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4.0 411
by Jack Kilborn

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Welcome to Safe Haven, Wisconsin. Miles from everything, with one road in and out, this peaceful town has never needed a full-time police force. Until now . . .

A helicopter has crashed near Safe Haven and unleashed something horrifying. Now this merciless force is about to



Welcome to Safe Haven, Wisconsin. Miles from everything, with one road in and out, this peaceful town has never needed a full-time police force. Until now . . .

A helicopter has crashed near Safe Haven and unleashed something horrifying. Now this merciless force is about to do what it does best. Isolate. Terrorize. Annihilate. As residents begin dying in a storm of gory violence, Safe Haven's only chance for survival will rest with an aging county sheriff, a firefighter, and a single mom. And each will have this harrowing thought: Maybe death hasn't come to their town by accident . . .

Editorial Reviews

"Kilborn kicks down your psyche's front door and RAISES HOLY EVER-LIVING HELL. Never have I read a novel so gruesome and simultaneously relentless. AFRAID throbs with unmitigated, inexorable. sheer friggin' TERROR."
Blake Crouch
"AFRAID is a bungee jump into pure terror, a story that plays brilliantly on all our primal fears, and stands shoulder to shoulder with the very best of Harris, Koontz, and King. A classic horror novel."
James Rollins
"AFRAID is a masterpiece of unrelenting horror. And I'm not exaggerating. Masterpiece. It's the best piece of fiction I've read in several years. It simply NEVER lets up."
Marcus Sakey
"AFRAID is one of the most intense, relentless books I've ever read. This one takes no prisoners."
author of DEAD SOULS and DEEP IN THE DARKNESS Michael Laimo
Full of colorful characters and dynamic action, this hard-to-put-down page turner will keep readers riveted and squirming in their seats. Hands down, AFRAID by Jack Kilborn is perhaps the best psychological horror novel to come along since Silence of the Lambs.
David Morrell
"The moment I heard about this book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it."
creator of Repairman Jack F. Paul Wilson
A bloody, terrifying, hurtling assault across a landscape of non-stop mayhem. A guilty, guilty pleasure.
#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Heather Graham
Jack Kilborn's "Afraid" is a true page turner, a novel that offers a million mile a minute action and suspense. Definitely, a must have with constant thrills and chills.
Bram Stoker Award winning author of PATIENT ZERO a Jonathan Maberry
Jack Kilborn's AFRAID is appropriately named. It will scare the hell out of anyone who reads it. Fast and ferocious, this is a dangerous thriller that will take a bite out of you. An absolute must read for anyone who loves the adrenaline rush of a shocking story told with style, speed and savage grace.
Publishers Weekly
On a September night in 1921, the silent film star Roscoe Fatty Arbuckle and friends were throwing a party at which a guest, Virginia Rappe, mysteriously died. Arbuckle was accused of Rappe's rape and murder, and Dashiell Hammett, then a Pinkerton detective, was hired to ferret out the truth. The tubercular Hammett managed to bring light to the case, much in the style of his later protagonists. Atkins refashions historical events into a compelling mystery, and Dick Hill creates excellent emphasis and stress through his tone and delivery. His male characters sound authentic, but female voices prove difficult for Hill, who relies on shrillness to convey femininity. A Putnam hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 9). (Apr.)

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

Joseph Andrew Konrath’s first novel, Whiskey Sour (2004), introduced Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels. The books combine hair-raising scares and suspense with laugh out loud comedy. Under the name Jack Kilborn, Joe wrote the horror novel Afraid (2009). Joe's been nominated for several awards, including the Anthony, Macavity, Gumshoe, Dagger, and Barry, and has won the Derringer, Bob Kellog, EQMM Reader's Choice, and two Lovie awards. Joe is married, has three children and three dogs, and currently lives in a suburb of Chicago.

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Afraid 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 406 reviews.
ubiquitousghosts More than 1 year ago
Jack Kilborn knows that a small town in America's heartland is the perfect place to set a horror thriller: remote, surrounded by shadowy woods, and sparsely populated by residents who still live by an unlocked-door policy. After reading this book, residents of small towns everywhere will be locking their doors with deadbolts and going to bed with .357 Magnums under their pillows. I know I would. The evil that descends upon this town, literally, in a helicopter, is motivated by the worst of all nightmares: inflicting pain and death for the sheer enjoyment of it. Sure, there is an agenda behind it all, but the reader realizes pretty quickly that the agenda is secondary to the basic goals of pain and death, in that order. And pain is dispersed among the townspeople in spectacularly grisly fashion. Mr. Kilborn is very good at visiting every possible nightmare from biting to stabbing, from burning to drowning, dismemberment to electric shock, with unremitting darkness and the occasional bout of claustrophobia thrown into the mix. One can almost picture Kilborn sitting at his keyboard and rubbing his hands in cackling glee as he speeds from one ghastly vision to the next. This is not to say that the entire book is nothing but gore. The reason this book succeeds so well is that beneath the surface layer of horror is a tight, strong, well-founded story that follows the path of three (and a half) unlikely heroes as they battle not only to survive but to overcome the monstrosity that has derailed their lives. The fact that all of them have been clothed in very real flesh and blood by the author will keep the reader turning pages to see what happens next, because you will care what befalls each of them. If you are seeking a page-turner that will have you switching on more lights as darkness descends and will linger in your mind long after you've reached the end, then AFRAID is the book for you. Just do yourself a favor and try to read it when you can consume it in one gulp. It's that good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Afraid" written by Jack Kilborn is one hell of a ride. No not a ride, more like an express elevator to hell. It starts fast and only picks up speed. It is relentless with enough horror, gore, action and twists to keep even the most hardcore adrenaline junkies satisfied. These are very bad people doing very bad things. You'll have a toe sucking good time. Don't worry, you'll figure out the reference. Kilborn is the pseudonym for JA Konrath writer of the "Jack Daniels" series of books. Don't expect the same laugh out loud humor. "Afraid" is like a good punch to the gut. It will leave you out of breath, shaking your head and saying to yourself, "Holy S***, I can't believe that just happened." By Michael Hagen
kpw814 More than 1 year ago
Horror is not a genre I normally read. I started the book expecting chills & creepiness, and the first 150 pages were just gruesome and gory. But something about the way it was written made me want to know why all the bloodshed was taking place and what was going to happen to the surviving characters. It's hard for me to say I "enjoyed" this book, but okay, yeah, I did. The author imprinted some very vivid pictures on my brain with his words, and that's why I think he is an author worth reading again. In fact, I read the advance chapters of Trapped (found in the back of Afraid) and I really want to read the rest of the story. So if you are a fan of the Saw movies, or if you can at least stomach them for the story itself, this book is for you. If you can't, you might want to pass on these nightmare-inducing images.
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
Governmental experimentation on U.S. citizens is nothing new (in the fictional world). In Afraid, the debut from Jack Kilborn (alias of JA Konrath, author of the excellent "Jack" Daniels mystery series) the products of these experimentation, an elite, psychotic team tagged "Red-ops" have crash landed in the small U.S. town of safe haven. Worse than the thought of deranged, programed killers carrying out orders on a town of innocent people is the thought that they might not have landed on accident. Compared to his other work, Afraid is just as brutal, but the tension is less over the top and nail biting and more of a complex reveal, not slow, but building on itself in levels until the full depth of the situation (and the plot) is realized. There is less humor involved, almost because there isn't time for the characters to begin to adjust to facing their own, painful, deaths and get cynical. Kilborn makes a solid showing in the horror/thriller genre with a tale that's genuine and engaging enough to keep people reading, but neither over the top, or stodgy with attempts to build up the characters to make the audience sympathize with their plight. Fans of David Morrell and Michael Crichton should take note, Kilborn is capable of holding his own against thriller veterans, delivering a solid, tension filled book that rates high on the readibility scale.
DKos More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time putting this book down. The plot twists and story draw you in and don't let go until the end.The book is set in Wisconsin, but you don't have to be from Wisconsin to relate to these small town characters just trying to live a quiet life. When a military helicopter crashes near a small lake, thier peaceful existence shatters. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be very Afraid.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Safe Haven, Wisconsin is a somewhat isolated town of under one thousand people with only one road in and out. Everyone knows everyone and law enforcement is handled by the Ashburn County Sheriff¿s Office as needed.

Everything changes when a helicopter crashes in Safe Haven. Two of the occupants are dead, but not by the crash. The survivors leave on a Red Ops mission to find ¿Warren¿. Bernie, Taylor, Santiago and Ajax are not just special ops soldiers; they are trained killers who enjoy torture. With a chip inside their respective heads to keep them focused and ¿Charge¿ to give them super skills, they begin destroying the idyllic pastoral town with the brutal murders. The town is cut off as firefighter Josh Van Camp calls Sheriff Arnold Streng about the helicopter crash. They are torturing and killing everyone they meet demanding information as to where is Warren until only Josh, Arnold, single mom Fran Stauffer with her young son Duncan and a runaway monkey stand in their way of finishing the mission with no witnesses left alive.

Although over the top (especially the latter half), fans will be hooked from the opening scene of this one sitting gory thriller. The action-packed story line starts off with blood and guts only to accelerate with more blood and guts flowing. The trained enhanced killers are sadistic and as nasty as one can imagine; they steal the show one intense bite at a time. Jack Kilburn provides a powerful exhilarating bloody thriller as a small town is being annihilated with sadistic military precision.

Harriet Klausner
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This book read like the author has seen one too many slasher films. The idea behind the story is interesting, but the story lacked that certain something. I enjoyed parts of the book, but found some of the details tedious, repetetive and boring. I did find his analogy of the selfishness of people to be a little too generalized and simple. I would borrow this book or wait for it to be bargained.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Action started on page one and did not stop intill the last page this book was wow
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. If you love reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz you need to read this book.
Aliwishus_III More than 1 year ago
It was an ok quick read. Maybe I'm missing something but the reviews seem to be misleading. More gore than anything else but that's about it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first Jack Kilborn book..quite the page turner...I've just purchased 2 more...he's grabbed my attention!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now that I have found Jack I can not go back. This book grabs your attention and hangs on till the last word. Must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago