this one's a winner. I really couldn't put it down. Interesting characters, and an interesting ending. I highly recommend this book. I'm a Koontz fan from way back, but often he seems like different authors. This Koontz book is written by the 'author' I like....more info
  • Okay read...
    Overall, I liked the story, but it took far too long to get to the meaning of it. I love DK's writing style and descriptions, but it took a bit to get to the point. The message the story left you with was worth the read. I've read all his books and love the supernatural mixed in with everyday people's lives.
    Poodlums, Boogeymen and Booglers: A Poetry Collection...more info
  • Done with him
    I used to love Dean Koontz's books. Unfortunately, I don't think he has written a good one since the first Christopher Snow. This book was simply awful. I don't plan on reading the next one he writes. ...more info
  • Save your money or get this from the library!
    I just finished Koontz's book Your Heart Belongs To Me. I kept reading and reading, thinking it would surely get better, maybe even make sense. The only "cents" it finally made was for Mr. Koontz's bank account...this book is horrible. If Koontz's name was not associated with this book, the publishers and public would be laughing at this work of words. Please don't waste your time and money on this hogwash. That said, if you truly MUST read it, get it from a source that won't cost you a penny. Trust me on this. ...more info
  • Slow
    Ryan, or ".com" as he is called by Sam, his lost love, has a heart transplant that leads him into shadows that he imagines represents personal betrayal and conspiracies. As an extremely wealthy, successful computer geek, even Ryan's fortress of a home doesn't keep him safe from himself. The story is unusually slow for a Koontz novel. It takes 31 chapters for the book to get moving, which is over halfway in. A reader who enjoys action and adventure will find this book unbearably slow. Dialogue is flat and character development is marginal at best. This flaw in the book is particularly obvious because the whole point of the novel is for Ryan to experience the "dark night of the soul" as a seminal experience after which he is able to turn his entire life around. Koontz beats the reader over the head with foreshadowing and most readers can see what's coming next. The end is as predictable as it is sappy. The obvious subtext of "simplify your life and be happier" is trite and overused. Other writers explore this human condition in much more skillful and thought provoking manners that don't involve all the drama trapped inside the wild imagination of a billionaire who has the money to investigate every idea. Save your money and buy a Sherri S. Tepper novel instead....more info
  • Rip off
    How about Mr. Koontz whittle down Part One into about half the length? What a waste of pages...wandering and going...what you hope is somewhere...but by part 2 realize, was just a bunch of filler to get to a ho hum ending in Part 3.

    urg.

    guess he needed some extra cash...more info
  • I Just Don't Have the Heart
    Koontz is on my list of top five favorite novelists, not only for the scares and chills he can produce, but for the probing questions he raises about life, love, and relationships. From "Life Expectancy" to "Odd Thomas," he's found a way to capture universal characters in unusual situations, and to do so in evocative style. I consider him a wordsmith of the highest order.

    Despite the mixed reviews here, I was fully ready to love "Your Heart Belongs to Me." Although the last two books have not been my favorites, I liked the concept of this and thought Koontz would find a way to make it uniquely his own--terrifying, intriguing, and thought-provoking.

    The first half of the book takes quite a bit of time to build, and I never bought into Ryan's paranoia which seemed based on some very flimsy bits of evidence in relation to his alleged love and trust in his romantic interest. Nevertheless, I read quickly. This is a fluid story, with some beautiful passages, and I kept hoping for the second half to be the pay off. Instead, the introduction of the antagonist is almost anti-climactic, and in retrospect her taunts and toying games in Ryan's house seem juvenile and even a bit of a stretch. She talks as though she has some horrific plan for Ryan, yet even that ends of being rather routine for a Koontz novel. The romantic elements are broken up by nearly two hundred pages of Ryan's disconnect from most of those around him, and in the end, I just wanted an answer for how the story's clues fit together. I wanted to care. I wanted to be scared. I wanted to be surprised, or wowed, or moved.

    "Your Heart Belongs to Me" wraps things up tidily enough, but some of the final answers are provided without much foreshadowing (Falun Gong), and the deeper subtext that is hinted at throughout is not as deep as I hoped. In part, this is because the motives of Ryan, Samantha, Lily, and even his doctors, were never explored in ways that seemed interesting or even believable for me. And Ryan's perceived weakness is nothing more than a will to live.

    I just don't have the heart to say more, for the simple reason that Koontz still creates some of the most wonderful prose in modern fiction, some of the most tender characters, some of the most mindbending stories. This isn't one of them. But I have high hopes for more to come. ...more info
  • Clumsy and dull, but the concept was interesting
    In a nutshell, skip this one. The plot concept lured me in, but it was really a waste of time. It's written in a nearly incoherent style and the parts where there should be suspense sit there like a dead fish. There are far too many "stretches" which left my mind confused.

    ...more info

 

 
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