Dean Koontz, considered by some to be the master of modern suspense, has not failed to reflect that title in his 1998 hit, Fear Nothing. This creepy tale of intrigue and darkness revolves around a young man named Christopher Snow. Christopher is not like other people, he suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as Xeroderma pigmentosum, or XP. Rendered highly vulnerable to skin and eye cancers from exposure to any ultraviolet radiation, Chris must exist in a world of darkness lest the light take his life. One night in the quiet seaside burg of Moonlight Bay, Chris discovers that his recently deceased father’s body has been switched with that of a murdered hitchhiker. His investigation will lead him to discover a secret that could destroy him and those he loves the most, and also reveal the truth about his mother’s death three years ago.
Fear Nothing is an incredible ride from page one. Koontz pulls you in by painting an incredibly vivid and life like picture of what Christopher Snow is seeing on this night of uncanniness. While his descriptiveness may seem overdone at some points, Koontz is simply enticing the reader and delaying the big surprise, like a carrot held by a line in front of a donkey. The character development is excellent; especially considering most of it is done through Christopher Snow’s thoughts. While some of the characters are in the book for only a few pages, you really get a sense of who that person is to Chris Snow. Chris wrestles with questions of morality and mortality throughout the book. While this is an excellent way to develop Chris’s character, Koontz is really forcing the reader to ask those same questions of themselves; what would you do if someone threatened to kill your loved ones, if you exposed a government cover-up. How terrifying would it be to have to choose between the lives of those closest to you over standing up for what you believe in?
While this book may not be for everyone, its wordiness may be a turn off for those who prefer faster paced stories; I would not hesitate to recommend this book. If you want suspense, deeply likable and intriguing characters, and a world that is not quite what it seems, then grab this book and don’t let go. Fear Nothing will not disappoint.