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Title: A Werewolf Among Us
Author: Dean Koontz
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Baker St Cyr is a detective, a Cyber-Detective! He can plug a portable computer into his chest and have it integrate within himself, thus giving him an edge of logic that most humans don’t have. It also nags him about his dreams, dampens his emotions and can affect his actions.
St Cyr is hired by an extremely rich man on a pleasure world to find out who killed some of his family. With no clues whatsoever, the local constabulary are baffled. Several more murders occur while St Cyr is there and an attempt is made on his life. All clues point to a local animal that supposedly can turn humans into werewolves. St Cyr must also battle the deadening of his emotions and the awakening of said emotions when he falls in love with his client’s daughter.
In the end, St Cyr figures out that the “butler” did it, is prevented from destroying said robot by his own cyber-unit (because it isn’t logical as all robots must adhere to the 3 Laws) and almost dies. The love interest saves the day, saves St Cyr from himself and saves herself from a stifling family relationship.
Koontz turns his hand to future murder mystery with rather predictable results. Just looking at the cover should tell you who the murderer is. As soon as the main character noticed that the robot butler went around on an anti-grav plate, I knew it was the robot. There was no mystery. It would have been cooler if there HAD been a werewolf.
The main reason I knocked off some stars is because of the final fight scene. St Cyr refuses to accept that his cyber-unit is deliberately affecting him by not allowing him to shoot the killer robot, that is trying to kill everyone right then, right there in full view. So he wastes half the fight trying to shoot down Robo-Butler and missing, while his love interest is screaming at him to throw the gun to her so she can turn Robo-Butler into Robo-Scrapmetal. He ignores her until it is almost too late. That isn’t logic but plain stupidity.
The overall story was a fun little tale, even while being completely predictable. I’d probably have notched it up to a 3 ½ star rating if it weren’t for St Cyr acting like a complete idiot in the fight.
Well, another old Koontz under my belt (I believe this was published in 1973?).