(Spoiler Alert!)

Roman Castavet, a Satanist and morgue employee, has been supplying the antagonist Corky Laputa in Dean Koontz’s The Face with foreskins from cadavers. He is a character that we meet very briefly. To that end, Koontz must make him at once a “character”. We all have that obligation. But at what cost? We visit again the dreaded adverb when Corky surprises Roman with a visit in his place of work. Corky assures Roman that his presence won’t raise eyebrows because the guards at the sign-in desk think he’s a visiting Pathologist.

“Huh? Why would they think that?”
“I have a source for excellent forged documents.”
Roman boggled*, “You?”
“Frequently, it’s advisable for me to carry first-rate false identification.”
“Are you delusional or merely stupid?”
“As I’ve explained previously, I’m not just an effete professor who gets a thrill from hanging out with anarchists.”
“Yeah, right,” Roman said scornfully.

Reading the give and take in its entirety, this dialogue already shows us that these two are far from friends. That Roman doubts Corky’s competence and ingenuity is implied. Do we really need the adverb? Must we be truly shown or can the author (I still say it’s the editor flubbing this book) describe the sentiment? You decide.

*Boggled is a verb. Very descriptive too.

He Does it Again

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