The Number of the Beast by Robert A. Heinlein
Number of the BeastZebediah meets Deety at a party and immediately falls in love with her. Deety grabs her genius scientist father, Jake, their hostess, Hilda, and the four of them leave so the younger couple can go get married. As they head for Jake’s car, it explodes in front of them.
The four escape in Zebediah’s car. We soon learn Jake has invented a new method of energy free propulsion that will not only take him around the world in no time, but will also traverse between universes. They quickly realize they are being stalked by an alien from one of these alternate universes.
This was definitely one of Heinlein’s last works. He refers back to characters from his previous books. But he doesn’t pull off a good story.
It caught my attention quickly, then lost it almost as quickly. It is disjointed and rather aimless through the first half. I kept saying to myself, “Isn’t this thing done yet? How can I only be that far?” So I skipped to the end. It never improves.
This story wanders, does not attract you to the characters, and is not good Heinlein. If you have never read anything by Heinlein, do not start with this one! Even if you’ve read other novels and stories by him, still do not bother with this one. You’ll be disappointed.