COLD FIRE by Dean Koontz
Kirkus Star


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Koontz's sleekest novel in years--a swift psychospiritual adventure about a miracle-worker and the woman who loves him. Here, in place of the veinings of subplots and characters that enlivened his last three best-sellers (The Bad Place, Midnight, and Lightning), Koontz offers a single, enticing mystery: What power allows hero Jim Ironheart to divine imminent catastrophe, then compels him to save those in danger? As the story opens, Jim is shopping when he unwittingly utters the words "Life Line"--his cue that a rescue is beginning. "[As] if his every move was orchestrated by someone unseen," he flies to Oregon, cabs to a school, races up a hill, and snatches a child from the path of an onrushing truck. That act is witnessed by local reporter Holly Thorne, who days later comes across Jim's photo in a story about another rescue and digs out the shocker that Jim has rescued a dozen people in the past half-year. At the same time, Holly begins having nightmares about an eerie mill--nightmares that briefly take flesh in the form of an alien monster. Determined to uncover Jim's secret, Holly tracks him onto an airplane flight that proves the novel's nerve-jangling centerpiece--as in midflight Jim realizes that the plane will crash, killing many. And so it does, although Jim still manages to save dozens, including Holly--who then confronts him in a soul-exchange that culminates with a tumble in bed and a reappearance of the monster. Together, the pair drive to Jim's boyhood town and the old mill at its heart, seeking the source of Jim's power: Is it God? An insane alien? Or something more mundane yet equally fierce? Despite the unexpected but disappointing answer, this twisty tale--while not Koontz's most richly engaging--still offers plenty of the surging suspense and sentithat his fans adore.

Pub Date: Jan. 16th, 1990
ISBN: 399-13579-0
Publisher: Putnam
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