The Face of Fear
This is one of Koontz’s older books, first published in 1977. It is about a man with a clairvoyant ability to see visions. Harris had a head injury, and since then has been blessed with, or cursed with, the ability to see sometimes very disturbing visions. He can see murders, sometimes as they are taking place, and can gain impressions about the killer. He doesn’t like his gift, and often finds himself watching the life drain out of a person as they are victims under their killer’s hands. Harris has been consulted by police on different occasions to help them solve crimes of murders. In this story, the police are seeking his help to identify a killer terrorizing New York known as “The Butcher.” However, as the Butcher starts to fear that Harris is getting too close to discovering him, he becomes the killer’s next target.
Harris is working late in his office at night, when he has a vision, for the first time, of himself being shot. He becomes worried, which fear intensifies further when he realizes that his phone lines have been cut and the elevators in his building aren’t working. Together with his girlfriend, Harris must find a way to escape the building that they are trapped in with a serial murderer. Unfortunately, they are on the 40th floor with no escape. Harris used to be an expert climber, but since a terrible fall and injury, has been too scared to climb again. However, with the killer closing in on them, Harris decides that the only escape may be to go straight down the building during a howling blizzard.
Koontz often has some sort of phenomenal quality within his books, in this case, Harris’ clairvoyant visions. They often make interesting reads because you never know what might happen. This isn’t my favorite Koontz book that I’ve read, but it was interesting to read. There was a lot of factual information about climbing, which I’m sure is now somewhat outdated, but not being all that interested in climbing myself, that part dragged on a bit for me. However, there was definitely tension and suspense while Harris and his girlfriend were devising ways to stay one step ahead of the brutal killer. Again, this isn’t a book that I would recommend for younger readers. There are some sexual themes as well as descriptive murders. Overall, I would say it is an OK book, but not the best Dean Koontz has put out by any means. If you are a Koontz fan, I think you will like it. If you are unfamiliar with his work, I think there are other, better ones out there that you could start with.