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4.5 out of 5 stars31
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 August 2006
This book is another "once-you-start-you-can't-put-it-down" exhilirating reading experience. Dean Koontz has not yet disapointed. His novels are suspense-filled, imaginative, and totally unpredictable. The reader expects ... the unexpected. This novel is exceptionally brilliant, based on plausible genetic engineering principles which are exaggerated to create the impossible yet the reader is riveted and thrilled with the revelation when "the impossible" gradually becomes possible. This book is entertaining, spine-tingling, and utterly terrifying as the possibilities become ever more real ...

The book begins by introducing the reader to Rachael Leben and her husband, Dr. Eric Leben, a former University of California scientist and professor who is a partner in a genetic engineering research firm. This high profile California couple is in the midst of a divorce after seven years of marriage. They seem like an above average couple whose divorce has all the qualities of turning into a nasty public media type circus event. Right after the meeting at Eric's lawyer's office, he hurls accusations at Rachael in an attempt to gain control over the situation as his masculinity and ego were totally crushed, humiliated when Rachael failed to press for everything she is entitled to under California divorce laws. After this highly charged emotional confrontation, Eric dashed across the street and in a freak accident was hit by a garbage truck. It hurled him in the air like a bomb blast and caused severe head injuries, from all indications killing him instantly. The paramedics could not revive him.

As if witnessing this event was not enough, the following day, Rachael receives a phone call from the Medical Examiner's office where she learns Eric's body had disappeared. After separating from Eric, Rachael had developed a friendship with Benny Lee Shadway, a highly successful real estate developer who was her sole emotional comfort during this horrible ordeal. He noticed she was paranoid and behaving oddly which he initially attributed to witnessing her husband's accident but as time progressed he was to learn her behavior was based on more than his disappearance and death. Rachael starts carrying a gun with her whenever she goes out, she keeps the curtains of her home closed all the time. She is obviously afraid but can not articulate from what ...

Dean Koontz supplies major clues throughout the book to gradually build up the suspense and the plot as the disappearance of Eric becomes connected to factors related to his genetic research. The manner in which Koontz ties together the story, plot and the unusual occurences and events within the book is a mind-boggling but thoroughly satisfying reading experience. As an author Koontz knows just how to reveal more and more personal details about the life and background of each character to create a better understanding of their behavior and viewpoint. Obviously, the reader is free to loath, love, and cheer for specific protaganists as he masterfully and skillfully unravels the murder mystery. Dean Koontz has become my favorite author of this genre. Erika Borsos (pepper flower)
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on 12 February 2001
I have everything currently available that Koontz has ever done. I cannot think of one bad book he has written, therefore this gets four stars for the simple fact that it is a super read but not as good as Koontz books like Lightning which is simply fantastic. This book, however was close to getting the full five because the premise is intriguing, the corruption is consuming, the action is instantaneous and the evil character gets more menacing with every page. As with every book Koontz has ever done, it is a must read!!!!
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on 6 January 2013
Shadowfires is one of many Dean Koontz books previously published under a pseudonym, in this case that of Leigh Nichols, but the book itself is pure, classic Koontz.

The book starts with Rachael Leben's estranged husband, Eric, being killed in front of her in a horrific road accident. Eric was a handsome millionaire genius, but was controlling, domineering, and violent to young women (hmm... sounds like a certain Mr Grey!). Rachael is therefore not particularly saddened by his passing, but she does feel a sense of dread, especially when she learns that his body has inexplicably disappeared from the morgue...

What follows next is pretty much classic Koontz. The man knows a winning formula when he has it! Rachael and her new love Benny are forced on the run - both from the thing that Eric has become, and from a corrupt government agent trying to cover up the results of Eric's scientific experimentation.

Shadowfires won't win any prizes for great literature, but it is a page-turning, race-against-time thriller. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad (although Eric himself is much more of a three-dimensional character than usual Koontz villains), and there's plenty of action to keep things going.

This sort of book really is what Dean Koontz does best, and while this may not have the heart of Odd Thomas, or the humour of Life Expectancy, it's still a good, undemanding read. If you like Koontz's other books, you'll like this, and if you've not read any before than it's as good an introduction as any other.
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on 29 April 2009
I believe that most readers choose a book from the publisher's advertisements, [eye catching, illustrated dust jackets / the publishers review(s) on the jacket flaps]. .... FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, I HAVE SUPPLIED A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE BOOK, AND HERE IS WHAT THE JACKET FLAPS [the 'blurb'] STATES :

**************************************************************************

Rachel Leben's violently possessive ex-husband, Eric, hideously mangled in a freak accident, is dead. And his body has disappeared from the city morgue.

Now someone, or something, is watching Rachel. Calling her. Stalking her. And though no one will believe her, she knows who it is; that his walking corpse is a grotesque mockery of life, and his brilliant, warped mind, once again 'alive', is seething with jealous rage, seeking an unspeakable revenge.

There's nowhere left to run ...

**************************************************************************

"It took a step towards her, its arms swinging at its sides with a scraping, clicking sound.

It.

She could no longer think of him as Eric, her husband. Now, he was just a thing, an abomination, that by its very existence made a mockery of everything else in God's creation.

She fired point blank at its chest.

It did not flinch ..."
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on 28 June 2013
Nice book from Koontz, very thrilling with a touch of genetic manipulation and horror elements
Sometimes Koontz loses me during his story but this time he kept me till the last page
If you want to get to know Koontz' book, I would surely advise this
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on 22 February 2014
Yet another amazing story from my favourite author. He brings people and stories to life like no one else. I love how he mixes sci fi with horror and science and crime, and every book is a story of good versus evil. Love it!
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on 12 November 2015
I have just read this for a second time and believe me I don't do that often, once is usually enough. Imaginative,scary,exciting and described well.
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on 2 March 2014
Dean Koonz writes better when he writes alone. This book had me hooked from the start, it was racy in most parts and a good storyline. Good read
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on 14 August 2013
I chose this book as I've always enjoyed reading books by Dean Koontz, the story is really interesting and kept me from wanting to put it down.
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on 16 November 2014
I bought it for my husband so he could just take the kindle he loves the book and can not wait for the odd Thomas series to become available.
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