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Night Chills

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  23,666 ratings  ·  394 reviews
#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz unleashes a contagion on a small Maine town--one that triggers the darkest desires of the soul.

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 Books (first published January 1st 1976)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  23,666 ratings  ·  394 reviews

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Edward Lorn
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of rape-y fiction and amnesiacs.
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
Apr 01, 2010 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
Karl Marberger
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
An entertaining page-turner with some creepy science.

There’s also some philosophizing about how humanity’s morality is effected by advanced technology. It was a fun read.
Scott Rhee
Apr 18, 2013 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
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, re-read
KoontzLand - October 2019 group read

In my second read, I do remember Paul Annedale (widower) & Jenny (widow) fall “closer” in love & how she able to help him. It’s seems better if he had a little like this in other books.

Leonard Dawson, General Klinger & Dr. Origen Salisbury have the “Mind Control/Brain Wash” experiment in the Black River town....taking control of men & woman.

Salisbury’s total woman control role is more drastic than I remember. Saying “I am the key” & they repeated “I am the
Cody | CodysBookshelf
This book is old-school Dean Koontz, meaning it’s at least competent, and perhaps charming . . . in a cheesy, dated sort of way. Night Chills features a plot Koontz has rewritten ad nauseum: small town under siege by conspiracy. Include some dated technology and crass rape references and, yeah, ya got yo’ self a typical 1970s Koontzy thriller.

Which isn’t to say this book is bad — I gave it three stars, after all. This book is moody, and it was written before Koontz allowed himself to wallow in
Mar 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
Super cringey. All kinds of trigger warnings apply.
Rebecca McNutt
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Night Chills was one of the most disturbing Dean Koontz novels I've ever read, really shocking and creepy.
Mar 11, 2014 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
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
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 they now hav
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize for being so late when writing a review, but as I told you, I had to help my father, and I also have a very strong cold, which makes me hurt when I swallow. For these reasons I have not been able to write, as I would like. Taking advantage of a respite I have decided to write this review. I must admit that it was first to write a review of Peter Benchley's "Beast" because of my passionate idyll with the homonymous sea cre ...more
Kyra Dune
Sep 04, 2013 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
Feb 08, 2013 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
Oct 27, 2010 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.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-reads
Hmmm...wasn't that impressed by any of it really. I guess I would say his books might be lumped in a guilty pleasures pile but there wasn't much pleasure involved in this one. =|
Evans Light
I haven't read much of Dean Koontz' earlier work (this was originally released in the 70s). You can definitely see that he was likely an influence on Laymon, as this goes to similar places. However the subliminal mind control plot hasn't aged well, nor has Koontz' attempts to science it up. Even if you fully accept it as plausible, I don't feel as though Koontz fully explored the fun that could be had with the concept.
Decent enough in parts, the time jumping structure is poor, way too much expos
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 12, 2010 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
Ed Myers
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Dean Koontz did an exceptional job of taking a subject such as subliminal advertising and writing a first-rate thriller. There is some emotional intensity because bad things happen to a couple of good characters. You'll be downright disgusted by the behavior of the main villain Ogden Salsbury -- the scientist who believes subliminal advertising can be used to take total control over people. And, you can get them to do exactly what you want them to do.
Salsbury along with his two accomplices -- bi
Hannah O.
Aug 21, 2008 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
D.M. Kirtaime
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
During my Army days I snapped up Koontz, King and Herbert as soon as titles became available. I still treasure the signed book from Koontz (hard to get when living in Europe).
Cody Sexton
May 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
To the greatest extent possible, I need you, the reader, to appreciate how fantastic this paperback actually 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 after a heavy rain.
Koontz is the author you cut your teeth on before moving on to more serious writers. This is more of an observation than an outright criticism of Koontz, but I believe he has been writing and then re-writ
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
this is only the third book by koontz that ive read and i have to say it was absolutely amazing! page turner/and addictive! definitely a 5 star book!
Jim C
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is one of Dean Koontz's early works. This book's plot deals with subliminal messages and what happens when someone has a powerful tool and takes it to the extreme. This is a very good book. Some of the scenes were graphic and I believe that Koontz would write a different book today if he decided to write this book. These scenes are needed to show how a tool can be used for evil. The plot moves along at a good pace and I kept wondering what would happen next. This is a good book if you are l ...more
Barbara ★
I usually like Dean Koontz's writing but this one was just horrible with over-the-top forced sex situations and mind-numbing sciencology of subliminal messages.

Basically we have 3 evil geniuses trying to rule the world starting with a small town in Maine. Unfortunately it morphs into a debauched sexfest. The extent of the violence is ridiculously unnecessary to sell this story. I found myself skipping over a good lot of the encounters just trying to stay in the moment of the subliminal experime
Laura B.
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
father of two: ahhh this looks like a nice place to camp out with my kids for a few weeks

Super villain: Hey lets just contaminate the drinking water with a drug then I'm gonna come brainwash and rape everyone in town....

father of two: hello my name is Paul and u killed my son

super villain: why won't my drug work on u

father of two: I'm gonna kill u

super villain: I'll kill u first

moral of the story: drink bottled water people
Mar 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Armand Rosamilia
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I re-read this one and it still stands up. Koontz mixes his thriller concept with some science fiction-ish as well as fantastic ideas. Overall a great book and I can read (and see) where a book like this would eventually take the author's writing in his future.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book

Great book, very interesting, I liked the characters and the story was believable. Dean Kooning dit it again with one.
Dan Nash
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book will make you think twice about drinking water!
Oct 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
I usually like Koontz, but I was disappointed by this book. First, because the plot seems oddly familiar. It's been a long time sine I read Koontz's False Memory, but I'm pretty sure it was a bout a psychiatrist who uses hypnosis techniques to control patients in order to have sex with them and force them to commit crimes. In this new book, a scientist develops a brain programming system based on subliminal messages so he can control a large group of people for the purpose of having sex with the ...more
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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, the author of many #1 New York Times bes

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