In the Heart of the Fire (Nameless Book 1) by Dean Koontz

Reviewed by Allen Hott

One interesting, but short, story by Koontz with a lot of his typical writing. He seems to always kind of write about the super natural or else spooky kind of scary stories that hold your attention and leave you wondering!

In the Heart of the Fire a guy who has some sort of amnesia is working for some type of organization that is run by the Ace of Diamonds. Although the amnesiac calls himself Ben Shepherd, the Ace has got him booked on transportation and in hotels as Alex Hurkos. (Throughout the book no revelation is made as to what caused his amnesia and why is he working for the Ace, who is also unknown throughout).

After arriving in a little town in Texas he checks into his hotel and retrieves information, money, and a revolver that he puts into his pocket. He has dinner and settles in for the evening wondering what all is going to happen tomorrow. During the night he receives several text messages with two names and three addresses.

The next day he approaches Mrs. Dwayne Demeter who lives at one of the addresses. He notices that when she answers the door she is carrying a can of hornet killer, set on stream with a twenty foot reach. After introducing himself he notes that he served with her husband in Afghanistan. She takes that to be a good omen.

When she asks why he is there he says, “Russell Soakes”. She quickly retorts, “He can go to Hell:” Alex responds that if it comes to that “I will send him there”. They come to the understanding that Soakes is the local sheriff and he does not have a good reputation with many of the folks especially women with small children. After their conversation Alex leaves and tells her he will be around taking care of some business.

The story then follows Sheriff Soakes as he travels and is constantly thinking of not really Mrs. Demeter but her young daughter. It seems that he and his deputy have been doing bad things for some time primarily on visitors to the small town. They make friends and then somehow the visitors seem to leave or at least disappear. In these cases the visitors had young children with them.

However with the arrival of Alex, Soakes now begins finding evidence of some of the missing folks and displays of the missing

autos, etc. so they can be easily seen and found. Not only do the sheriff and his deputy become alarmed but the town becomes suspicious as to what has happened.

The rest of the story goes into detail as to how Alex works and how it gets more and more involved with the Ace of Diamonds sending texts to Alex informing him of the sheriff’s position, etc. A truly great finale to this short good book is how the whole thing plays out. It is a very well written, well told story that will hold every reader’s attention to the end!

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