by Dean Koontz
Published by Bantam Books
384 pages, 1998
Buy it online
Delicious Prose from the Dark Master
Reviewed by Linda L. Richards
I agree with Dean Koontz: Fear Nothing is his finest work to date. Lyrical and sometimes even poetic, Fear Nothing looks as much like his early work as filet mignon looks like a hamburger. That is, neither is bad: but the good in one is more apparent than the good in the other. You decide.
Sometimes in a silent rapture of dread and sometimes whispering urgently to each other like a pair of deranged sportscasters doing color commentary, we watched as Frank and his assistant readied the cremator in one corner of the chamber. The room must have been warm, for the men slipped off their ties and rolled up their shirtsleeves, and tiny drops of perspiration wove beaded veils on their faces.
The story is set in a small, coastal California town as so many of Koontz' novels have been. Picture a west coast Cabot Cove without benefit of Angela Lansbury. Though, of course -- this being a Koontz novel -- this town boasts an abandoned military installation practically on the edge of town. Christopher Snow's father is dieing of cancer in a nearby hospital even as we open. Snow is an unlikely but likeable main character: a self-described "elephant man", he has a rare genetic disorder that leaves him extremely sensitive to light. Snow's world revolves around the dark and he's comfortable with its revolution. Until his father dies: "Fear nothing," are his last words and it takes Snow less than an hour to decipher the cryptic message. Moonlight Bay is rapidly running towards a very dark place, and somehow Snow himself is at the center of it. Fearing anything at all could cost him his life: and worse.
Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine. Her fourth novel, Death was the Other Woman, will be published early in 2008 by St. Martin's Minotaur.