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4.3 out of 5 stars112
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 8 July 2009
I bought this book on whim, simply sold on the blurb and front cover, and i have to say i was totally absorbed from page 1. I agree to a certain extent with previous negative reviews that it is a little ridiculous in places and you certainly need to suspend belief in others, but to be honest, i have a real life and read books for a bit of superficial escapism and 'suspend belief' moments. I'll not bang on about the plot because it's aready been covered in previous reviews, but if you like a good scare, detailed descriptions of gore and the odd twist and turn, i fully recommend this book
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on 10 August 2009
Many books carry reveiews saying how the depth of writing involves the reader with the characters. I have read no book where this is more so than here. This does mean, however, a lot of heartache for the reader as characters for whom one feels an affinity fail to survive! This book left me hoping that this author can write more of this standard. Incidentally this is the first time I have seen a publisher blog that says the author does not wish to share his private life!
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on 23 March 2009
Afraid by Jack Kilborn is a horrifying book with a particularly satisfying ending.

I like cozies. I might as well be honest about that. Also happy ever afters. Further, in the interests of full disclosure, you should know that I read AFRAID by Jack Kilborn (with a view to a peer review) because Joe Konrath dared me to do so. He has a thick skin, and a strong stomach... and anyone who reads AFRAID needs both.

Horror is not my genre of choice. I'm a Romance writer, but I enjoy murder mysteries and suspense novels. In my opinion Jack Kilborn is better than Jeffrey Archer, Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, and on a par with Greg Iles or John Grisham.

This is not a book to take on a fishing trip, especially if you've left your loved ones at home, alone. In fact, this book ought to come with a free membership of the NRA. You'll want your Brinks alarm turned on, and a loaded shotgun under your mattress if you read AFRAID in bed at night. You might want one of those panic button pendants, too.

Be warned. It is gruesome. The villains are seriously, SERIOUSLY, nasty. My own most horrible villain (Insufficient Mating Material) rendered his victims insensible, had his wicked way, then took a small plug of pubic hair for a souvenir. Jack Kilborn's baddies do a great deal more than that. You get a sense of the horrors to come when a faceless bad guy sits on his first victim's bed, and when she asks what he's going to do to her, he says "Everything."

And that's just page 7.

This book contains some sick stuff. Nothing is off limits. Think Hannibal Lecter times five --or six by my count-- with the absolute might and force of the US government backing them up...or at least covering them up.

The pace is relentless, the characterization --unfortunately-- is excellent. You will care about these people. No one deserves to die the way so many do. The writing is crystal clear, like carved coal, dark, sparkling, with more than an evil glint. There's no silliness, no messing about, and nothing strikes you as implausible at the time, even if some of the violence is over the top.

You won't want to put down this book until you reach the last line. It's a good last line. Really good.

Afraid is a horrifying book with a particularly satisfying ending. I thoroughly recommend it.

best wishes,

Rowena Cherry
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on 18 July 2009
I don't tend to go for horror books often, but after being reccomended this by a friend I'm glad I decided to read it.
After being warned that it's gory, I went into it without thinking much of it. This turned out to be a mistake, as I found myself 'ooooh'ing and 'ahhh'ing at some of the more grotesque deaths.
I was also a bit wary of a single chapter, but in the end I think it works a lot better. I found it kept me engaged, I read this in a single sitting, something that rarely happens.
I think the most entertaining thing about this book is that it takes no prisoners. The author doesn't think 'oh an old lady, better make sure she survives', he thinks 'I wonder how much I can make the reader vomit by such and such a death'. The story goes straight into the action, and within 50 pages there are already at least four deaths, giving a lovely taster of what to come.
The rest of the book is paced well, with all the events slowly leading up to the climax. Every little break from one group of people is another cliffhanger, and you desperately hope that another group finds them in time, or that they'll be able to hide themselves from the villains (which sadly fails pretty much every time).
It's a great read, and I would definintely read it again. Fully reccomend it to anyone that has a strong stomach.
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on 14 April 2013
I was drawn to this book as soon as I read the back of it, and the customer reviews sealed the deal.

To be fair, this book delivered what it promised in a lot of ways. The action and the gore were thrown into the fray very quickly, and even though there are a seemingly overabundance of characters introduced in rapid succession I had no trouble getting to know them individually.

But for me, it also treated the reader as if they were a bit, well... dumb. There were a fair share of moments where my jaw dropped with a realization things were abut to get bad. But the next sentence without fail proceded to explain to the reader exctly why they should be surprised. My second issue is hard for me to describe, the same characters escaped too many times for my taste, and I found myself just praying at the end of the book that the beagle would be okay. I stopped caring for the people because it became too predictable, I was looking for more of a 'no one is safe' scenario.

To conclude, if you are out for action and gore with some decent characters then this book is worth the pocket change you'll pay for it. Just don't go into it expecting Stephen King.
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on 23 March 2014
ive read most of the other reviews and basically agree with all of them to some extent, from 1star to 5. i tried a sample of this book and was glued, seriously hooked. my mind was spinning with the exciting possibilities of where the story could go from such a punchy beginning. so eager was i to find out, that i rather rashly paid £2.59 so that i didnt have a further moments delay. oops! im still reasonably new to kindle and ebooks, but am trying to control how much i spend as ive found there is plenty of good, or indeed excellent material available free or at very low cost. anyway, i threw my money at amazon and dived into the adventure, anticipating mayhem and thrills. hmm, as others have said, it quite quickly became a case of a bit too much mayhem and as a result few thrills. gore and shock tactics have no effect on me and as the body count got higher, so my interest waned. the full on action and intrigue i found starting at page1 soon evaporated when we very quickly found out what was going on in hugely unoriginal and obvious style. que gore fest. intended to terrify, the repetitive and sometimes truelly silly 'action', soon became merely tedious and the storyline ground to a halt then curled up and died. we all need to recognise that sometimes less is more! that said, having waded through the deepest - and most ridiculous central section - i found, like others, that i could not put the book down. in my case i admit this was somewhat motivated by how much i had paid, but nonetheless i read the whole thing in just over a day. it is undemanding reading, as long as you dont expect anything approaching realism, in which case frustration could be a major issue. i felt somehow tainted by having read this. not in the way the author would hope, but by how i had so easily been drawn into the 'buy now' trap by a few enticing pages! i can only say i am now a wiser - or at least more cautious - 'kindle-ator', ( 'ill be back!' seems to be my e-reading catchphrase!).
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on 21 October 2012
This is a fast paced story right to the last page,hardly stopping to take a breath.The bodies pile up and the gore can be a bit shocking for someone with a queasy stomach.I didn't think this was my kind of book but by the third page I was reeled in squirming a bit yes like someone coming across the scene of an accident,I just had to know what was going on. This isn't what I call 'horror' though,more a very good thriller.Well worth a look at especially if you're fond of books about the military,guns and senseless mayhem.
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on 24 June 2009
I read this in one go. It's highly entertaining and bloody. Everything a horror book should be. The killers are absolutely insane!! They are government weapons that have been modified but something goes wrong and they land on home soil and proceed to kill the entire population. The killers are ex-serial killers and other such criminals. One of the most gruesome bits was when a lady got her toe eaten off while trying to escape through a window. If you're into fast plots and gore this is the book for you.
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on 23 January 2012
I was looking over some books by Kilborn and Crouch after having read Draculas as I thought it was time to give them a try. I'm always looking for new authors to try but I'm always nervous in case I end up waisting my time. There is so many books to read and never enough time. I decided to start with Afraid. I was impressed. I read this book in a day and then picked up the sequel Trapped. I have now finished that also and have moved onto Endurance. I'm not going to go into the story as there is both a synopsis and plenty of reviews on here. I will say however that its very rare for me to read a few books in a row by the same author as I have so many I love i try to mix it up a bit. I've enjoyed the books so much I'm struggling to find time to try Blake Crouch now. I'm sure I''ll get there. Afaid is an action packed, non stopped thrill ride with great charactors. It has a real Richard Laymon type feel about it and thats the biggest compliment I can give. I only hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Looking forward to finally getting round to reading the Jack Daniels series when I get time and I can't wait to read Serial Killers Uncut but I'm saving that too last as I believe it has charactors from most of their books in it.
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on 9 June 2014
Amazing book. In fact, I'd go as far as saying it's the best book I've read! Absolute must read!

Not for the faint hearted, it definitely has it's gore. It's rare to find a book that terrifies you, then makes you laugh & even makes you cry!

Already reading the authors next book "Trapped" on my kindle as I couldn't wait! I can't imagine reading any books by any other author ever again!!!
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