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The Face of Fear

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  10,323 ratings  ·  141 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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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
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
A garden variety Koontz thriller. It was enjoyable and fast paced but nothing special.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Corey Tardif
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.
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
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The Black Hat Writer
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 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: c, k
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading*
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This very early book by Dean Koontz under the pen name of Brian Coffey is what I have learned to expect from Koontz. I was listening to audio. Once started, I could not stop He describes in such details that you feel like you are there and can actually see, feel, smell, etc the moment. The suspense keeps building and there's always an ahha moment when he brings it all together. May go back and re-read just in case I missed anything.
Becky Johnson
The Face of Fear is roller-coaster ride of a read. I could not put it down. From the very first chapter Dean Koontz builds the suspense and tension all the way until the end.

Graham Harris is a mountain climber injured in a fall. Now he has a severe fear of heights and clairvoyance which allows him to see into the mind of a murderer. Working late in a high rise in New York, Graham and his girlfriend Connie come face to face with the killer known as the Butcher.

I would highly recommend this book
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Kim Dallmeier
I thoroughly enjoyed 'The Face of Fear'. I found it to be a page-turner. I just couldn't put it down! Finished it in a couple of hours (spread over two days, because I started it late.. and had no idea it would be this good!). I definitely recommend it to other Koontz lovers as well as those who enjoy a good thriller. :)
Julie Powell
Another enjoyable read, filled with suspense and mystery, with believable characters, great dialogue and plot. It focuses on fear and how it can dictate how we live our lives.

When something comes along to challenge that fear, what would we do?

A clever way to address the issue of 'fear' at the same time an entertaining read.

A few typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical issues, which again surprised me with so many expensive eyes paid to catch them.

A good read, however.
A bit of a disappointing effort by Koontz in my opinion, can't say I ever really started feeling for any of the characters, the bad guys seemed to lack menace and Preduski was simply irritating. The ending just sort of happened too. There was potential there, it was just never realised - at least it was short!
A very well written thriller with paranormal undertones.

What I liked best was how flawed the characters in this book were. They were no supermen and they had to overcome themselves and deal with their fears to save their own lives. I would say that some of the things that the characters did in this book would be impossible in the real life but this being a thriller and not a documentary, it didn't matter much. I also liked how the author hinted at who Billy was. He played well with the reader's
This is a super story. It builds up quick. It's about a magazine publisher slash psychic can see murder victims and help police identify them. Also help to catch their killers. Then in the end it's fun to read the descriptiveness was very easy to enjoy while learning a bit on mountain climbing.
Sharon Michael
Several of Koontz's books I re-read with great enjoyment, all of them earlier ones and unfortunately for me, his writing and my tastes have diverged. I occasionally pick up one of the more recent books in hopes that has changed but unfortunately, it does not seem to happen.

As the star rating suggests, this one was 'okay'. Unlike several others I've tried, I finished reading this, though I will admit to skimming some of it. I just simply could not connect with the characters in this book like I h
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Koontzland - Dean...: The Face of Fear (Group Read - May 2012) 17 48 Sep 04, 2013 05:29PM  
  • The Vision
  • The Mask
  • Shadowfires
  • Shattered
  • Icebound
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...
The Voice of the Night Blood Risk (Tucker Series, #1) Surrounded (Tucker Series, Book 2) The Wall Of Masks Der Maya- Fries / Schlüssel zum Jenseits /  Auf Tauchstation (The Wall of Masks / The Key to Midnight / Surrounded)

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