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Afraid (Afraid #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  4,975 ratings  ·  732 reviews

Welcome to Safe Haven, Wisconsin. Miles from everything, with one road in and out, this peaceful town has never needed a full-time police force. Until now . . .

A helicopter has crashed near Safe Haven and unleashed something horrifying. Now this merciless force is about to do what it does best. Isolate. Terrorize. Annihilate
Paperback, 372 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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J.A. Konrath
Awesome debut. I wish I'd written it...
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 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.

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
Angel Gelique
This was the first Jack Kilborn novel that I read and I was instantly hooked! I loved this book--the suspense, the graphic gore and was good from beginning to end.
You can't go wrong with a Jack Kilborn novel...if you have the guts to read one...!
At the end of this book is this "About the Author" blurb...
Jack Kilborn prefers not to share personal details about his life. He could be living anywhere. Possibly near you
Considering what he writes, that is a very scary thought.

Fortunately, I do know where he lives. He resides in the body of author J. A. Konrath. During the day he is harmless. But at night, he sneaks out and makes Mr. Konrath write these deliciously disgusting little books.

Or at least that is the way I imagine it.

The one thin
Ophelia Julien
Jack Kilborn knows that a small town in America's heartland is the perfect place to set a horror thriller: remote, surrounded by shadowy woods, and sparsely populated by residents who still live by an unlocked-door policy. After reading this book, residents of small towns everywhere will be locking their doors with deadbolts and going to bed with .357 Magnums under their pillows. I know I would.

The evil that descends upon this town, literally, in a helicopter, is motivated by the worst of all ni
Glen Krisch
Afraid is the first horror novel from Jack Kilborn, aka thriller writer, JA Konrath. While this novel is touted as horror, I see it more of a horror/action hybrid that travels at an unrelenting pace, and is inhabited by likeable heroes and vile villains. Set during one harrowing evening, Afraid pits the citizens of the sleepy Wisconsin Northwood's town of Safe Haven against a special forces unit programmed (with implanted computer chips and chemical enhancements) to torture, maim and kill whoev ...more
Safe Haven, Wisconsin. Population 907. . . 906. . . 905. . .

A military helicopter crashes in the tiny Wisconsin town of Safe Haven. Unleashed is a Red Ops group of serial killers-turned-soldiers who go from house to house, business to business torturing the townsfolk for the answer to the question: Where’s Warren Streng?

A sheriff, a firefighter, a single mom, and her 10-year-old son band together for survival and seek the answer to their own question: Why would the military drop on their quiet t
Joe Rixman
One word describes the first novel from author Jack Kilborn: relentless. Much like the works of Jim Butcher and David Morrell, Kilborn’s premiere work, AFRAID, is non-stop tension. Each section break, while short, somehow manages to ratchet up the suspense to the point that you wonder how much more you can take. You won’t want to put the book down once you start it and a small part of you will wonder what possessed you to pick it up in the first place. The story is a non-stop horror ride…once on ...more
Wanda Hartzenberg
A truly masterful story written in a small town with a host of characters that made me nervous. I kid you not, I was trying to figure out two things from the start of this novel...first, what is going on and then, how will I ever keep all these characters straight in my head?

As it turns out the author did an amazing job in fixing these characters in my mind and as I learned to get to know them and invest in them emotionally the story started to unfold.

Graphic scenes, might make this not the bes
This was like watching SAW; pretty gruesome torture scenes, although the author doesn't go into many gory details. However, there is plenty of shocking stuff through-out the book. I don't love that kind of stuff, but it's like watching a train wreck; I just had to keep turning the pages because the story was so good! I really cared about the characters and was rooting for the small group of people (and scene-stealing Woof) fighting the evil that had come to their town. Nothing supernatural going ...more
“Afraid” written by Jack Kilborn is one hell of a ride. No not a ride, more like an express elevator to hell. It starts fast and only picks up speed. It is relentless with enough horror, gore, action and twists to keep even the most hardcore adrenaline junkies satisfied. These are very bad people doing very bad things. You’ll have a toe sucking good time. Don’t worry, you’ll figure out the reference. Kilborn is the pseudonym for JA Konrath writer of the “Jack Daniels” series of books. Don’t expe ...more
Veronica Morfi
Rating: 5/5

OH MY GOD THIS BOOK!!! I have no words... but I'll try to find some, just so I can write a review.

Afraid is the first book by Jack Kilborn/J.A. Konrath that I've ever read, and let me tell you it's not going to be the last. I was in the perfect mental state for a book like Afraid. I really wanted to read something action packed, with a military experiment gone bad, and a group of people trying to survive. And Afraid was exactly that, plus it was terrifying and totally gory, which I ad
J. McClain
This is probably my first one-star rating. After being told I needed to keep up with more contemporary horror writers a few years ago, I bought a selection of novels, Afraid included. Here's the first sentence:

"The hunter's moon, a shade of orange so dark it appeared to be filled with blood, hung fat and low over the mirror surface of Big Lake McDonald."

In my opinion, this is all you need to read of the novel to know exactly how badly-written the rest is going to be. This novel has an average of
Nov 09, 2009 Darcy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Darcy by: Crystal Craig
Shelves: 2009, horror
This book really sucked me in right from the start. I was trying to figure out what was going on and then once I realized something was very wrong, along with Maggie, there was no going back.

I felt sorry for everyone in this book as they were just going on with their lives and then were thrown in hell where there were no rules, you did what you needed to, to survive. All of the people in town were faced with such horrific choices that in most cases you had to choose the lesser of the evils.

What is THE BEST story line ever that I love and will never get enough of?
'When Military Experiments Go Nuts and Wreak Havoc & Terror on Everyone!'

AFRAID by Jack Kilborn is the perfect amount of story between the gore.

A helicopter crashes on the outskirts of a remote Wisconsin town of Safe Haven, a population of nine hundred and seven residents, but not for long. A small group of lunatic Red-Ops soldiers survive the crash and go to work torturing and mutilating the people of Safe Haven. The
Afraid means filled with fear or apprehension and is much too mild a word to describe the feelings of the residents of Safe Haven, Wisconsin when five men invade the town. These five men are members of a Red-Ops group. The five all have backgrounds of violent behavior. The group have been specially trained and programmed to kill. Now the five want an answer to one question.

No one in the town seems to be able to answer the question so the residents die and no one dies an easy death. Safe Haven
Transhumanism is the idea that human life can be made better with the help of technology. Now imagine controlling the human brain by electrical stimulation and making it function more like a computer. Forget years of study and practice, simply download information directly into a person’s brain and, depending on the program, anyone can have any skill set desired. In Jack Kilborn’s Afraid, "transhumanistic neuropathology" is the underlying concept behind the development of his modified soldiers, ...more
Jennifer Patrick
Quite possibly the worst peice of crap I have ever read. Not only was the story convoluted and far fetched the writing was horrible. For example, in the middle of escaping a burning building, several serial killers and a town held hostage the author was describing clothing down to what color Fran's scrunchi was. The other 2 people were talking about what kind of fish they pulled out of the local lake. This sort of inappropriate narative was all through the book. I see the about the author page s ...more
I decided to read Afraid based on the fact it was written by Jack Kilborn, AKA J.A. Konrath. I’m a big fan of his Jaqueline "Jack" Daniels series, so I figured it was a safe bet that Afraid wouldn’t suck. However, I was apprehensive. I just never enjoy any book or movie about covert ops, government/military cover-ups, rogue soldiers/scientists, or the like. Yawn-o-rama. OK...full disclosure is over.

Afraid was incredible! Gripping, fast-paced, absolutely frightening, and beyond gory (um, whoa!).
After reading AFRAID it is very easy to see why “Jack Kilborn prefers not to share personal details about his life. He could be living anywhere.” Of, course he doesn’t want THEM to know where he lives. He knows too much! Only someone who is very aware of the secrets of our government could have written this book. That’s why Jack likes to “stay off the grid”. He knew that the “Red-ops units didn’t crash here accidentally”. Of course they might run JA Konrath’s car off the road in hopes that Jack ...more
Sydney Squidney

Full blown, all-out, balls-to-the-wall terror!

There were many, many times throughout reading this suspense story that my mouth dropped open in horror, surprise, or simply in some cathartic attempt to produce a sound that would somehow interpret and reconcile with the appalling and roller-coaster feeling of my whole inner being.

AFRAID is so downright guilelessly gripping and fast-paced that I read it in ONE sitting, and literally on the edge of my seat, not getting up even once!

There were NO bor
Bobbie  Crawford
Mar 31, 2009 Bobbie Crawford rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!!
Written By: Jack Kilborn
Published By: Grand Central Publishing, 2009, First Edition, 384 pages, mass market paperback
ISBN 978-0446535939

Afraid is a fantastic book; I just couldn’t put it down! The fast-paced plot and emotion-driven story is very convincing; it’s so fiendishly nauseating that it makes your skin crawl! The suspense is palpable and the atmosphere is rife with tension and fear; just what you would expect from a book with a title as simple yet as powerful as Afraid. When the ac
Rarely has Wisconsin been so intersting. I kid, Wisconsin - you know how I feel about you. From the opening sequence, when the intruder responds to the old lady's question: "what are you going to do to me?", this book is brutal, and it never lets up. Kilborn does a great job of creating atmosphere (mostly of dread) and the characters are likeable and/or interesting. A special forces unit of unknown origins is dropped into a small town in Wisconsin, and they systematically spread throughout the t ...more
Whoa, Nellie! That was one disturbingly addictive read! I'm not usually very squeamish, but this one made me sqirm....a lot. I thnk the most horrifying part of it is that fact that most of what happens in this book is very possible,given the right conditions.

This story takes place in the small town of Safe Haven, where residents don't bother to even lock their doors. A helicopter crashes over Big Lake McDonald one night and brings with it a deadly force of medically altered phychos. They have o
I gave this five stars because for the horror genre, I think it's excellent. This book was scary from page one until the final chapter. I get goosebumps thinking about particular scenes (a man panting like a dog, the popcorn throwing scene) which is a good way to judge how functional a horror novel is in scaring the daylights out of someone...I mean, I'm still thinking about it. And....I burned the midnight oil just to finish it. Exactly the sort of thing that one needs in a good horror novel, r ...more
This was absolutely brutal! I have never read anything this violent before. I have read books that insinuate violence or violent activity, but never anything like this. If you are the least bit squeamish, do NOT pick up this book!

With that being said, the book was good and I will read more in this series and by this author. I can't say anything about the story w/o giving it away so I will just leave the review as is.
This book was "Black Hawk Down" meets Stephen King. You know how in many King books he spends 3/4's of a book building up a town and the tension and then has it all explode in the last 1/4? Well, this book was all explosion. From start to finish, horror thriller all the way baby.

Did it work? Mostly, but it felt more Koontz than King and that is not a compliment.

Once the killer(s) identity is revealed early on the book becomes a lot less interesting but still, this book had some of the best actio
Imagine Richard Laymon and Robert Ludlum getting together to write something after watching Hostel. Extreme violence, gore, etc., all in Safe Haven, Wisconsin. There's also a dog named Woof. Actually, goofing aside, this is slickly done and paced in a way that has me thinking the author is hooking for a potential movie. Well, you just don't do that. Only pros can do that, and clearly Kilborn's (a pen name according to some here) has been cranking out stuff for some time. Still, about the half-wa ...more
Mickey Reed
Wow. This reads just like a scary movie! Very graphic in gory detail, Kilborn does not fail in creeping out his readers thoroughly (in a horror film kind of way). I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It had gore, suspense, a little bit of romance, violence, and humor all rolled into one. My favorite part is that the author always gets a reader personally involved with all the characters and really makes one care for the people in his stories. That's why it matters when they eventually di ...more
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Horror Aficionados : FREE on Kindle!!! Afraid by Jack Kilborn 7 109 May 27, 2013 01:29PM  
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Jack Kilborn is pen name for writer J.A. Konrath. The Kilborn name denotes his horror novels; the Konrath name his thrillers.
More about Jack Kilborn...
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“When Wiley moved back to Safe Haven, flush with ill-gotten gains, he spared no expense building his dream house. And Wiley’s idea of a dream house was very close to Batman’s.” 0 likes
“We can’t control what happens to us,” Streng said, recalling something his father used to say. “Only how we react to what happens.” 0 likes
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