written by Dean Koontz
published by Bantam, 1987
Did I enjoy this book: This book raised my anxiety levels to extremes I haven’t encountered in a while. I did enjoy the feeling, but I’m okay with not reading this book again. The idea of reading a book about a serial psycho killer breaking into a house and killing or abducting someone for their own personal Saw-like games didn’t sound like something I should read before bed. So I did it in the midst of transitioning my son into a toddler bed. It probably wasn’t the best idea because the story crept into my nightmares . . .
The characters, though, were really well written. I was rooting for Chyna Shepard the whole time (just like Neve Campbell’s character in Scream). Yes, there are many parts that are predictable, but I was okay with it. I wanted to see how it ended. I wanted to know who lived and who died. It’s the fun of a horror movie as well as a book. This was my first Dean Koontz novel and I don’t think it will be my last.
“There are no explanations for human evil. Only excuses.”
Would I recommend it: I think anyone looking for something to get their blood pumping should check it out.
About the book – from Goodreads: Past midnight, Chyna Shepard, twenty-six, gazes out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend’s family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Foreman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed “homicidal adventurer,” Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse or limits, to live with “intensity.” Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit.
Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive–until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess’s next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl…as moment by moment, the terrifying threat of Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.