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Cold Fire [Hardcover]

Dean R. Koontz
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1991
Reporter Holly Thorne is intrigued by Jim Ironheart, who has saved 12 lives in the past three months. Holly wants to know what kind of power drives him, why terrifying visions of a churning windmill haunt his dreams, and just what he means when he whispers in his sleep that an enemy who will kill everyone is coming. “A master storyteller, sometimes humorous, sometimes shocking, but always riveting. His characters sparkle with life. And his fast-paced plots are wonderfully fiendish, taking unexpected twists and turns.” - The San Diego Union-Tribune
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

Teacher Jim Ironheart, aptly named, is sent by forces unknown to save chosen people in life-threatening situations. By chance, a young but jaded reporter stumbles onto his missions, and joins him to investigate who is controlling him and why. Shared nightmares begin to point to an extraterrestrial influence, and the pair are forced to confront Ironheart's forgotten past for answers. Koontz ( The Bad Place , LJ 12/89), a master at maintaining mystery and suspense, weaves themes from earlier novels into this latest thriller. Even if the ending calls to mind DuMaurier and Hitchcock, Cold Fire contains all the ingredients--likable characters, nail-biting suspense, and above all, unlimited imagination--that will please Koontz's fans. For all popular collections. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection; Mystery Guild featured alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/90.
-Eric W. Johnson, Teikyo Post Univ. Lib., Waterbury, Ct.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“An extraordinary piece of fiction with unforgettable characters. It will be a classic.”—UPI

“Solid, satisfying, hair-raising…Koontz barely lets the reader come up for air between terrors.”—The Washington Post

“Gripping.”—Los Angeles Times

“A unique spellbinding novel with depth, sensitivity, and personality.”—Boston Herald
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Even before the events in the supermarket, Jim Ironheart should have known trouble was coming. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dean Koontz--Cold Fire (1991) May 24 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A truly compelling story from beginning to end, "Cold Fire" might win "Dean Koontz's most bizarre novel about plane-crashes, stigmatas, aliens, psychic visions, and God" award. Set in sunny California, Jim Ironheart plays the protagonist, a regular school teacher who mysteriously sees visions of people who are supposed to die and then miraculously comes to their rescue. When Ironheart flies to Portland, Oregon to save a young child from getting pummelled by a drunk driver in front of a school, reporter Holly Thorne witnesses the feat and automatically becomes intrigued by the hero.
When fate brings the two together on a flight from California to Chicago, Holly realizes that her need for the nation's top story is getting her in over her head--Jim is on board to save a mother and her child on the flight because it is supposed to crash. The events after the plane crash are superior, with Jim and Holly diving into the extraordinary abilities that our hero possesses, but also the dark secrets about his past that he is keeping locked up inside.
Koontz uses his endless imagination to twirl his characters around with superb dialogue, mixing regular human fears (such as plane crashes, murderers, being alone in the dark, and guilt) with miraculously enigmas (such as telekinesis, psychic powers, religion, and psychological terror) to create stories that do not only scratch the surface of his readers, but also explodes into the very fiber of their being. The novel does get simply too outlandish at points and does not tie up enough loose ends (mainly because they are so many intangible thoughts and questions expressed throughout the piece); however, "Cold Fire" is another haunting tale that is so outrageous that it hits extremely close to home with its audience--something that no other author has been able to do so brilliantly in the past quarer century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, with an odd twist Jan. 9 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Considering this was the first Koontz book I read, and by now I've read many, I'm gald I started with this one. It turned out to be wonderful. I like the characters, in fact, in this book, I grew to really feel for the characters, and I felt all the pain for the main character. I have noticed in some Koontz book, his characters seem shallow and underdeveloped, but since there were only two, as in Intensity, you really become gripped by the suspense. I highly recommend it, though it does have an odd ending, but if you're into the paranormal, and like to think mental illnesses can indeed be more than you think, you'll love it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Please give me a break Dec 13 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am at a loss to understand the reputation Dean Koontz has garnered in the literary world. I wasn't sure my assessment was valid after only having read The Bad Place but upon finishing Cold Fire I am convinced it is. Cold Fire was interesting and tightly written for the first 200 or so pages and falls rapidly apart in the last 200. The dialogue is contrite, and unrealistic, the premise approaches juvenile, (could we be expected to believe an alien with a mental condition, God give me a break), and Koontz repeatedly lays everything out for his readers, no innuendo, or thinking required. He is not good at describing complex plot development and this is the way he conceals that weakness. Equally unbelievable was that Holly Thorne, a mediocre journalist at best (by the author's own admission), was repeatedly, with unerring accuracy able to psycho-analyze the protagonist with the skill of a seasoned psychiatrist. I'm sorry, we have Stephen King's, we have David Baldacci's, we have Patricia Cornwell's and Mary Higgins Clark's. Dean Koontz is in a category well below the skill and talent of any of these fine writers and should not (or at least for this book), be even remotely considered their peer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Morbidity, Frozen Steel, Dark Rage, Cold Fire Dec 11 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dean Koontz's hard work has definitely paid off with his gripping novel Cold Fire. As is common with many of Koontz's novels, the setting is constantly moving. Jim Ironheart is a masterful character whose realism brings him to life! Ironheart, driven by God, has special abilities that enable him to arrive at the scene of an accident before it occurs, therefore miraculously saving the lives of the "would be" victims. Holly Thorne, a free-lance reporter who is looking for a purpose in her life, witnesses one of Ironheart's heroic rescue and her heart and attention are immediately captivated by his selflessness. She encounters him for a brief moment and then they both go their separate ways. Within the lapse of 24 hours, Holly realizes how intrigued she is by Jim's intellect and heroism. She decides to pursue him while he goes on his adventures. As Thorne progresses through the novel, she becomes infatuated with Ironheart and his extraordinary powers, while he is undergoing the most important fight of his life, a psychological battle with his past. It is not until the ending that you figure out what is happening with Jim Ironheart. The only part of the entire novel that I found disappointing and shocking was the finale. It was not what I had expected or hoped for, but overall this book was exceptionally well written. I highly recommend it to any of you adventurers or amateur psychologists out there.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Fascinating B-Novel June 22 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The summer after my eighth-grade year, I picked up a copy of "Cold Fire" and literally could not put it down. Koontz's approach is dualistic; the first half of the novel is a gripping psychic adventure that, thematically, recalls Stephen King's "The Dead Zone." Rich in symbolism, it unfolds in a series of like episodes, and is written in vivid, haunting prose. The second half becomes almost completely occultic, Satanic, and abstract, as Koontz explores the backstory and source-of-power of the central character, Jim. As in Koontz's other novels, some dark events in the book are written with such clarity and attention to detail that I found it difficult to eat for days afterward. (One nauseating passage, in particular, involves a massacre at a "Dixie Duck" family restaurant. It is forever etched into my memory). Though the first half of "Cold Fire" is *much* more engaging and easier-to-grasp than the second, the work as a whole remains successful--a classic page-turner. One wonders why this little gem hasn't yet been adapted for television or the big screen.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Already forgotten
Another forgotten and not-exciting item in Koontz range. I had read it when I still had the hope that Koontz would be a real writer but this was the last attempt and I left him in... Read more
Published on July 10 2004 by A guy loving talented guys
2.0 out of 5 stars Come on now, Koontz
I didn't know that Dean Koontz was into writing supernatural romance novels for Harlequin readers - until I read this book. Read more
Published on June 1 2004 by Tiayra
4.0 out of 5 stars DK_fan
Published on Feb. 2 2004 by "dk_avidfan"
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but not bad
This book had an interesting premise, with suggestions of a supernatural battle between good and evil, but around the midpoint of the novel it starts to stumble. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2003 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars It was okay
This one didn't do as much for me as his other books. I am a pretty big fan of his, but I didn't think this book compared to his others. Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2003 by K. L. Obrien
4.0 out of 5 stars Cold Fire review
I thought that the book Cold Fire was a great book. It had a lot of everything that I am looking for in a book mystery, suspense, and romance, things that will not normally... Read more
Published on March 13 2003 by Jill Sahrhage
4.0 out of 5 stars Not His Best, But Definitely Worth the Money
This was the first time I was introduced to Dean R. Koontz. Although it is not the book that hooked me (see Watchers) it is a wonderful suspense novel. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2003 by Nicole
3.0 out of 5 stars Page turner 'til the end....almost
I must echo the sentiments of many of my fellow reviewers. This book grips you at the beginning, but loses you at the end. Read more
Published on Sept. 6 2002 by Heath dela Cruz
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Odd.
The book started out great with a man who appears out of nowhere to save the day when tragedy is about to strike. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars "Cold Fire" Left Me Cold
Gads, what a let-down!
This book starts out as an amazing, supernatural thriller that I simply couldn't put down. Read more
Published on June 26 2002 by Marifrances
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