Chase by Dean Koontz

Chase (1972)

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Publisher: Random House, New York - Published under the pseudonym K.R. Dwyer    
Book Description From Cover:      
  When Benjamin Chase was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, he accepted without ceremony - by mail. He shunned the hometown press and nearly demolished the sports car given him as a token of esteem by the local merchants.

He had almost managed to make the newspapers forget him when he became a hero again. He saved a girl's life. He took on a knife-wielding madman, who had already killed Lois Allenby's lover, and drove him off. Thus buying another unwanted batch of publicity.

But that was the least he had to worry about. Chase had also bought the hatred of a psychopathic killer. The voice on the telephone was tense and ugly. "You messed in where you had no right messing...I just want to tell you that it doesn't end here. I'll deal with you, Mr. Chase, once I've researched your background and have weighed a proper judgment on you. Then once you've been made to pay, I'll deal with the whore, the Allenby girl."

"Deal with?" Chase asked.

"I'm going to kill you and her, Chase"

Chase believed him. However, once the police learned about his endless sessions with a psychiatrist and his service disability pension for having suffered a nervous breakdown, nobody believed Chase.

Slowly, painfully, Chase had to return from his penitent retreat and face reality again. He had to find the killer before the killer got to him. Fortunately, he had been trained in stealth and mayhem by the best school in the world-the U.S. Army. Unbfortunately, the killer - who called himself Judge - had also learned a few things.

Chase is not only a novel of modern suspense, but a frightening, disquieting look at the soures of violence and their ultimate effect on our society.

First Sentence:        
  At seven o'clock, seated on the platform as the guest of honor, Ben Chase was served a bad roast beef dinner while various dignitaries talked at him from both sides, breathing over his salad and his half-eaten fruit cup.

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