- Publisher: Putnam Pub Group; First Edition edition (Jan. 1 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399135790
- ISBN-13: 978-0399135798
- Product Dimensions: 50.8 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 726 g
- Average Customer Review: 78 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,075,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Cold Fire Hardcover – Jan 1 1991
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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.
Top customer reviews
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I love how he always throws in an interesting twist to his plots.
The space alien theme nearly put me off reading any further
but for some reason I soldiered onward was happy I did because
Everthing worked out quite well in the end.
What won me and pushed me to go on was the author’s style and his beautiful prose. Koontz with a few words takes you inside the mind of the character and does so with a very suggestive language. It works so well that I decided to put aside my distrust of the paranormal theme and continue reading.
And I haven’t regretted it at all.
Although the paranormal element is central in this novel, the way it is told, the empathy that the author manages to create towards the two main characters (Jim and Holly) and being able to live their emotions firsthand shifts the focus from the supernatural to the characters themselves. The novel becomes their story. The ambiguity of Jim (and ambiguous characters are always my favourite) and the fears of Holly catch you. And that’s what makes the difference, because, when you create a bond with the characters, they become credible and with them everything that surrounds them, resulting in a solid suspension of disbelief.
Faced with this, had the book treated any other theme, it would still be able to conquer me.
In fact, although the events are impossible in real life, which usually makes me lose interest in the story (unless it is science fiction), this has not happened with this book, because the way they are presented makes them perfectly logical.
Finally, to conclude in the best way this novel, there is the open ending that makes you smile imagining what might happen next.
Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
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.
This book starts out as an amazing, supernatural thriller that I simply couldn't put down. I was riveted by the "life lines," the character development, and the supernatural intrusions on the characters' daily lives.
Then, near the end of the book, after a terrifying and expertly-written sequence involving the windmill, the pond, and a scary voice, we find out where all of the activity is REALLY coming from (I don't want to say too much and spoil the ending).
Feh! I completely lost interest at that point, closed the book, and returned it to my library.
And Holly got increasingly annoying in the book, too, like a lot of Dean Koontz's "good" characters get near the end.
Go ahead and read it, but stop after Holly gets in her car and contemplates driving away from the windmill. The book is unbearable from that point onward.
As usual, Koontz's characters carry it off, but just barely. The problem is that he sets up too many wonderful possibilities, and out of all of them decides to choose the most prosaic, unlikely, and dissatisfying ending.
It's not a bad book, just a disappointing one from someone as gifted as Koontz. Don't start out with this title. Work your way back to it, after reading his better titles and seeing why he became a bestseller. If the basic story idea of this one sounds appealing to you, read Strangers instead - it's quite similar, but much, much better.
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