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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best thrillers written - humane yet shocking
Harper Cole, a man with some pretty dark secrets, is a systems operator for an international on-line programme known as EROS, a service that caters for the erotic sexual appetites - be they light or of a slightly darker taste - of a large number of highly-paying clients.
Soon, Harper's life - and the lives of those closest to him - will be thrown into immense danger,...
Published on 3 Nov. 2003 by RachelWalker

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Greg Iles - Mortal Fear
This is the story of Harper Cole, who aside from being an established commodities trader is also the Systems Operator for a sexually centered online chat room called EROS. It seems all is fine for Harper, he has money, a loving wife and good job. But his life is about to be turned upside down. A killer is using EROS to find potential victims. Harper is soon at the center...
Published on 3 Dec. 2010 by molko


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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best thrillers written - humane yet shocking, 3 Nov. 2003
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mortal Fear (Paperback)
Harper Cole, a man with some pretty dark secrets, is a systems operator for an international on-line programme known as EROS, a service that caters for the erotic sexual appetites - be they light or of a slightly darker taste - of a large number of highly-paying clients.
Soon, Harper's life - and the lives of those closest to him - will be thrown into immense danger, because there is a killer at work on EROS, a twisted and terrifying serial murderer using the network to find his way into the lives and fantasies of his female victims. All of a sudden, Harper finds himself a possible suspect in the eyes of the FBI, and in an attempt both to prove his innocence and to stop a vicious killer from continuing his morbid harvest, Harper goes into EROS himself, posing as a woman he once had an affair with, in order to try and trap the killer into revealing himself.
However, it quickly becomes apparent that everyone has underestimated this brutally intelligent killer, able to detect their every move and remain constantly one step ahead...
Mortal Fear is surely going to be Iles' crowning achievement. Most serial killer novels are pretty standard fare, but this is not only far better than almost any other I have read, it almost transends its genre, such is the writing quality and the relentless intelligence that powers the plot and movement of the prose. The brutality of the killer (and his bizarre, if startlingly original, motives) is balanced with some wonderful philosophical examinations of humans and humanity, which give you the impression that Iles really KNOWS people, rather like Stephen King, and a slightly academic, educated feel to it all makes this so much more than just a pop-thriller, but something far greater.
Iles is graced with a gift for creating incredibly strong lead male characters that, while often shaded, have the distinct feel that they could easily have been plucked form any street in any town the world over. Harper Cole is such a creation real, full, and likeable. His conflicts, secrets, problems, are all fascinating and the reader grows to care quite deeply about their having a successful resolution.
The plot is incredibly strong, and Iles really does bring something special to the whole notion of a killer using the internet to find his victims. There are some twists that really do shock, events that are unpredictable and come out of the blue, which is very very rare, some deaths that really do make you gasp, and even perhaps have qualms about whether you actually want to continue. But, of course you continue, because, while you cared about the characters, now you care even more that they catch the killer and, quite frankly, kill him very painfully yet thoroughly. The killer himself is genuinely scary, which again is very rare. His seeming omniscience and intelligence will maybe even strike hints of fear into you as you read. In all truth, "Brahama", as he comes to be known, is probably more than a match for Hannibal Lecter, and I have never said that before.
This is the best thriller i have read in ages. Its humanity married with cruelty make it horridly compelling, and the shadows of Eastern mythology that brood behind everything give it that extra special edge. Be sure to read this book. It is fantastic. I cannot understand why people did not rave and shout from the rooftops about this book for years after its publication because, by god, it certainly deserves that.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Greg Iles - Mortal Fear, 3 Dec. 2010
By 
molko (Surrey) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Mortal Fear (Paperback)
This is the story of Harper Cole, who aside from being an established commodities trader is also the Systems Operator for a sexually centered online chat room called EROS. It seems all is fine for Harper, he has money, a loving wife and good job. But his life is about to be turned upside down. A killer is using EROS to find potential victims. Harper is soon at the center of an FBI manhunt and is forced to confess to some sexual secrets of his own to help trap this elusive killer.

Ultimately this is a story about sex and murder. The story line is average and I didn't find many of the characters all that enjoyable to read about. It took me awhile to get through this book and at parts this continuously mundane 'sex stories' become very tiresome. This isn't Iles' best. If you're new to him start with 'Blood Memory'. If you're a long time fan of his however it might be worth a look.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An intense chase for a serial killer...., 7 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Mortal Fear (Paperback)
Harper Cole's part-time life as a systems operator for an erotic on-line service puts him on a collision course with a serial killer. The book was written in the late nineties and relies heavily on the then new information technology. It is, at times, sexually-charged and violent.

In many respects, this is a typically good Iles novel. The writing is very rich, the material is again very well-researched and Iles delivers his usual brilliant social insights. And there is the non-stop tension which Iles is so good at creating.

I do, however, have two less positive observations. The book is far too long - I read a 550 page small-print version (a struggle in itself). There is too much over-describing and unnecessary material. I can get just so excited by reading how a printer toner cartridge is changed. Secondly, the last half travels pretty much as expected as a hunting exercise for the killer, who is revealed pretty early, at least generically. In other words, the book would have benefited from some twists and turns instead of turning into a tale of the efforts to nail a known quantity.

All this said, it is hard not to come away from an Iles novel feeling pretty good; in this instance, he has again delivered a great story, albeit with some imperfections.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Needs an editor, 23 Jan. 2015
By 
This review is from: Mortal Fear (Kindle Edition)
This is the 3rd Greg Iles book I've read in a few weeks (they were a gift) and this review is going to have similar complaints to the ones I wrote for the other too - too long and too many Scooby Doo moments. Scooby Doo moments being where there's a dangerous situation and you think - they're not going to surely....oh....they already went.

I agree with another reviewer that there are too many products named, a lot of IT geek speak (I work in IT and I was getting fed up with it) and, in parts, it drags because it's 705 pages long. And that's about 200 pages longer than the action warrants.

Without wishing to give the ending away - there's a really implausible course of action taken by Miles and Harper. I guessed the outcome and it left me thinking "anyone could have seen that was going to happen - who would be daft enough to really do that". That spoiled it for me.

With the 3 books I've followed the same pattern each time. I've started out thinking it was entertaining, had a period of not wanting to put it down and then started to tire of the waffling and ended up disappointed with where he took the characters.

He's a talented author - but I think he needs someone to ruthlessly edit him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Greg Isles at his best, 28 July 2014
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This review is from: Mortal Fear (Kindle Edition)
I am gobsmacked that this book was first published in 1997. I thought I had read all of Greg Isles' books and when I read this one I thought it was written recently. That just goes to show how masterfully Greig Isles can tell a story and how well he understands his subject. To think that something essentially about computers and technology written 17 years ago could still ring true today is amazing. That aside, this book is another very original story, wonderfully crafted and with great characters. I cannot say it better than some of the other reviewers, particularly Rachel Walker, so I won't even try. Suffice to say that if you like an intelligently written thriller with a complex and twisting plot which brings you to the edge of your seat - read this. Yes, it is pretty long and I can understand why someone who reads James Patterson might not like it. However, if you are someone who usually appreciates thought-provoking and intelligent thrillers you will love it as much as I did and you will certainly go on to read all this author's books and enjoy every one.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great shocker about virtual reality, 8 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Mortal Fear (Paperback)
The story of picking victims via an Online-Service is no new chapter in the world of fiction. But the 'HOW' ist is done, surely is. Greg Iles keeps up much of the tension till the end of the book, the characters are very realistic. No typical (and boring) hero/looser scheme, but each persona has his/her own well developed character. It's like getting the necessary clues and information as small puzzle pieces. One by one the big picture is assembled, just to be shattered on some following pages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long winded, 10 May 2014
This review is from: Mortal Fear (Kindle Edition)
Very long winded. Initially caught my iminagination but took far too long to get to the crux of the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well-penned creepy gut-twisting read!, 13 May 2013
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This review is from: Mortal Fear (Paperback)
I read this years ago, and can still recall the horror from within its pages. It's initially penned from the POV of the killer, and I defy anyone to put this book down and shake off its effects within a day. It's one of those books where you linger within its pages as though trapped, unable to escape.

Greg Iles really is in a league all his own when it comes to thriller reads. His works are not unlike the great Denis Wheatley of the sixties era: "creepy" thriller writers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping to the last page, 31 May 2010
This review is from: Mortal Fear (Paperback)
This is a thrilling novel about human sexual fantasies and desires (don't be put off by this). Written as only Greg Iles can do this is a fast pace read grabbing the readers attention on the first page and keeping it until the final. The investment of your time in reading this novel will be greatly rewarded
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD, 15 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Mortal Fear (Paperback)
Very good read...kept me on the edge of the seat for 90% of the book...well written...and what makes it even worse in this day and age of computers and internet and meeting people on line...it could very well happen as portrayed in the book! Scarey really......but dont let that put you off the book...
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Mortal Fear
Mortal Fear by Greg Iles
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