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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Koontz has the ability to make his stories seem timeless
This book combines the crime and thriller genres masterfully with a good dose of occult. He lays evil bare and makes you see it from the gutwrenching and horrified perspective of the psychic. Evil's all around us, we'd all like to help, but would we like ringside seats as witnesses. Your breathing will not return to normal once Koontz brings you immediately into the...
Published on 11 Aug 2000

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good. Not Great
Whilst undoubtedly, a fast-paced and interesting read, I don’t think this is anywhere near the quality of Koontz today. To an extent this is obvious: this book was first published in Britain in 1978. Koontz has naturally moved onwards and upwards. Perhaps if you read the old Koontz novels first, you don’t notice the difference so suddenly.
This novel...
Published on 12 Jan 2004 by J. G. Newbold


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Koontz has the ability to make his stories seem timeless, 11 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Face of Fear (Paperback)
This book combines the crime and thriller genres masterfully with a good dose of occult. He lays evil bare and makes you see it from the gutwrenching and horrified perspective of the psychic. Evil's all around us, we'd all like to help, but would we like ringside seats as witnesses. Your breathing will not return to normal once Koontz brings you immediately into the fold and hold of this book, and its protagonists unwilling participation in the hunt for the butcher.
This is one of his older books and is a wonderfully conceived book. There is no feeling of datedness about this book, though it undoubtedly is. Wonderfully told, masterfully sold story about undisguised, revelled-in evil which one man is forced to see at risk to him and his. Superb story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good. Not Great, 12 Jan 2004
This review is from: The Face of Fear (Paperback)
Whilst undoubtedly, a fast-paced and interesting read, I don’t think this is anywhere near the quality of Koontz today. To an extent this is obvious: this book was first published in Britain in 1978. Koontz has naturally moved onwards and upwards. Perhaps if you read the old Koontz novels first, you don’t notice the difference so suddenly.
This novel struck me as a little short on plot, and all a bit superficial, convenient. The scene is almost entirely set in the same place, and I don’t think Koontz gives us enough emotional and personal detail about the killers. Don’t get me wrong: it’s well worth reading (Koontz always is). Yet, I came away thinking the film (if there were one) would have been better than the book; a feeling I haven’t experienced with Koontz before.
Buy it, but if you’ve read the Koontz of the new millennium, don’t expect greatness. Expect only satisfaction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't look down!, 27 Sep 2010
By 
Mark Slattery (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Face of Fear (Paperback)
Oh Mr Koontz. I've now read more than a dozen of your excellent novels. Both recent and older ones, like this, the Face of Fear, from 1977. Quere (note Irish spelling), one thinks, that such a versatile novellist should be mostly categorised in a horror genre, when most of his output tends towards thrillers - such as this.

It's a lovely suspenseful character driven thriller too, with a very well described final third where the lead characters are trapped in a very tall building with the killer on the inside and a blizzard on the outside. Koontz does lace his thrillers with a lick of the supernatural, and this isn't the first or last psychic he's written of, and he does like us to ride his male-female emotional roller-coaster. In fact, Koontz is a very competent handler of women characters, far better than many of his contemporaries, especially in these genres.

But Koontz also has surprises up his sleeves (and given how many novels he's thrown out of his rotary imagination, he must buy new shirts every other day to keep them all tucked away). You'll therefore attempt to match wits with him - and maybe get it right, maybe be turned upside down like a proper turnip, as I was. I'm used to his tricks but he caught me out, which is skilful for a book written 33 years ago.

It's a fast read, Face of Fear. You'll probably find all you need to give you a faster heart rate, and Koontz's gift is to make you find the book sticks to your hand, and you try to put it down but the damned thing clings to you and one short little cliff-hanger after another passes as you try to let it go before light breaks through and you've failed to go to sleep. Then its all over, and you need to buy one more Koontz and begin all over again - the yin to this yang is the Vision.

Enjoy it. But don't work late for a while after.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mountain climbing on a skyscraper, 11 July 2006
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This review is from: The Face of Fear (Paperback)
What were you doing in 1978? Some people were at school, others were not even born, whilst others still were at the start of becoming one of the most successful thriller/horror writers of all time.

'The Face of Fear' is one of Koontz's earliest novels and should be applauded for not feeling dated. Graham Harris is a medium who has just been interviewed on the TV. Before it ends he sees a vision of local serial killer 'The Butcher's' next victim. Can Harris save the victim or will his knowledge of who the killer may be cause him to be a target?

This book feels similar to 'Intensity' as the novel follows a linear chase between killer and potential victim. With a very long set piece taking place on the side of a skyscraper there is little room left elsewhere in the book for character development or different storylines. However, unlike 'Intensity' there is some effort by Koontz to flesh out the story more than just a chase.

This book is average as it is very short, lightly written and once again contains one of Koontz's overly long action sequences. I much prefer his deeper more complex novels such as 'Odd Thomas' as they feel more than just a bad movie. I also take issue with the length of this book. It feels more like a slightly padded out novella than a full book.

Short but fun, this book should be read in a day and then forgotten about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 20 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Face of Fear (Kindle Edition)
Another enjoyable read, filled with suspense and mystery, with believable characters, great dialogue and plot. It focuses on fear and how it can dictate how we live our lives.

When something comes along to challenge that fear, what would we do?

A clever way to address the issue of 'fear' at the same time an entertaining read.

A few typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical issues, which again surprised me with so many expensive eyes paid to catch them.

A good read, however.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Edge of your seat, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Face of Fear (Kindle Edition)
Another brilliant book , so on the edge I read it in three days cos couldn't put it down, your left preying for the main characters and love there strength, you won't put this one down, enjoy
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5.0 out of 5 stars The face of fear, 11 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Face of Fear (Kindle Edition)
Gripping to the very end Dean Koontz never fails to deliver I am always waiting for the next book to come out
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3.0 out of 5 stars An early suspenseful thriller, 16 Oct 2010
By 
Jo Bennie (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Face of Fear (Kindle Edition)
The women of New York City are being hunted by a murder called the Butcher, a modern day Jack the Ripper.

Graham Harris is a clairvoyant, an unwitting witness to murder who has been plagued by visions since a climbing accident five years earlier shattered his confidence and his body and bequeathed to him an unwelcome psychic talent. Harris receives visions of killers when he touches things at murder scenes and has used this ability to help the authorities catch the perpetrator.

Connie Davis is Harris' partner, trying to nurse his traumatised spirit back to strength.

Anthony Prine is a late night talk show host with an unhealthy connection to the Butcher. He is interviewing Harris when Harris receives a vision of the Butcher's vicious slaughter of a pretty green eyed girl called Edna. But now the Butcher is aware of Harris.

Harris has a deadline for his climbing magazine so Davis joins him on the fortieth floor of the forty two storey Bowerton Building on Lexington Avenue for what looks to be an all-nighter. This is where the Butcher traps them, and the book is a nerve shaking game of cat and mouse as Davis and Harris try to evade the killer.

This is one of Koontz's earlier works and it is good, better than most other writers, but not yet completely up to his brilliant best. Most other writers would receive a higher rating for this kind of work but Koontz does a lot better, in places the book is not as well written as his later works.
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2.0 out of 5 stars not the best..., 25 Aug 2008
By 
This review is from: The Face of Fear (Paperback)
I picked up this book in a book shop purely because the cover of the book sounded fantastic.
Although the story is really good and sounds exciting it failed to keep up the excitement and got quite boring, the book started off well and had a good twist to the end but the middle, for me anyway, lacked oomph.
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4.0 out of 5 stars From the Southwest Face to Manhattan, 7 July 2005
By 
Michele L. Worley (Kingdom of the Mouse, United States) - See all my reviews
Under the pseudonym of Brian Coffey, THE FACE OF FEAR was first published in 1977, the same year as THE VISION. The two books have several things in common. Each has a psychic as a protagonist who developed ESP after a traumatic episode involving severe physical injury and leaving deep, unresolved emotional scars. Each has a supportive significant other, but risks becoming too dependent on such support. Each makes his or her living primarily through writing, refusing compensation other than expenses for using ESP to try to help solve crimes.
And each is plagued by visions of a serial killer, who in turn is about to start stalking *them*, with a "ticking clock" aspect as the entire action of the book takes place in a very short time (here less than a day). As in many of Koontz' books, the villain is also a viewpoint character, though here that's a somewhat complex situation; there are *two* villains working as a team, one whose identity is revealed right away, the other left as a mystery to be solved by the reader. In another repeated motif, Koontz is playing with two "brother" characters, but in this case they're both evil instead of the more typical good twin/bad twin scenario. Both killers are aware of Graham Harris, whose first vision of a victim of "the Butcher" occurred during a live TV interview, and they plan to remove him as a potential threat.
Graham Harris was a passionate mountain climber until a fall on the Southwest Face of Everest five years ago left him with ESP, a bad leg, and a fear of falling - a fear of failure that has slowly crept into other areas of his life, sabotaging his self-respect. Nevertheless, he gets on with his life, running climbing magazines and helping the police whenever his visions of violence occur. His current girlfriend Connie sees the potential for healing, though she walks a tightrope around him to avoid making him too dependent on her. Ironically enough, she needs to depend on him for her life soon enough, when the killers trap them inside Graham's office building late at night, and the only possible escape route is to climb down the outside to safety.
Drive-in totals:
- Multiple murders, ranging from murder/rape to simple shooting.
- Canned psychoanalysis along the lines of WHISPERS, justifying the realism of the killers' buddy relationship with one another.
- The two killers are given to chunks of exposition when with each other, which gets old. They think they're super-sane supermen, too, given to quoting Nietzsche and Blake. (Koontz makes allowances and has the cops explain all that.)
- Horror-movie setting for most of the book (mostly deserted office building on a snowy night, cut communication lines, only the killers and the protagonists still alive).
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The Face of Fear
The Face of Fear by Dean Koontz (Paperback - 9 Nov 1989)
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