The Face by Dean R. Koontz



The face The FaceDean Koontz; Bantam Books 2004WorldCatChanning Manheim is one of the largest movie stars of the current age. He is known as ‘The Face’. He owns a mansion on five acres in Bel Air, California. His 10-year-old son, Fric, lives there full time whether the Face is in residence or off filming. Ethan Truman was a policeman. His beloved wife died five years earlier. He left the force after he was shot in the line of duty although he keeps his connections. He is now the head of the Face’s security. He doesn’t travel with the Face but coordinates all security for him, his son, and properties.

It’s just before Christmas. Threatening gifts have been sent to the Face. The last one is a doll’s eye sewn up inside an apple. This one was delivered in person. The outside perimeter cameras get a good picture of the man who threw the last box over the fence. The Face is away filming and due back on Christmas Eve. Ethan believes these gifts are a coded death threat for the Face.

The following day he visits the man who threw the last box over the security fence. While there he believes he is shot and killed. Then he is back in his car just before the incident happens. When he goes back to visit the suspect, he changes his actions and doesn’t die, defeating his premonition. Then he goes to the hospital to visit his comatose friend. He discovers when he arrived that the friend died that morning. But when he goes down to the morgue to see and identify the body, it is gone. The day keeps getting stranger.

Fric is on holiday “alone” at home in the Bel Air mansion (there is always someone there in the house – servants, the housekeeper, or Mr. Truman, the head of security). While playing in the train room, he receives a phone call. That in itself is unusual. He’s asthmatic, tutored at home, a nerd, and a famous actor’s neglected son. He pretty much lives in his own world without many friends. The voice at the other end of the phone tells him that he needs to find a deep, dark hole to hide away. Fric is in danger.

Fric prides himself that he knows a lot of unusual things. But this is outside is normal world or knowledge. He chooses a room that he believes is hidden to be his safe room. The voice calls back – somehow the caller knows where he is, what he is doing at the time of the call, and that the room Fric chose is not safe. Fric needs to keep looking. Now he’s spooked. But he can’t tell anyone because they’ll think he’s crazy like his absent model mother.

Whew! I found The Face to be a page turner. Between the supernatural events – missing corpses, guardian angels, premonitions, etc. – the investigation Ethan and his policeman friend Hazard Yancy conduct, Fric’s reactions and fears at home unable to tell anyone what is happening, and following around a stalker/kidnapper/murderer, The Face pulled me right through. I was able to identify with the characters and understand their confusion, emotions, and fears.

The antagonist is similar to the one Dean Koontz portrayed in The Good Guy in his lack of morals. But this man likes spreading chaos and death. He gets great satisfaction being an anarchist. His sadism gives him great pleasure. His evil is scary.

Dean Koontz is usually good for a chill in both his thrillers and his supernatural novels. When he combines the two like he does here in The Face, watch out.

Notice:  Graphic violence, Strong indecent language, Suggestive dialogue or situations

More books by Dean R. Koontz

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