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Publisher's Summary

Past midnight, Chyna Shepherd, 26, gazed out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend's family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Forman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed "homicidal adventurer", Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse, or limits, to live with intensity. Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit.

Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive, until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess' next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl, as moment by moment, the terrifying threat Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

©1995 Dean Koontz; (P)1995 Random House, Inc. Random House AudioBooks, a division of Rnadom House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The most viscerally exciting thriller of the year." (Publishers Weekly)
"Intensity chills the reader to the core and establishes Koontz as a master." (Associated Press)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    632
  • 4 Stars
    354
  • 3 Stars
    147
  • 2 Stars
    51
  • 1 Stars
    30

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    503
  • 4 Stars
    204
  • 3 Stars
    88
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    31

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    494
  • 4 Stars
    218
  • 3 Stars
    86
  • 2 Stars
    33
  • 1 Stars
    21
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Connie
  • Shawnee, KS, United States
  • 01-28-09

One of the best Koontz Books!

This book grabs you IMMEDIATELY and never lets go. Years ago, this was one of the first Koontz books I ever read. I was thrilled to pick it up on audible and listen to it, rather than read it. The narrator did a great job and again, it had me on the edge of my seat. If you want a great read that gets you in the first few minutes, this is one!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Markus
  • SalzburgAustria
  • 10-16-08

Suspense from the first to the last page

After 5 minutes I was captured by this book - and this lasted until the end. Very "intense" book and highly recommendable.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amanda
  • Spanaway, WA, USA
  • 05-22-09

Intense!!

Great Book. My first by Koontz; will not be my last! Kate Burton is a wonderful narrator.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Sit down, strap in, and hold on

What a ride right from the very beginning. This has to be one of my all time favorites.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Scott
  • Corona, CA, USA
  • 03-10-07

I enjoyed this one

This was my first Koontz listen and I will need to listen to many other Author's titles to get this book out of my head. Although I found the details provided by Koontz to be somewhat exhausting and tedious at times, the overall story was riveting and kept me coming back. I like the way the narrator switched between different tones when reading from the viewpoint of Chyna and The Killer , as well as the timing of those viewpoints by Koontz. Koontz leaves no point unaddressed, and I wasn't left thinking "how did that happen" or "why didn't Chyna just…" All characters are believable and what transpires over the 30+ hours makes for a great listen you will be talking about for many weeks later.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sarah
  • PerthAustralia
  • 02-25-07

Incredibally Intense!

One of my best friends recommended me reading Koontz because I am a very big Stephen King fan. I was not dissapointed! This book had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through, and for the last hour, i literally had to find a quiet space at work where noone would find me... and listen to it on my ipod till the story was finished!
If you love a good thriller.. this ones for you!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Doug
  • Hillsboro, OH, USA
  • 01-25-06

Really is Intense


If you live back a long country lane... don't read this! The detail at times is a bit much, but the story is quite engaging - and draws you into the victims plight.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

tore right through this

Any additional comments?

This is like a start to finish action scene. After the first four hours I was starting to wonder if that was going to get on my nerves so much that I'd quit reading, but overall I'm glad I didn't. <br/>Koontz has these tendencies in his writing that kind of annoy me even though he's otherwise a skilled writer, and the one that stuck out in this work was his oft repeated theme of Christianity, faith in god, and the interplay between that and what qualifies as godless flesh-worship. Though, that theme wasn't made so obvious or didactic that it weighed the story down, and it did add some vaguely supernatural and ethereal elements to what was otherwise just a suspenseful horror.<br/>Overall, once you get into the meat of the story this stops just being suspenseful and starts getting under your skin and really investing you in what happens next. Really nice pace and flow to the prose. I'd say this is a strong, visceral book that begs to be finished in one sitting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great great great!

The novel was very well written fast paced, thrilling! The reader did an absolutely stellar job. Her change in tone from predator to prey, villain to hero, killer to victim was exceptional. 5+ stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Leigh
  • Mount Pleasant, SC United States
  • 05-13-13

Wooooohooo! What a crazy ride!

Ok- now that I have finished this Koontz tale, I can actually breathe! Wow! This was INTENSE!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Joseph
  • 02-10-08

A

Having read many of Dean's books I decided on an Audio book for a change and chose this at random.

I found that it is so different from the way he normally writes yet as exciting as ever.

Normally one is immersed in the supernatural with chilling happenings on each turn of the page. Here we have an intense murder story with the heroine trapped in an ever changing and increasingly exciting situation of her own altruistic choosing.

I highly recommend this book to anybody who loves the tension of a constantly twisting and turning tale.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Charlotte
  • 07-16-09

Very, very good.

I have read one other from this author and whilst that was great, it was a little too long winded for me. This however was perfect or just shy of it. The storyline, without going into any detail is a simple wrong place at the wrong time moment, but then one of the characters does some crazy things - which are very believeable and brings herself further into danger. It's a fast action paced book which will freak you out in times and really give you courage in others. The characters are complex but interesting. The narater was excellent, so much so I really thought this book was better listened to, then if I had of read it, because she brings the intensity of the authors works 'alive'. A must read if you want a tense thriller, which feels very real!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Laura M
  • 02-13-11

Excellento

Edge of the seat stuff !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joe
  • 04-07-13

Fun read

This was my first Koontz novel. I struggled at the start to get the hang of his writing style, which was often repetitive and meandering, but once the story got going I was hooked. Chyna Shepherd is the heroine in a roller-coaster cat and mouse game with serial killer Edglar Vess. It's when Koontz begins to switch point of view perspectives and give us that of Vess that the book takes off. It's clear much effort went into the creation of this character, and the result is one truly scary bastard. The last third of this book was where the pace really picked up.



All in all, this was a fun read. It's a little predictable, a little dated (e.g. technology references from the 1990's which are inappropriate today), but it still manages to be engaging, scary and enjoyable.