'Watchers' - Dean R. Koontz, 1987
Perhaps unluckily for me, this was the first Dean Koontz book I ever read. Since then, no other book of his has matched up to this fantastic story.
The character of Travis is brilliant. And this tortured soul befriends a rather amazing dog who quite literally saves him and leads down a path of suspense and wonder.
I'm in awe of how he cleverly gives two points of view of a certain character in the book. He also terrifically employs a 'dual narrative' concept. These two separate story threads slowly and inexorably come together at the end of the novel.
The book has a hyper-real quality to it. A sort of an unreal quality. Even though it's gritty and grimy - at times it has a slightly hypnotic edge to it. Dreamy even.
But it's the characters; the characters that make this book so, so good. And Koontz uses exposition so brilliantly. There are times when you will be on the edge of your seat reading this.