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Night Chills

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,313 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
Designed by top scientists and unleashed in a monstrous conspiracy, night chills are seizing the men and women of Black River--driving them to acts of rape and murder. The nightmare is real. And death is the only cure...
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 15th 1986 by Berkley (first published January 1st 1976)
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Hiding Places by Erin HealyIntensity by Dean KoontzOdd Thomas by Dean KoontzDeadly Thyme by R.L. NolenWatchers by Dean Koontz
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63rd out of 211 books — 433 voters
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The Worst of Dean Koontz :-(
36th out of 47 books — 128 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 04, 2013 TK421 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror-thriller
Most Dean Koontz novels are a source of brain candy for me...think the gooey, dripping kind that parents never want their kids to have because they know they'll be the ones scrubbing it off the couch or inside of the car. After I read them I usually forget about them in a month or so; I might keep one or two details that make me smirk whenever I see the cover of that book.

NIGHT CHILLS was a bit different. This book disturbed me. I have no problem with violence within the confines of a horror nov
Edward Lorn
Feb 24, 2016 Edward Lorn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of rape-y fiction and amnesiacs.
Shelves: paperbacks
Sit back and relax. We're going to be here for a while.

First and foremost, I must appreciate how fantastic my paperback of this book smells. These old Berkley-Koontz books have a distinctly woody aroma. Less of a vanilla smell and more of a damp pine scent. Like walking through a Christmas tree farm in the rain. I've picked up Zebra novels from this era and Tor paperback originals, even a few King Pocketbook editions, and none of them smell like these old Black/Neon paperbacks. If you're not fa
Nov 09, 2015 Checkman rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars

Now and again I read a Dean Koontz novel. They're good for that five or ten minute read before turning out the light at night or while killing time waiting. Not heavy reading and Koontz basically writes from a template making a change here or there.I find that I can skim through sections that are not catching my interest and not miss out on anything. I speculate that he might have a ghost writer now, but who knows? Maybe he's just a spectacular workaholic.

Anyway Night Chills is one of
I wasn't supposed to read Night Chills (since I already have a lot of other books planned to read), but my eyes found it in a pile of books at home and I just felt the need for a Koontz and I'm happy I followed my instinct since it was a really good novel.

Black River is a sleepy little town in Maine (Stephen King vibes) where the population starts getting night chills and suddenly all hell breaks loose. In the middle of the chaos stands a family that doesn't get the night chills and have to figh
Feb 07, 2016 Corey rated it really liked it
Just by the writing style of Night Chills, I could tell that this was an older book by Koontz. Night Chills was probably so far, for me one of his darkest books, with a few disturbing rape scenes. Aside from that, it was a good read, the mind manipulation plot was interesting, in a creepy kind of way, kind of reminded me of the Jedi Mind trick from Star Wars, HAHA! The first few chapters were slow, with a few lengthy flashbacks, but once I got past that and got to know the plot and the main char ...more
Nov 04, 2010 Christine rated it did not like it
If this was the first Koontz novel I read, I would not have read another one of his books. The violence to women was over the top. I am not a prude but I feel like this was excessive and it took away from the the interesting part of the story, subliminal messaging. I just felt that Koontz took the less creative way to show the evils of mind control and when science takes a wrong turn. Very disappointing.
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 24, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
Night Chills was one of the most disturbing Dean Koontz novels I've ever read, really shocking and creepy.
Kyra Dune
Sep 07, 2013 Kyra Dune rated it did not like it
I was very disappointed by this book because I usually really like Dean Koontz. Night Chills started out okay in the first couple of chapters, but after that it went downhill. To begin with, the second half of the blurb is bogus. Except for in one instance, the people in Black River don't really do anything much at all. And after those first few chapters, the biggest chunk of the book is dedicated to an in-depth explanation on how subliminal messaging works.

Most of the time when I write a revi
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 07, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it did not like it
My daughter came through the living-room the other day and observed, "I just read another one of Koontz's early books, and he really has improved, a lot."

Now that's not a blanket truth, a few of his early books are pretty good. I don't, personally, think this is one of them.

It may be that I would have given the book 2 stars rather than 1 had the account of the "romance" not completely driven me up the wall and away from the book, so I put the book down. I went so far as to put it on my to be tra
Gianfranco Mancini
Non leggevo Koontz da anni ed era da tempo che un libro non mi appassionava tenendomi sveglio a leggere fino alle due di notte (view spoiler). Purtroppo il finale non mi è piaciuto proprio (view spoiler) ...more
Scott Rhee
Apr 18, 2013 Scott Rhee rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
It's been a while since I read this (I'm pretty sure I was still in high school), but I do recall, even then, that it was crap. Granted, it was highly readable and entertaining crap, but crap nonetheless. I remember thinking, as I read it: "Koontz is pretty much projecting every sick, sexually perverted male fantasy he's ever had into this story and passing it off as entertainment.". The story, I think, had something to do with some kind of government project that turns the inhabitants of a smal ...more
Hannah O.
Sep 30, 2008 Hannah O. rated it it was ok
This book was about a man who took his kids to the mountains for their annual vacation. He starts to fall in love with this woman after his wife's tragic death. Then a doctor showed up in the mountains and started asking strange questions. It turns out he had been studying subliminal messaging and he'd come across a major discovery. He would now have control of the whole world.

I would recommend this book to people who like scary-ish stories. It kept me on my toes most of the time. It was also ki
Alex Gherzo
Oct 17, 2012 Alex Gherzo rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristina Rauchlechner
Jun 24, 2015 Kristina Rauchlechner rated it really liked it
Well, the story starts out boring. My first impression was not good at all, but still, I kept reading and whenever I finished about one third of the book it was absolutely worthwhile.

Koontz managed to write a story that really gave me night chills, because of the general idea of the entire plot. Even though there are many twists and turns, it is easy to follow and most important: if you survive the first few chapters, it will only get better and better.

I could not put this book down until I fin
Oct 13, 2015 Robjr73 rated it it was ok
There's a cool horror story going on in this novel but unfortunately you gotta weed through lousy characters and some rape scenes to find it. I find I either really love Koontz or prefer to use his novels as coasters for my Jameson on the rocks.
Patrick Gibson
Mar 05, 2010 Patrick Gibson rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-of-it
There was a time when I thought Dean Koontz wrote circles around Stephen King. He wasn’t famous. He had a cult following and he made you feel like you just discovered someone cool. He was the anti-King you could keep to yourself or share with a selected few. Koontz, of course, went the way of all flesh and began cranking them out and repeating himself. Fame? Well, if ‘Family Guy’ rips on you, fame has become your enemy. I haven’t read a Koontz novel since Odd Thomas became a regular character. T ...more
Traci Steele
Jan 17, 2015 Traci Steele rated it did not like it
This is the only Dean Koontz book I have read that I truly disliked. Too much detailed description of the evil acts and personal violations that happen in the town. I felt like the author was caught up in the philosophy of the day that "sex sells." And not just sex, but raunchy violations of sex. And I just don't need to read every detail of that to get the picture that there are atrocities happening in this town. I'm so relieved that Koontz no longer relies on that trick to try and sell his boo ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Tammy rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This story was really hard to get into in the beginning, I almost gave up on it. It's a story about 3 guys that want to control all the people in this small town by using mind control. They simply have to say one phrase and it transforms the people into zombies and they are given orders that they fulfill without having a memory of doing it. This experiment didn't work on everyone. So the three guys are looking for the ones it didn't work on so they can test them to find out why so they can make ...more
Eve Nolon
Jan 05, 2016 Eve Nolon rated it really liked it
Definitely one of Koontz's better books. It doesn't read as dated to me so much as a historical novel (reading it 2014 the 1970s are thirty-some years ago, back when I was born) and I like a story that has a definitive time and place. I can definitely tell that Koontz had an editor for this book, thank god. I love you, nameless editor. The story is tight and suspenseful, and I still cannot believe that Koontz (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 14, 2010 Maicie rated it liked it
Book of the month for Koontzland group.

I was surprised how explicit this book was; surprised, not shocked. The author's books are usually tamer. I prefer the humor and character development of his later books.

Mad scientist, mad general, mad millionaire, small town = mayhem.

Jan 25, 2013 Liz rated it liked it
I think Koontz needs to work on his endings. The first 3/4 of the book is really interesting and then the last 1/4 felt rushed and the ending was a little lame. Like the other Koontz book I read it was like he was going to go over his 330 page limit so he just had to round it off quickly.
Oct 23, 2015 Vavita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is like the seventies version of The Circle by Dave Eggers
There were times when I just rolled my eyes but I found the book still worth it.
Paul Anderson
Mar 28, 2008 Paul Anderson rated it liked it
I'm usually not too thrilled by Koontz's early works, but this book was shockingly original. For its time, I imagine this book was quite frightening, and unique. I really enjoyed it, as I was surprised by this originality.
Melissa Kent
Jun 25, 2008 Melissa Kent rated it really liked it
This book was very exciting. At times, very disturbing. Koontz can be verrry descriptive, so sometimes I found myself skipping through paragraphs. But I still reccomend this, it was really good.
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
Drugs and hypnosis that cause whole towns to be programmable murderers? The science is awful, and I found this book easier to get through only after watching a few episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, where the science is just about as bad. Since the whole story in this novel depends on the science, this was a pretty shaky book. If you read it fast and skim the boring parts, it might be ok. The way Koontz introduces backstory, writing in the perspective of the character while the character ...more
Dec 29, 2013 Nicko rated it liked it
So I liked the subject but I hated the hero. The idea of a conspiracy involving mind control through subliminal messages is fascinating and the chapters involving the bad guys developing it had me engaged. But every time the hero and his family were the main focus I would quickly scan for more of Ogden.

Seriously, who likes a dude that claims to have loved his wife more than anything yet goes into the woods to have sex with his emo girlfriend, propose to her and proceed to join her in trash talk
Charissa Wilkinson
Overview: After several peaceful years of camping vacations up near Black River, Maine, Paul Annendale and his children have stumbled into a nightmare situation. What has happened to the peaceful town? And is there anything that Paul or anyone else can do for the citizens.

Likes: Paul’s camping trips sound fun. And the Edisons really seem to care for their town.

Dislikes: Poor Mark didn’t deserve that fate. It’s just not something that is done in Mr. Koontz’s works usually.

The sexual aspect was a
Aug 08, 2012 Lissie rated it liked it
so far its quite entertaining...
May 08, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it
I'm glad that I'm going back and reading earlier Koontz because I'm finding little gems like this one.

Overall it was pretty good. Some of the beginning is a little plodding if you already know how subliminal messaging/manipulation works and that's the main fault I have with the book. I also wasn't particularly pleased with the extreme effort Koontz put into describing very minor characters' lives; the character of Buddy being the primary example. By the time he makes his big reveal, all the maj
Sep 23, 2010 Velvetink rated it it was ok
Giving to si cotic
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Koontzland - Dean...: Night Chills (Group Read - October 2010) 92 111 Sep 03, 2014 10:23AM  
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Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na
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