Finished February 26
Chase by Dean Koontz, performed by Nick Podehl
This short novel is set in 1971, and was originally published by Koontz in 1972 under the pen name K.R. Dwyer.
Benjamin Chase is a veteran of Vietnam, caught up in guilt over his actions in wartime, but recently awards a medal for his actions. Ben feels out of touch with those around him, going through a set routine every day. The gift of a vehicle by the local merchants' association, a result of his medal, throws him out of his routine and takes him up to the top of the hill near town, a local spot for young lovers. When he sees a man creeping up on a vehicle he takes notice and while unable to prevent the murder of one of the car's occupants, he does keep things from going further.
As a result of this action, he gets even more media attention, and also, it would seem, notice by the murderer, who now looks to Ben as a new target.
As Ben reacts to this, first in retreat and denial and then in action, he tracks the man down, and eliminates the threat in a way that feels right to him.
The psychology that runs through both Ben's and the killer's actions here is interesting, although this is a rather odd novel. I found the calmness of the woman that Ben finds solace in different, and likely a product of the time this novella was originally written.