By Dean Koontz

61,154 ratings - 3.87* vote

Dean Koontz's unique talent for writing terrifying thrillers with a heart and soul is nowhere more evident than in this latest suspense masterpiece that pits one man against the ultimate deadline. If there were speed limits for the sheer pulse-racing excitement allowed in one novel, "Velocity" would break them all. Get ready for the ride of your life. Bill Wiles is an easy Dean Koontz's unique talent for writing terrifying thrillers with a heart and soul is nowhere more evident

... more

Book details

Mass Market Paperback, 460 pages
April 25th 2006 by Bantam

(first published 2005)

Original Title
0553588257 (ISBN13: 9780553588255)
Edition Language

Community Reviews

Will M.

A very weak novel by Koontz. it's like he was contradicting himself when he gave the book a title of "Velocity" when in reality it was slow as shit.

The main character was really likable at first, but he slowly became boring as the novel went by. I didn't seem to hold my interest because most of the book contained nothing but jibber jabber. A lot of useless stuff written just for the novel to be longer than it should be. The amount of useless things said over powered the little of action that the novel had.

The plot had huge potential, but the jibber jabber really destroyed it. A supposed suspenseful novel turned into a sleep inducing one. It took me forever to finish this (almost a month) and that means that I really wasn't interested. I finished it just for the sake of it, and because I really hate to DNF a book. I haven't really seen the truth in "If you like Stephen King, then try Dean Koontz" just yet, but maybe some of his other better novels would make me realize the implication.

1.5/5 stars. I'm sure that I didn't pick up the wrong Koontz novel based on the synopsis, because that shit was good and exciting. It's also not because I wasn't in the mood for such genre, because I was. The book was just terrible for me, let's leave it at that. Nothing works for everybody anyway. Once again, I'm still not giving up on Koontz, because his Odd Thomas novels were quite entertaining anyway(at least the ones I've currently read). Read at your own risk.


This is indeed a novel with speed incorporated!

As the title Velocity hints the rhythm of the narrative. A clear fast tempo.

You are barely getting comfy in your seat when you realize that you need to fasten your seatbelt right away!

The premise is simple but performed in a brilliant and very entertaining way.

I liked real quick the protagonist and I fear even quicker from the antagonist.

Nothing is left to the chance. You will witness a carefull crafted masterful plan by the villain.

I enjoyed in the way that story develops since you realize that the protagonist takes sound and reasonable decisions at each moment that he/she needs to take a choice. It's not like "Oh, for Christ's sake! Why in the world he is doing that?! He/she drives me nuts!" Oh, no, no. I think that the protagonist reacts in a very believable way.

Moreover, the story is totally set in a real world ambiance, you won't met any paranormal force.

The evil here is very real and truly scary with a flesh-and-blood psychopathic criminal.

Also, since it's a very entertaining story and real page-turner, you will read it real quick.

Highly recommended.


Usually people go on smoke breaks at work to take a break from their routine paper-pushing to talk all raw about chicks and cuss a lot. Thank god where I work I can do these things from the comfort of my desk, so when I go on a smoke break I can talk about things that actually take up to ten minutes to discuss (seeing as I’ve been seeing the same chick for years I don’t have much in the way of interesting conversation anyway). Sometimes I will rap about the futility of Chicago football, usually I’m rapping in a negative manner about the clods I have to deal with in a day’s work, or sometimes movies and music, and once in a great while, I’ll actually discuss a book. Usually it’s just one person talking about the book and how much it ruled or sucked while the other person nods with slight enthusiasm; this is because finding two people who have read the same book and can openly discuss it in this day and age is less common than finding a large chunk of platinum sticking out of the ground. Well, even if you’re not on quite the same page, or in the same book, for that matter, you can get a recommendation of worth.

Or, you can be led into the fallacy that Dean Koontz is worth a shit as an author. Sure, someone might say ‘hey, if you like Stephen King you’ll love this guy’, and in the seldom-used recesses of the mind you think, ‘hmmm, I’ve been seeing Koontz’s name for ages, he’s obviously a NY Times bestseller several times over, maybe it’s time to finally give the guy a chance.

And Velocity is exactly the type of reason that I’m not listening to anyone tell me that a particular author is worth a damn. I’ll go back to either judging books by their cover or getting some recommendations from ‘Brick’, the spirit I channel via my ouija board. About all I can say on a positive note about this book is that I wasn’t exactly offended by it, not as if that is a rave review, but nothing within made me throw it out the window, a fate that’s been suffered by only two books in my time. It just doesn’t do anything for me; no entertainment, no enlightenment, it certainly didn’t make my manhood any bigger.

Good old Billy, the common Everyman, becomes a pawn in a dangerous game being perpetrated by a crafty villain with the singular goal of psychologically harassing him while offing people. The catch; prior to every murder, the killer leaves Billy a note giving him two choices, either take no action and he’ll kill victim A or to run to the cops and he’ll kill victim B. As the game plods along, he starts including people who are close to Billy (or at least could be people close to him, as the descriptions of the victims are always vague enough not to point to anyone in particular) as potential victims, and our intrepid bartender has to use every shred of cunning and resourcefulness he can muster to rise to the challenge; to reveal the identity of this vicious bastard and kick his ass. The killer, of course, isn’t about to let him do that, and begins planting evidence on Billy’s property, pestering him over the phone, dropping misleading clues as to his identity, and generally being a nuisance. After the killer makes a few personal appearances and beats Billy down and becomes and even bigger pain in the ass, the final confrontation is afoot, in what might be the most mundane and completely preposterous finale imaginable.


Not the best Dean Koontz I have ever read but I still enjoyed it very much. The best part is the way he develops Billy's character from the start of the book to the end. Who would have thought such an ordinary man could be capable of such extraordinary things. The ending is clever too. Just as the reader thinks it is all isn't! This is why I enjoy this author so much. He doesn't need me to be analytical or critical; all I have to do is sit back and enjoy the fun.


Velocity is the essence of mass-market fiction. Billy Wiles, an everyman bartender finds a note under the windshield of his car - If he takes it to the police, a schoolteacher will die. If he doesn't, an old woman will be killed. Billy visits his cop friend and tells him about the note. The cop thinks it's a hoax and tells Billy to dismiss it. It turns out it's not - the schoolteacher dies. Billy starts receiving other notes, forcing our bartender to choose the fate of people that are close to him.

Velocity moves along nicely and is fairly suspenseful until its faults start to kick in. In one scene the cops drive over to Billy because he mistakenly called 911. They grill him and even search his house. In another scene the cops give Billy details of a classified investigation over the phone without bothering to check who's calling (caller ID is enough).
Also another flaw is Koontz's limited knowledge of personal computers. Billy is worried about somebody checking his internet activities at the library computer because it could have a keylogger. Hasn't he heard about browsing history?
The biggest plot hole of all deal with disposing dead bodies. As Billy has to do something with quite a few of them, where does he go? You got it, to the Giant And Deep Hole No One Knows About. Several times. It's a deep lava vent hole that goes hundreds of feet down (it's essentially bottomless) and is conveniently located in his friend's backyard, so Billy doesn't even have to do much driving. Of course everything is nicely solved in an epilogue, because it's a Koontz novel and the good guy doesn't have to face the consequence of his actions.

All the action is interrupted by dialogues, which are thinly veiled Koontz's personal ideas about things like modern art, universities and scientists, and Billy's deep, philosophical thoughts about himself, painkillers, and the world in general - they must sound profound, but not be too complicated for the average bored housewife to understand. It seems to me that Koontz has found his niche - or rather a whole shelf at the nearest Wall-Mart. Because that's what it is, folks - the Wall-Mart of fiction. Quoting T.S. Eliot and Hemingway does not make a book smart. There are shades of a good moments in Velocity, but the whole book will evaporate from your mind quickier than a dead body goes down that damn hole.


This is the first Dean Koontz novel I have ever read. I had thought of him as a sort of lesser version of Stephen King--pulpy and popular. While there was that in this novel, it was well crafted. The protagonist, Billy Wiles, proved to be a complex character. The identity of the villain was kept secret until close to the end. And there were literary allusions sprinkled throughout the book, which was a refreshing surprise.

The final scene seemed a little facile, and the villain seemed a little too much like a character out of a James Bond film. However, this did not detract too much from my enjoyment. The book was suspenseful and gripping. The title reflected not only important elements of the story, but also the pace at which I read it.

Jordon Greene

Koontz's Velocity is an utterly satisfying and exciting thriller. The characters are so intricate and the story detailed. I thought I had it figured out about half way through but instead Koontz through me for a loop, and a good one it was. I highly recommend Velocity.


“A fine line separates the weary recluse from the fearful hermit. Finer still is the line between hermit and bitter misanthrope.”
― Dean Koontz, Velocity

Imagine if you were to go to your car and had a note waiting for you in the way that Billy did. What on earth would you do?

I must say I have not read much of Koontz work. I did enjoy this fast paced little mystery though. The person who gave this novel to me said she had a tough time getting into it but I didn't. The beginning starts powerfully and I was drawn right in.


I'd like to say the whole book was as good as the beginning but it wasn't. It was still worth reading, particularly if you like a good mystery.

I enjoyed most of Velocity. The issue for me was the ending.

There are also not alot of suspects in our pool to choose from. It is pretty easy to figure out who did it. The ending seemed overly dramatic when Billy is fighting the villain and I caught myself rolling my eyes a few times.

What I liked best..surprisingly..was the very unusual love story. That is not the main focus of the story but it is in a way(if that makes any sense.). I found Billy's devotion to his girl to be quite touching and the book is worth reading just for that.

3.5 stars. I enjoyed Velocity.

Sarah Sammis

Velocity starts with death by garden gnome and gets weirder from there.

The back of the book has the message: "If you don’t take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher. If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have four hours to decide. The choice is yours." Going on that piece of information alone, one might think that Velocity will be a typical "ticking time bomb" type thriller; it isn't.

Bill Wile is more of an antihero than protagonist. He wants nothing to do with this secret person taunting him and framing him for murders. Because of his own shady past he doesn't feel comfortable going to the police even though he wants to.

For observant readers, Koontz leaves lots of clues. They are hidden in plain sight. This is not a connect the dots mystery but one a second reading, the clues are there, popping out from the most unexpected places.

Jo Ann

This is only my second Koontz, and it was a big upgrade from my first experience with this author. Velocity is an appropriately named title for this quick read. This is one of those edge of your seat experiences. I'm usually pretty good at guessing who the villain is, but Koontz managed to keep me in suspense till almost the very end. I half guessed correctly, but I didn't see the second punch coming. Way to go Mr. Koontz!