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The Face of Fear

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,732 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews

Because you're trapped. With a beautiful, terrified woman. On the 40th floor of a deserted office building. By the psyshopath they call "The Butcher."


Because you're an ex-mountain climber. Because a fall from Everest left you with a bad leg... and a paralyzing fear of heights.


Because he has slaughtered the guards and short-circu
Paperback, 306 pages
Published September 15th 1985 by Berkley (first published 1977)
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I am one of those smiley, sarcastic, cynical types- who sees the glass half empty in a lot of cases, but for some reason that doesn't spill into my world of books. I tend to star graciously giving a book or/author a pass on all sorts of things others don't. So what better person to buddy-read Koontz books with- than the "in your face no passes allowed" Edward ? When I saw he was re-reading a bunch of Koontz books- I had to ask to be invited along in his journey. I needed someone to take off m
Edward Lorn
Feb 25, 2016 Edward Lorn rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Nihilists and men's rights activists
Shelves: paperbacks
Buddy read with one of the coolest Canucks I know, the positively effervescent Delee! Thanks for reading this with me, lady. It was hella fun.

Dean Koontz originally released The Face of Fear in the 70s under the pen name Brian Coffey. This was during his struggle to find a genre and persona that would lead him to fat stacks and his own personal library of Chester the Cheetah porn. He was Aaron Wolfe and David Axton and Leigh Nichols. He even wrote as a female author under the pseudonym Deanna D
This old (1976) Koontz novel is basically a made for TV film; a man and woman try to escape from a dangerous criminal. What sets it apart from countless other paperback thriller sold at drugstores and airports is the concept: the whole novel plays out in an skyscraper, and the stairs and the elevator are off limits: the only way out is to climb down.

The Face of Fear features Graham Harris, an ex-mountain climber with a bad fall in his past. It left him with a lame leg, and fear of heights. Conni
Apr 30, 2015 Cait rated it it was amazing
Excuse my French.

This book is fucking awesome. I've read so many mediocre books lately, I just want to throw this at all of those authors and say THIS IS HOW YOU WRITE A BOOK. This is how you write suspense so thick your readers feel nauseous. This is how you slowly, piece by piece, reveal the identity and motivation of The Big Bad at the exact perfect pacing. This is how you make your main characters fall in love.

This is how you write something worth god damn reading.

I was hooked from the very
Mar 14, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it
A garden variety Koontz thriller. It was enjoyable and fast paced but nothing special.
Apr 14, 2015 Zora rated it liked it
Imagine it's 1977. You're about to board an airplane (no security, flight insurance kiosks, echo-i-er concourses than there are now for some reason) and you stop at the gum-and-paperback store to grab a book to read for your 2.5-hour flight. On board the Braniff plane, there's a one-hour delay on the runway. Luckily, you bought this book (and some Bubs Daddy gum*), which lasts you the whole flight and keeps you from looking too often at the incredibly garish yellow and orange interior of your pl ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Five stars for very likeable protagonists, who find a creative way of escaping from their situation. The villain is another one of those crazy sickos with a knife. Not my favorite kind of horror. But, with the fantastic action/adventure, I have to give this one a high rating.
Oct 14, 2015 Zach rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-bookshelf
Most people have a fear of falling, but in The Face Of Fear, by Dean Koontz, it takes the fear of falling to a whole new level. Graham Harris was rock climbing on Everest and fell 30 feet shattering almost every bone in his body. Now it’s time to climb again, and for a good reason too. He is being hunted by a murderer who blocked the stairs and disabled the elevators, which means the only way out is outside. With a mystery that the readers try to figure out from word one, this book is one not to ...more
Stephan van der Linde
This book resembles a lot of "The Vision" by Dean Koontz where he used a clairvoyant who is been chased by a killer. In this book as well.

In "The Face Of Fear" it is not the question WHO is the killer as in "The Vision", but how will the hunted victim escape in a deserted skyscraper.

I pretty liked this book because the story is plain and it reads smooth.
Stirring and off and on surprising.

I think Dean Koontz wrote some good books, but also a lot worse (mainly too much too sweet clichés) but thi
Aug 04, 2014 Denise rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Great plot, exciting story, definitely old school Koontz. However, the characters aren't fleshed out very well.
I've been pretty tough on Dean Koontz lately as I've been rereading a lot of his books. The Face of Fear is long on plot, a little short of characterization (with the notable exception of Harris), and suffers the ill fate of an abrupt climax.

The action flows until Koontz gets hung up on climbing details, and then it flows again until the ending which feels, after a suspenseful build, a bit rushed and slapdash, almost as if Koontz was just tired of writing and was trying to get the story wrapped
Ian Wood
Jun 01, 2016 Ian Wood rated it did not like it
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or
Jan 04, 2016 Lauren rated it liked it
This is a quick, suspenseful read. Not the greatest of books, but good enough to keep you entertained for a few hours. If you're looking for a fast paced story, an unusual premise (a clairvoyant man and his girlfriend must climb forty stories down a skyscraper during a blizzard to escape a mass murderer), a lot of violence, and one of the most downright bizzare sexual fantasies I've ever read in a Dean Koontz book, then hey you'll probably enjoy it. My main problem with the book was the main cha ...more
Atef Attia
Le visage de la peur a été écrit en 1977 sous le nom de Brian Coffrey , l'un des nombreux pseudonymes de Dean Koontz, et qui est ressorti des années plus tard dans une version révisée et rallongée. Révisée on veut bien le croire, rallongée par contre c'est dur à avaler puisque le roman ne fait que 250 pages, ce qui est très court, même pour un Koontz de la première heure.

Résolument mineur dans la bibliographie foisonnante de cet auteur touche à tout, ce roman recèle tous les thèmes chers à Koon
Aug 29, 2015 Giulia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ultimamente sto cercando di portare a termine questa sfida letteraria infinita che è appunto la 2015 Reading Challenge, un altro punto era: un libro che tua madre ama.
Mia madre è una grande appassionata di thriller, ma ogni tanto devia la sua rotta e va verso qualcosa di un po' più horror o fantasioso, ha scoperto Dean Koontz qualche anno fa e da allora l'ha amato profondamente. Uno qualsiasi dunque dei suoi libri sarebbe andato bene. Ho scelto dunque il Volto della Paura, la trama mi aveva effe
Feb 01, 2014 Kavita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The main premise of the book is an unknown serial killer who is out to murder and disfigure women. A psychic, who gains the gift after a fall from Mount Everest, comes very close to knowing the identity of the killer. Because of this, he and his girlfriend have to be murdered. And so the chase begins.

This is a thriller with an unusual chase sequence. As with most of his books, Koonz plays around with psychology a lot and has created characters with some supernatural talent. He has borrowed his c
May 18, 2015 Erik rated it liked it
The Face of Fear by Dean Koontz is an entertaining and suspenseful book. From the first chapter the story grips your attention and refuses to let go over the course of the next 300 pages. It is a quick and fun read, as Koontz constantly keeps the reader guessing about what is going to happen next. My only complaints about the story is that the characters are fairly one-dimensional and I never felt as if I could connect or relate to them. Also, the ending sequence can be challenging as our protag ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
I would say 3 1/2 stars. I love Dean Koontz, and this definitely wasn't a bad book, but it's not one of my favorites by him. I found the main characters, you know, the heroes, kind of bland. They didn't have much personality. And while it Parts of it were suspenseful, it took a while for it to build up to the final really long chase scene. There was one character who was briefly mentioned in the beginning, who became important later, and I feel that he was presented as a big enough character to ...more
Paul Parsons
Feb 21, 2016 Paul Parsons rated it it was ok
Dean Koontz wrote this in 1977 under the pseudonym Brian Coffey. I have a lot of Koontz books on my to-be-read shelf and thought I'd start with this one. Meant to be an action thriller, I suppose there is some of that, but there are too many coincidences for me. The two heroes, Graham Harris and Connie Davis, are trapped in a high rise by a killer. Graham is an experienced mountain climber with a fear of heights after a terrible fall. To escape, they happen across a pile of mountain climbing gea ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Corey rated it liked it
This book was an easy read, but I thought the character development could have been better, and the ending seemed a little rushed, still it was a page turner.
Jul 05, 2008 William rated it really liked it
Knocked this out in a day. Very fast paced and exciting. Maybe a little too sappy an ending but it was a good read anyway!
Derek Palm
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Black Hat Writer
Apr 20, 2014 The Black Hat Writer rated it it was ok
This is not one of Koontz's best works. This is probably the first book of his I've read and didn't much care for.

There was just a lot of hack writing and corny dialogue. The ending was anti-climatic with way too much build up. Billy's identity was predictable. I was also bothered by the extensive and repetitious description of the act and processes of rappelling and climbing. It was like Koontz had just researched mountain climbing and decided to write an essay about it for us.

And, why did he
Jo Bennie
Dec 01, 2014 Jo Bennie rated it liked it
Shelves: k, c
The women of New York City are being hunted by a murder called the Butcher, a modern day Jack the Ripper.

Graham Harris is a clairvoyant, an unwitting witness to murder who has been plagued by visions since a climbing accident five years earlier shattered his confidence and his body and bequeathed to him an unwelcome psychic talent. Harris receives visions of killers when he touches things at murder scenes and has used this ability to help the authorities catch the perpetrator.

Connie Davis is Har
Nov 19, 2010 Johnny rated it it was ok
Shelves: own-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
When I read the back of this book to someone, once we reached, “and there’s a blizzard outside, they laughed and said, “Oh, of course.”

The plot may sound interesting but nothing like Koontz’s usual work. Instead it more or less mimics simple lifetime thrillers we’ve all seen over and over again. A generic plot without much else to offer, with strange coincidences that are a bit more cheesy than realistic. And this is only from the description…

I was interested in reading about the clairvoyant and
Aug 14, 2013 Rissy rated it it was ok
Shelves: dean-r-koontz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 28, 2011 Angela rated it liked it
Graham Harris became psychic after a mountaineering accident. He doesn't particularly relish this ability, but has used it to help in various unsolved mysteries and is currently helping the New York City police track down "The Butcher".

The Butcher brutally murders women - carefully choosing his targets. He knows he won't be caught, he's too good for that.

This was a quick read, but slightly disappointing. I'm not sure what about it left me wanting more, but it just seemed too...I don't know. It
Aug 21, 2011 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Koontzland - Dean...: The Face of Fear (Group Read - May 2012) 15 48 Sep 04, 2013 05:29PM  
  • The Vision
  • The Mask
  • Shadowfires
  • Shattered
  • Icebound
  • The Fall of the Dream Machine / The Star Venturers (Ace Double, 22600)
Note: More than one author wrote under the Brian Coffey name. For the Irish poet, go here. For the books by Dean Koontz writing as Brian Coffey, stay here.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the names Leigh Nichols, Brian Coffey, David Axton, and Owen West].
More about Brian Coffey...

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