Cold Fire

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Overview

Reporter Holly Thorne is intrigued by Jim Ironheart, who has saved 12 lives in the past three months. Holly wants to know what kind of power drives him, why terrifying visions of a churning windmill haunt his dreams, and just what he means when he whispers in his sleep that an enemy who will kill everyone is coming. "Koontz's sleekest novel in years!"--Kirkus.

Reporter Holly Thorne is intrigued by Jim Ironheart, who has saved 12 lives in the past three months. Holly ...

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Cold Fire

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Overview

Reporter Holly Thorne is intrigued by Jim Ironheart, who has saved 12 lives in the past three months. Holly wants to know what kind of power drives him, why terrifying visions of a churning windmill haunt his dreams, and just what he means when he whispers in his sleep that an enemy who will kill everyone is coming. "Koontz's sleekest novel in years!"--Kirkus.

Reporter Holly Thorne is intrigued by Jim Ironheart, who has saved 12 lives in the past three months. Holly wants to know what kind of power drives him, why terrifying visions of a churning windmill haunt his dreams, and just what he means when he whispers in his sleep that an enemy who will kill everyone is coming. "Koontz's sleekest novel in years!"--Kirkus.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Koontz ( The Bad Place ) leads us a nice chase for about two-thirds of his latest thriller, after which he sinks into soap opera. Responding to an inexplicable compulsion, ex-schoolteacher Jim Ironheart flies from Southern California to Portland, Ore., where he averts, at the last minute, the accidental death of a schoolboy. Local reporter Holly Thorne, taken with Jim's piercing gaze, sets up a computer search for data on similar rescues. She finds a dozen such cases across the U.S.; every news item mentions a mysterious ``Jim'' with penetrating eyes. As she follows the story of a lifetime, Holly realizes Jim is being guided by some strange Power. Confronting him, she finds he has no idea of the source of the Power. Now in love with Jim, Holly starts sharing his nightmares and abandons the story to help him. Their initially exciting adventures then yield to rather tepid encounters with ``The Friend,'' who may be: an alien on earth for 10,000 years; ``The Enemy'' in disguise; a projection of Jim's hyperkinetic personality; or all of the above. Suspense succumbs to psychobabble, ushering in a predictable ending. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; Mystery Guild featured alternate. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Teacher Jim Ironheart, aptly named, is sent by forces unknown to save chosen people in life-threatening situations. By chance, a young but jaded reporter stumbles onto his missions, and joins him to investigate who is controlling him and why. Shared nightmares begin to point to an extraterrestrial influence, and the pair are forced to confront Ironheart's forgotten past for answers. Koontz ( The Bad Place , LJ 12/89), a master at maintaining mystery and suspense, weaves themes from earlier novels into this latest thriller. Even if the ending calls to mind DuMaurier and Hitchcock, Cold Fire contains all the ingredients--likable characters, nail-biting suspense, and above all, unlimited imagination--that will please Koontz's fans. For all popular collections. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection; Mystery Guild featured alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/90.--Eric W. Johnson, Teikyo Post Univ. Lib., Waterbury, Ct.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560541790
  • Publisher: Macmillan Library Reference
  • Publication date: 11/9/1992
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 652

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz, author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife Gerda.

Biography

He is one of the most recognized, read, and loved suspense writers of the 20th century. His imagination is a veritable factory of nightmares, conjuring twisted tales of psychological complexity. He even has a fan in Stephen King. For decades, Dean Koontz's name has been synonymous with terror, and his novels never fail to quicken the pulse and set hearts pounding.

Koontz has a lifelong love of writing that led him to spend much of his free time as an adult furiously cultivating his style and voice. However, it was only after his wife Gerda made him an offer he couldn't refuse while he was teaching English at a high school outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that he had a real opportunity to make a living with his avocation. Gerda agreed to support Dean for five years, during which time he could try to get his writing career off the ground. Little did she know that by the end of that five years she would be leaving her own job to handle the financial end of her husband's massively successful writing career.

Koontz first burst into the literary world with 1970's Beastchild, a science fiction novel that appealed to genre fans with its descriptions of aliens and otherworldly wars but also mined deeper themes of friendship and the breakdown of communication. Although it is not usually ranked among his classics, Beastchild provided the first inkling of Koontz's talent for populating even the most fantastical tale with fully human characters. Even at his goriest or most terrifying, he always allows room for redemption.

This complexity is what makes Koontz's work so popular with readers. He has a true gift for tempering horror with humanity, grotesqueries with lyricism. He also has a knack for genre-hopping, inventing Hitchcockian romantic mysteries, crime dramas, supernatural thrillers, science fiction, and psychological suspense with equal deftness and imagination. Perhaps The Times (London) puts it best: "Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler."

Good To Know

Shortly after graduating from college, Koontz took a job with the Appalachian Poverty Program where he would tutor and counsel underprivileged kids. However, after finding out that the last person who held his job had been beaten up and hospitalized by some of these kids, Koontz was more motivated than ever to get his writing career going.

When Koontz was a senior in college, he won the Atlantic Monthly fiction competition.

Koontz and Kevin Anderson's novel Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son was slotted to become a television series produced by Martin Scorsese. However, when the pilot failed to sell, the USA Network aired it as a TV movie in 2004. By that time Koontz had removed his name from the project.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Koontz:

"My wife, Gerda, and I took seven years of private ballroom dancing lessons, twice a week, ninety minutes each time. After we had gotten good at everything from swing to the foxtrot, we not only stopped taking lessons, but also stopped going dancing. Learning had been great fun; but for both of us, going out for an evening of dancing proved far less exhilarating than the learning. We both have a low boredom threshold. Now we dance at a wedding or other celebration perhaps once a year, and we're creaky."

"On my desk is a photograph given to me by my mother after Gerda and I were engaged to be married. It shows 23 children at a birthday party. It is neither my party nor Gerda's. I am three years old, going on four. Gerda is three. In that crowd of kids, we are sitting directly across a table from each other. I'm grinning, as if I already know she's my destiny, and Gerda has a serious expression, as if she's worried that I might be her destiny. We never met again until I was a senior in high school and she was a junior. We've been trying to make up for that lost time ever since.

"Gerda and I worked so much for the first two decades of our marriage that we never took a real vacation until our twentieth wedding anniversary. Then we went on a cruise, booking a first-class suite, sparing no expense. For more than half the cruise, the ship was caught in a hurricane. The open decks were closed because waves would have washed passengers overboard. About 90% of the passengers spent day after day in their cabins, projectile vomiting. We discovered that neither of us gets seasick. We had the showrooms, the casino, and the buffets virtually to ourselves. Because the crew had no one to serve, our service was exemplary. The ship dared not try to put into the scheduled ports; it was safer on the open sea. The big windows of the main bar presented a spectacular view of massive waves and lightning strikes that stabbed the sea by the score. Very romantic. We had a grand time.

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    1. Also Known As:
      David Axton, Brian Coffey, K.R. Dwyer, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige, Owen West, Aaron Wolfe
    2. Hometown:
      Newport Beach, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Everett, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 124 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(67)

4 Star

(36)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 124 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 3, 2010

    The Amazing Koontz Does it Again, Get Ready To Be Amazed He Still Gots It!!

    I am reviewing my favorite book I have read this year Cold Fire by Dean Koontz. It is a science fiction/action novel that will have you on the edge of your seat. The story begins in southern California , Laguna Niguel. The main charactar is Jim Ironheart and Koontz takes him on one heck of a ride. Anyone that likes action movies will love this book. This book relates to all young high school students, college students or slightly older.

    I have had this book for a year I bought it at a yard sale to bring my Koontz total to a shocking twenty five books. It is the fifth book of my collection I have read this year and it was hands down the one book I refused to put down. The main character Jim Ironheart has saved twelve live in three months and a reporter Holly Thorne is intrigued by him. . He is doing amazing things like flying from Laguna Niguel to Portland to save a boy from being ran over by a drunk driver in the last second. He don't know why he does these random heroic acts saving lives. So is Mr. Jim Ironheart a gifted or a physic. I can guarantee you'll have a great time figuring it out. The most bizarre thing is it all started at on old Wind Mill. This book has non stop action fast cars, explosions, gun shooting, aliens its all here. This is hands down a classic if you have never read Dean Koontz I strongly recommend this book.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Love love love

    I read this book this winter i cpuld not put it down...even when i wasnt reading i was wondering what gonna happen...Great book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Page Turner

    My first Koontz book I got for xmas. My wife knows I love to read. So I delved into this book not knowing how Koontz was as an author. Well, let me tell you that each chapter reveals more and more of our friend Jim and his prescient power. From his extremelly horrific dreams that Holly and him share to his outings to save the day, we are filled with such intense heart pounding suspense that verily I tell you now, I have a VERY hard time setting it down to do other stuff at the end of a chapter. Great Book. Looking forward to MORE KOONTZ!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Predictable but Worth Reading

    Jim Ironheart is a man who puts himself right in the path of Death and Danger with a fearless expression in his very blue eyes. The very first time we meet him, he's having one of his "visions" or premonitions about someone dying and he has to go save them. During this little adventure, he meets Holly Thorne, a journalist for a newspaper who decides eventually to quit her job and join forces with Jim because he is so extraordinary. And she's crazy in love with him.After only knowing him for like ten minutes...Anyway, the whole first part of the book--because it's divided into three parts--is meant to show you Jim's good, heroic side. We're supposed to see how he tries to live a purposeful life by saving random people from random tragic events. Most of them are children (understandably so since he was traumatized as a child and probably feels like by saving children, he's giving the hurt child within himself some closure from the past) and all of them are kind of neat in the detail that Koontz provides. So in the second part, we focus on deciphering how Jim knows these things. We learn that it has something to do with a windmill that he spent a lot of his time in when he was growing up. He lost his parents when he was ten and he was sent to live with his grandparents, so like any traumatized child, he took great refuge in something strange and secluded: like the windmill. But this is seriously weird stuff. The walls of the windmill start glowing; Holly is having these dreams that are memories of Jim's past; something--called The Friend--inside the windmill starts to talk to them; The Enemy materializes in broad daylight for everyone to see. I'm disappointed with the way things went, though. I expected--or rather, anticipated, hoped--for something entirely different to come out of this. In no way did I buy the whole alien thing. Like Holly, I was a skeptic as to the glowing wall and all that. But unlike Holly, I was not so easy to accept the truth of what was going on. Oh well. I have to give Koontz some credit for using awesome metaphors and analogies to get his point across. His detail was tangible and poignant, not empty and hallow like some sci-fi writers. Every detail mattered so if you read this book, pay attention. I know I've given a lot away but it's worth the read anyway. If for no other reason than the journey.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2010

    One of the Greatest Books I've Ever Read!!!!

    This was my first Dean Koontz novel I have ever read, and let me just say, it did not dissappoint! The story line is riveting and pulls the reader in from almost the very first page. Jim Ironheart and Holly Thorne are two of the most intriguing characters I've ever read about and I could not wait to find out what happens to them next. Some novels become cluttered with too many characters to keep track of but this one only focuses on Jim and Holly, with minor characters along the way and I greatly enjoyed that. Overall, this was an excellent read and probably one of the best books I've ever read, it keeps you going until the last page. I can't wait to start my next Dean Koontz novel!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    FANTASTIC!!! Koontz at his best!

    I have read almost everything Koontz has written. This is by far the best ever! I found this by accident when researching writing styles here at B&N.com. Dean has written a new forward in this book explaining why this is his favorite of his books. He also explains why he will never allow a movie to be made of this story. OMG! I cried when I finished it, I did not want it to end. So many times I have read a story that feels like the author did not know how to finish or resolve the plot. Goodness; what an ending! You will not be disappointed with this brilliant work!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I'll never look at a windmill in quite the same way

    Throughout the whole novel we are kept guessing as to what drives Jim Ironheart to save certain lives. Jim seems like a very troubled fellow but likable. We root for him when he races across the continent to save some 10 year old boy. We root for him when he's wandering in the desert looking for himself. We root for him when the plane he is on is about to crash. And we root for him when he finally sees his past and his world comes tumbling down.<BR/><BR/>Coldfire is both a supernatural and psychological thriller. At parts it is downright terrifying! We wait to see what the horrifying nightmares of the windmill suffered by both Holly and Jim mean. There is a twist at the end that I never saw coming. I don't think I'll ever look at a windmill again without remembering this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2000

    Wicked Cool, Dude!

    This was the first Dean R. Koontz book I read but it made me want to get all the Koontz books available. This book was Great! Totally awesome.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Hawkstar

    Locked out sorry

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Silverpelt

    Wolfclan needs our help. Go to white fang res one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Restless

    Smiles.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2012

    Good, Good, Good!!!!!

    You won't want to put this one down, great story new twists and turns. Right up there in the class of Watchers and Strangers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Good

    Good book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    I thought it was a great book..!

    I really enjoyed this book, and those that say it was predictable how the hec do you get that..?? It didnt turn out like I expected at all!!!...I couldnt hardly put the book down..couldnt wait to see what was going to happen next...and the ending did surprise me...!! Enjoyed it thoroughly...!!

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  • Posted December 24, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    This is by far one of the best Koontz books I've read. Couldn't put it down. Keeps you guessing with twists and turns until the very end. Classic Koontz style. This was my second read. Will most definitely read it again in the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    great story Koontz is the king of terror

    loved the story line and the characters

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I love Dean Koontz writings. He puts you right into the characters of the book. You will not be disappointed. If you like mystery, and/or suspense this book has it. I finished it in a few days. Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2008

    A Must Read!

    This book was great. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes mystery and the supernatural. The whole way through Mr. Koontz kept me guessing what would happen next. Exciting and well written to the end, it was an adventure with each chapter. I liked the characters and the plot twists, wow. If you're a fan of his work or looking to try it out, this is an excellent one to add to your collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2008

    Great

    This was the first Dean Koontz novel I've read, and it didn't disappoint. I had heard he was a great author, and he definetly is. The book was so suspensful, and the ending blew my mind. I didn't see that one coming. Very good book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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