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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  11,963 Ratings  ·  272 Reviews
A woman’s relief over the death of her husband gives way to mind-numbing terror in this shockingly suspenseful thriller.

Rachael’s request for a quick and clean divorce enraged her husband. She had never seen Eric so angry, so consumed by pure and terrifying hatred. Then, in the heat of the moment, Eric was struck down in a traffic accident. His death was instantaneous. Sho
Paperback, 436 pages
Published February 1987 by Avon Books
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Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Koontzland Group Read - December 2017
Read Koontz in December: this is #3 out of 4 - done

A good chase-and-escapes book with scenes never ending.

In Orange County, California - Dr. Eric Leben(42) & Racheal(30) are leaving their divoice lawyer's office. Dr. Eric Leben has been 1 year separated from his wife, Racheal. He is seen being hit by a garbage truck as they both walk out of the lawyer's office. Eric's dead body is transferred into the hospital morgue. But then missing when the mo
Rebecca McNutt
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you're a horror or psychological thriller fan, you'll definitely want to read this! Shadowfires is like a more modern version of The Monkey's Paw, and it's so creepy! I loved its old-school campfire story style, really far out. :)
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was one of the earlier Koontz novels that I somehow missed in my youth. It tells the tale of a genetic genius named Eric who, after an ugly argument with his soon to be ex-wife Rachel, dies in an accident. But this is a Koontz novel so you know he doesn't stay dead . . .

Before long Rachel and her new love interest Ben are on the run from a resurrected Eric and men who will do anything to keep Eric's status a secret.

Koontz has always been hit or miss with me and I'm sad to say that this book
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
In the late 1980s, just after the publication of this book, Dean Koontz decided to consolidate his pseudonyms and just publish everything as himself. He was not at peak popularity, but getting close.

Koontz made a deal with Dark Harvest, a small publishing company nobody has cared about in years, located in Illinois.

Koontz reprinted his Leigh Nichols books in new hard covers. The covers were illustrated by Koontz friend Phil Parks.




The covers themselves are amazing. They are probably my favorite b
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know that the reviews for this book have been mostly negative, but I am going to break with that and give a positive review. I really enjoyed Shadowfires. Yes, the book had a VERY unlikely premise, and it required a huge suspension of disbelief. But many horror books do. The story was so fast-paced that it kept me turning pages quickly to find out what would happen. The "good" characters were very likable. I really rooted for them and cared about what happened to them. That is essential for an ...more
Dec 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(unabridged audiobook read by Jonathan Marosz): As Rachel and Eric leave the offices of their divorce lawyers, they are arguing viciously about the settlement. Eric gets so angry he storms off directly into oncoming traffic, where he is killed by a garbage truck. After the initial shock wears off, Rachel gets incredibly paranoid and hangs out with her boyfriend Ben, actively not telling him things. When Eric's body disappears from the morgue, her paranoia becomes a reality: Eric's not really dea ...more
Nov 19, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
It more or less goes without saying that Koontz books aren't very enjoyable, but this one is actually one of the ones that was relatively fun. It's a pretty basic creature feature. Once the plot is set, you know what you're going to get; there isn't much in the way of suspense.

This novel revisits Koontz's obessesion with secret experiements and genetic tampering. His concerns have not exactly turned out to be prescient. The characters are same basic stock you'll find in any of his work and the
Dec 05, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only book by Dean Koontz I've ever read that I detested!
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the kind of story that drew me to Dean Koontz, his finest works are filled with very possible terrors, things that could happen in our world, and each tale is spun in such a way as to cause a very real emotional response from the reader, be it horror, disgust, or fear. For a time this story gripped me in a way his work hasn't done in a long time, right up until the very real became slightly absurd and fantastical. I guess I must have grown up a little too much, and found a cynical elemen ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well the first, that i want to do it is present my excuse (apologise) to the persons who follow my reviews (the four women who bear me :-)) for not translating my previous review to the English, which in my opinion was an insult to the majority members of Goodreads, that unfortunatelly do not speak spanish. The review i have in my mind, i have the inctention that it was like the miniskirt, which have to be short and it has to show, teachs in spanish :-). This irreverent comment was pronounced by ...more
Alex Gherzo
Based on my limited experience (he has written a great many books and I've only read a few), Dean Koontz has a way of starting off strong and then letting the excitement and interest he created dissipate as his books go along, eventually leaving the reader begging for the book to just end. Such is the case here. Shadowfires grabbed me early on, but so much of it dragged that I had to push myself to get through the book. Even when the book got boring, there were flashes of greatness here and ther ...more
Apr 04, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction
It's a story about chase, exhausted in all its forms: a woman runs away from her ex-husband, good cops go after mad men, haunted pasts attempt to wreck the present, a lunatic sweeps a trail of secrets, a monster flees from his humanity, and love pursues the probability of surviving despite the odds.

But I'm making it sound much better than it actually is -- this is one of my least liked works by Dean Koontz. The whole act of reading the book has become something of a quest in itself, of whether I
Michael McFarland
Not very good at all.

In the late 80's and early 90's, I devoured Dean Koontz by the fistful, probably reading 16 to 20 of his books (some of which I actually debated upgrading to hardcover editions) in a 5-year time span before finally burning out on him thoroughly and completely.

Now, as I reread one of these novels every year or two, I wonder what the hell I was thinking? The characters (usually described in terms confined to the card aisle at Hallmark) are virtually the same in every book, the
Jan 01, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To be fair, I didn't read this book. I mostly skimmed it, ignoring the subplots about the detectives (human interest) and the government dark ops (horror) and stuck to the main plot: what to do if your abusive controlling soon-to-be ex-husband comes back from the dead and mutates into a giant iguana? I would have been more than happy to just stick to the suspense of whether or not her husband had come back from the dead but apparently that wasn't enough. Koontz had to run with the concept by aba ...more
Mar 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Published in the late 80's,this tale of genetic engineering gone horribly wrong could be something read in the newspaper in just a couple of years.

When a brilliant and powerful man with a fear of hellfire discovers a genetic life extension mechanism using experimental rats, he throws all of his resources into perfecting it. Much to his amazement, not only do the genetic modifications extend life but they also resurrect the dead experimental animals. However, once brought back to life, these rat
Mark R.
A man and woman, recently romantically involved, driving, running, and crawling away from a sadistic killer linked to secret government work. Pretty standard setup for a Dean Koontz novel, "Shadowfires" is not one of his best nor one of his worst.

The main problem with the book is that it's about a hundred, hundred-fifty pages too long. The ending, while satisfying for the most part, is dragged out particularly long, and I feel a lot of the energy was gone at around page 300.

Still, not a bad boo
Jim C
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating is 3.5 stars.

This novel is about what happens when man is not careful with science and it goes amok. A recently divorced husband is killed but refuses to die and he is after his ex-wife. This book had a mixture of horror and thriller. If you have read Dean Koontz before, you will recognize his theme of the chase between evil and good. The first half of the book was really enjoyable as it was more suspenseful and enticed me to continue reading. The second half veered towards the horror
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I am really starting to love Koontz's writing. This is a great read, completely worth your time. Koontz seems to have a thing about good vs. evil, with both being active, personified forces. It's a rare thing in today's writing, when "evil" is often merely the absence of "good", or where the "evil" inhabits more of a moral gray area.

This was written in Koontz's early years, and is also published under the pseudonym of Leigh Nichols. While the villain and heroine are both clearly portrayed withi
Jackie Jameson
May 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actually REREADING...Just KNEW this had to be Dean Koontz or Stephen King. Great story all together, but my favorite characters are Jerry Peake and Julio Verdad, (Spanish for Truth). They really ARE the whole book and why I was REREADING. I have a hardback with JUST Leigh Nichols listed as author. What interested me was how stupid the cover looked for such an intelligent book. The cover is DUMB, like some 70's bad op art. When I first read it I felt sorry for the author to be packaged so inappro ...more
Rob Allen
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Koontz...Not my usual bear of an author or a book. I read Koontz for fun & escape. This one is fast & good. Real weird. I've read quite a few of his books. I think this one is extra good. It's well written and will make you think....without you even realizing it. Exciting is not a good enough word to describe what's going on in this book. Pick it up, just start reading it and I know you'll be flipping through it always wanting to know what happens next. It's the kind of book that makes m ...more
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I never understood all the criticism of this book, I found it to be very good. It tells the story about a woman named Rachel who is close to divorcing her husband, Eric. In the middle of a heated argument Eric is killed by a speeding car. When Rachel returns home she hears that Eric's body has disappeared from the morgue.

If you like good horror novels with good character development, I recommend this book.
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely woman is divorcing wealthy man, not taking ANY of his vast wealth. Outside the courthouse, he's grasping her arm too tightly, and they argue. He walks away in a rage, and is hit by a garbage truck. Too bad that's not the the end of it. He and his company have been up to some top secret stuff. Stuff that brings life threatening danger from two sources, and the police can't offer any help or protection. This nailbiter will keep you up!
Aug 11, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the worst - read a number of year ago and forgot about it. Absentmindedly grabbed it as a book on tape for a 12 road trip because there was nothing else to listen to. Thought I was gonna crawl out the window. Complete silence would've been better than listening to "Raaachelll...." over and over again ....ugh
Mike (the Paladin)
Not a bad read. Messing around with the natural order turns around and bites you. Been done before, but the book is a fairly good read and has one of Koontz's character types...guy who loves "old stuff". Nice hook. Enjoyable.
Sep 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Dean Koontz book I read, it was really, really good and i rented every other of his books from the library until I was upto date, then started buying them as soon as they were on sale! Would recommend reading this, its really fast paced and difficult to put down.
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Almost at the end but I cant wait till this book is over. My personal opinion is this may be one of the bottom barrels of mr. Koontz. Enuf said…!
Despite enjoyable descriptive passages, it's a completely mediocre effort. I thought of it as a draft of Koontz's later novel "Midnight".
Lybo Buchanan
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, horror
Very good. I actually read this in May of 1993, but cannot seem to correct the date read block.
Aug 10, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
See my review of "The Watchers" for my feelings about Koonz's Standard Cast of Characters. This one fit the same mold exactly, except it DIDN'T have a super-intelligent dog.
Nanor Pogosian
I used to read alot of Koontz in my early 20’s. Then I gave up because some of his latest books weren’t for me. I stumbled upon this at my library recently and dove in. It’s classic Koontz. Weird, scary, 80’s interior design references, women who are beautiful and vulnerable and men that are super macho and self-absorbed. Sometimes the cliche’s are laughable, but Koontz is a great storyteller nonetheless and I enjoy his descriptive narrative. If you watched my face reading the scene when the cre ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Leigh Nichols is a pen name of Dean R. Koontz / Dean Koontz.
More about Leigh Nichols

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“Now, sprawled comfortably in his motel bed, Anson Sharp enjoyed the sleep of the amoral, which is far deeper and more restful than the sleep of the just, the righteous, and the innocent.” 5 likes
“ was the closest thing to immortality that men would ever know and that the only--and best--answer to death is loving. Loving.” 3 likes
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