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Mr. Murder

Mr. Murder

4.0 50
by Dean Koontz

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz delivers a gripping novel of a man accused of stealing not just someone’s identity, but his entire life...

A big house. A beautiful wife. Two happy and healthy children. It’s a nice life that writer Martin Stillwater has made for himself. But he can’t shake this feeling of impending


#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz delivers a gripping novel of a man accused of stealing not just someone’s identity, but his entire life...

A big house. A beautiful wife. Two happy and healthy children. It’s a nice life that writer Martin Stillwater has made for himself. But he can’t shake this feeling of impending disaster.

One bad moment on an otherwise fine day has put Marty on a collision course with a killer—a man with a mere shadow of an identity who is desperately searching for something more...

Martin’s home. Martin’s family. Martin’s life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Koontz is a terrific what-if storyteller...the narrative pace is breathless.”—People

“The resounding variations Mr. Koontz plays on this good story, here craftily retold...allow him to counterpoint the new horrors about us with the old horrors already inside us.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A superb work by a master of the thriller at the top of his form.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Koontz is in fine form...dragging the reader along through an intricate series of twists and exciting turns.”—Chicago Tribune

More Praise for Dean Koontz

“Dean Koontz is a prose stylist whose lyricism heightens malevolence and tension. [He creates] characters of unusual richness and depth.”—The Seattle Times

“Tumbling, hallucinogenic prose....‘Serious’ writers...might do well to examine his technique.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Lyrical writing and compelling characters...Koontz stands alone.”—Associated Press

“In every industry there exist ‘artists’ that are not only unforgettable, but know their craft better than the rest. Dean Koontz...is among these artisans.”—Suspense Magazine

“[Koontz] has always had near-Dickensian powers of description, and an ability to yank us from one page to the next that few novelists can match.”—Los Angeles Times

“Perhaps more than any other author, Koontz writes fiction perfectly suited to the mood of America...novels that acknowledge the reality and tenacity of evil but also the power of good...[and that] entertain vastly as they uplift.”—Publishers Weekly

George Stade
"Mr. Murder" is no post-modernist comment on itself, no exercise in camp. Mr. Koontz plays it straight: there are no sly winks to the reader, no signals that although someone wrote the novel and someone is reading it, they are both above this sort of thing. . . . Mr. Koontz plays on this good story. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The formula Koontz ( The Bad Place ) uses here is a familiar one: an overpowering evil stalks an innocent family that remains unaware of the menace until isolated from all help and forced to run for their lives. But enhanced by Koontz's lean prose and rich characterization, this fearsome tale summons up new frissons of horror. Marty Stillwater's second horror novel is bestseller-bound; he's the subject of a People magazine feature article; and his wife, Paige, and their two young daughters complete the perfect family. Then he begins having blackouts and paralyzing panic attacks that lead him to hide guns around the house. The weapons prove handy when an armed stranger--Marty's Doppelganger --breaks into the house to kill him and reclaim the life, family and destiny that he swears Marty stole. A fierce battle leaves the stranger dead but when Paige and the police arrive, the body is gone. Unable to trust the cops, the family runs for the hills to try to evade the seemingly indestructible ``Other.'' Meanwhile, sinister agents are desperately tracking The Other for their own less-than-ethical ends. Playing on every emotion and keeping the story racing along, Koontz masterfully escalates the tension. He closes the narrative with the most ingenious twist ending of his career. Literary Guild & Doubleday Book Club main selection; Mystery Guild alternate selection. (Oct.)
Library Journal
For reasons Marty Stillwater can't fathom, a man with superhuman recuperative powers-who has been trained and conditioned as a killing machine and who is Marty's exact double-is psychically drawn to his house one afternoon, claiming that Marty has ``stolen his life.'' This doppelgnger proceeds to terrorize Marty and his family with relentless violence. After many narrow escapes, Marty and his nemesis meet for a final showdown in an abandoned church. Like many of Koontz's works (e.g., Dragon Tears, Audio Reviews, LJ 3/1/93), Mr. Murder is hard to classify, containing elements of the mystery, suspense, horror, and sf genres. Veteran reader Jay O. Sanders skillfully heightens the work's rising suspense without succumbing to overdramatization. This is a very good choice for fiction collections, although the light cardboard packaging won't withstand library use.-Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, Ia.
Joe Collins
At some point, every successful novelist seems to come up with a book in which the main character is a writer. Here, Koontz introduces mystery novelist Martin Stillwater and his wife and two young daughters. "Mr. Murder" is the name bestowed on Martin by "People" magazine; his wife, Paige, is a wonderful woman, and their little girls are, of course, adorable. Unfortunately, into this idyllic world comes a superhuman hit man who coincidentally happens to look just like Martin and who's decided he wants the family for his very own and will kill Martin to get them. After 100 pages of exposition, the robotlike killer confronts the family, and they desperately try to escape, with no help from skeptical police who think Martin has invented the look-alike for publicity for his novels. Actually, the story is farfetched, but Koontz is a master at creating a situation the average person can relate to and then giving it a macabre twist and piling on nonstop action. Koontz also flexes his iambic muscles with huge chunks of poetry that Stillwater has composed for his children, and the juxtaposition of cuddly family scenes with brutal violence is quite jarring. Despite his considerable and admirable research and often charming sense of humor, the author's constant barrage of pop-culture references smacks of pandering, as if saying, "See? I've seen these movies and used these products, too. I'm a regular guy just like you, dear reader." Koontz fans are a loyal lot (this is his twenty-second book, and most of them have scaled the best-seller list), so the readership is there, but the tired "evil twin" device used here brings this effort in short of more inspired Koontz' books such as "Watchers" (date?) and "Cold Fire" (date?).
Kirkus Reviews
Koontz's earliest thrillers (Night Chills, etc.) were stripped-down vehicles designed for speed and suspense, nothing more. In its terrific visceral energy, this latest, with the author's simplest plot in years—one long chase involving a Frankenstein-like monster, his guardians, and his victims—harkens back to those early affairs; but Koontz is a literary phenomenon now and feels free to load his writing with all sorts of sermons about modern-day woes. The title itself is polemical: "Mr. Murder" is the hated sobriquet that People magazine gives to Marty Stillwater, a rising mystery writer who might as well be called Dean Koontz for his California address, stable family life, and strong opinions about the nobility of storytelling and the corruption of American society. At first, Koontz seems to be aping Stephen King here, not just for his put-upon writer-hero but also for the malevolent, perhaps not quite human, twin of Marty's who blows into town, shades of The Dark Half. Koontz is his own writer, however, and it's soon clear that Alfie is no figment made flesh but a wonderfully creepy organic killing machine with a surprising origin and astounding recuperative powers (fueled by Slim Jims and Big Macs) who wants only to take over Marty's life—his wife, daughters, and writing career—and will squash him to do it. Also, Alfie's moral code comes from films he's seen—including porno films in which severe discipline alone brings females into line. Meanwhile, the top-secret federal agents in charge of Alfie—as well as of the experiment that produced him—are desperately hunting their charge, who's gone AWOL and beserk.... Blood pours; children shriek;Alfie makes like a werewolf on steroids while Marty acts like a lion—and Koontz nails the reader to the page once again, despite the soapboxing. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for December)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.10(h) x 2.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Koontz is a terrific what-if storyteller…the narrative pace is breathless.”—People

“A master storyteller, sometimes humorous, sometimes shocking, but always riveting. His characters sparkle with life. And his fast-paced plots are wonderfully fiendish, taking unexpected twists and turns.”—THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE

“One of our finest and most versatile suspense writers.”

“His prose mesmerizes…Koontz consistently hits the bull’s-eye.”

“An exceptional novelist…top-notch.”—LINCOLN JOURNAL-STAR

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

Brief Biography

Newport Beach, California
Date of Birth:
July 9, 1945
Place of Birth:
Everett, Pennsylvania
B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966

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Mr. Murder 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read all of koontz's books (and there are many). This is one of my favorites. Ive read it about 5 or 6 times and its always as intense as the first time. It has good character development without overloading with "TMI" and it gets to the action pretty fast and doesnt let up. Its a fast read.
sebojr More than 1 year ago
This book was great and I even got my wife to read it and she loved it as well!
Sushi_McPenguin More than 1 year ago
This was a really great book. I was so interested and it kept me intently listening for what was coming next. I hated having to put it down! Although the ending was a bit left field I am so glad I bought it and I will keep it and listen to it again, and again. I do recommend this book to people who want a thrilling listen or read. I thought it was very well written and well read and I still think about this book, it makes me want to write myself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not one of KOont'z best but it is worth a read...but if your looking for a really good Koont'z book Watchers is the way to go.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. i have read about ten of his books and i gotta say this one is one of the best!!!!
SuzeQ18 More than 1 year ago
l really enjoyed the drama and suspense of Mr. Murder and the man and organization that created the man who came to believe he was Marty Stillwater. Creepy good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in hs about 10 years ago.i still remember it. Its a total edge of your seat page turner. Read this book. You wont regret it.
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This book had my heart pumping fast the whole time! Super intense and I loved every minute of it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the ride
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