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Fear Nothing
Cover of Fear Nothing
Fear Nothing
Moonlight Bay Series, Book 1
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Christopher Snow is the best-known resident of 12,000-strong Moonlight Bay, California. This is because 28-year-old Chris has xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)—a light-sensitivity so severe that he cannot leave his house in daylight, cannot enter a normally-lit room, cannot sit at a computer. Chris's natural element is the night, and his parents, both academics, chose to live in Moonlight Bay because in a small town Chris can make the nightscape his own—roaming freely through the town on his bike, surfing in the moonlight, exploring while most people sleep.
But Chris's brilliant mother, a scientist, was killed in a car accident 2 years ago, and as the book opens his father, Steven Snow, is dying of cancer; Chris's protected life is about to change forever. We meet Chris as he is carefully preparing himself to go out in the late-afternoon sun to visit the hospital. In his last moments of life his father tells Chris he is "sorry" and that Chris should "fear nothing"—cryptic words that Chris cannot really relate to.
Steven Snow's body is removed to the hospital basement for transport to the funeral home/crematorium, and when Chris goes downstairs for a final moment of farewell, he witnesses a frightening and clandestine encounter: the funeral director and another man Chris doesn't recognize are substituting the body of a hitchhiker for Steven Snow's body–which is being taken not to the crematorium but to some secret destination.
For Chris, this scene is the first intimation of a conspiracy that he will come to realize envelopes many of his townspeople. His parents knew of it and wanted to protect Chris from it. His best friend has had hints of something wrong because of the frightening nocturnal visitors that have come to his beachhouse. And the first person to try to explain to Chris what's going on—and warn him about the special danger he himself is in—will be hideously murdered.
In the 24 hours this book encompasses, Christopher Snow will find out that, sheltered though he's been, he has the soul of a fighter and an adventurer. By the end of the book he will have killed a man, will have discovered the role his own mother played in the birth of the conspiracy, will have come to recognize the extraordinary guardians that, unknown to him, have watched over him for years. He will realize that some people hate him, others revere him, and neither his own life nor those of anyone he knows will ever be the same.
From the Paperback edition.
Christopher Snow is the best-known resident of 12,000-strong Moonlight Bay, California. This is because 28-year-old Chris has xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)—a light-sensitivity so severe that he cannot leave his house in daylight, cannot enter a normally-lit room, cannot sit at a computer. Chris's natural element is the night, and his parents, both academics, chose to live in Moonlight Bay because in a small town Chris can make the nightscape his own—roaming freely through the town on his bike, surfing in the moonlight, exploring while most people sleep.
But Chris's brilliant mother, a scientist, was killed in a car accident 2 years ago, and as the book opens his father, Steven Snow, is dying of cancer; Chris's protected life is about to change forever. We meet Chris as he is carefully preparing himself to go out in the late-afternoon sun to visit the hospital. In his last moments of life his father tells Chris he is "sorry" and that Chris should "fear nothing"—cryptic words that Chris cannot really relate to.
Steven Snow's body is removed to the hospital basement for transport to the funeral home/crematorium, and when Chris goes downstairs for a final moment of farewell, he witnesses a frightening and clandestine encounter: the funeral director and another man Chris doesn't recognize are substituting the body of a hitchhiker for Steven Snow's body–which is being taken not to the crematorium but to some secret destination.
For Chris, this scene is the first intimation of a conspiracy that he will come to realize envelopes many of his townspeople. His parents knew of it and wanted to protect Chris from it. His best friend has had hints of something wrong because of the frightening nocturnal visitors that have come to his beachhouse. And the first person to try to explain to Chris what's going on—and warn him about the special danger he himself is in—will be hideously murdered.
In the 24 hours this book encompasses, Christopher Snow will find out that, sheltered though he's been, he has the soul of a fighter and an adventurer. By the end of the book he will have killed a man, will have discovered the role his own mother played in the birth of the conspiracy, will have come to recognize the extraordinary guardians that, unknown to him, have watched over him for years. He will realize that some people hate him, others revere him, and neither his own life nor those of anyone he knows will ever be the same.
From the Paperback edition.
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  • From the book

    Chapter One

    On the desk in my candlelit study, the telephone rang, and I knew that a terrible change was coming.

    I am not psychic. I do not see signs and portents in the sky. To my eye, the lines in my palm reveal nothing about my future, and I don't have a Gypsy's ability to discern the patterns of fate in wet tea leaves.

    My father had been dying for days, however, and after spending the previous night at his bedside, blotting the sweat from his brow and listening to his labored breathing, I knew that he couldn't hold on much longer. I dreaded losing him and being, for the first time in my twenty-eight years, alone.

    I am an only son, an only child, and my mother passed away two years ago. Her death had been shock, but at least she had not been forced to endure a lingering illness.

    Last night just before dawn, exhausted, I had returned home to sleep. But I had not slept much or well.

    Now I leaned forward in my chair and willed the phone to fall silent, but it would not.

    The dog also knew what the ringing meant. He padded out of the shadows into the candleglow, and stared sorrowfully at me.

    Unlike the others of his kind, he will hold any man's or woman's gaze as long as he is interested. Animals usually stare directly at us only briefly--then look away as though unnerved by something they see in the human eyes. Perhaps Orson sees what other dogs see, and perhaps he, too, is disturbed by it, but he is not intimidated.

    He is a strange dog. But he is my dog, my steadfast friend, and I love him.

    On the seventh ring, I surrender to the inevitable and answer the phone.

    The caller was a nurse at Mercy Hospital. I spoke to her without looking away from Orson.

    My father was quickly fading. The nurse suggested I come to his bedside without delay.

    As I put down the phone, Orson approached my chair and rested his burly black head in my lap. He whimpered softly and nuzzled my hand. He did not wag his tail.

    For a moment I was numb, unable to think or act. The silence of the house, as deep as water in an oceanic abyss, was a crushing, immobilizing pressure. Then I phoned Sasha Goodall to ask her to drive me to the hospital.

    Usually she slept from noon until eight o'clock. She spun music in the dark, from midnight until six o'clock in the morning, on KBAY, the only radio station in Moonlight Bay. At a few minutes past five on this March evening, she was most likely asleep, and I regretted the need to wake her.

    Like sad-eyed Orson, however, Sasha was my friend, to whom I could always turn. And she was a far better driver than the dog.

    She answered on the second ring, with no trace of sleepiness in her voice. Before I could tell her what had happened, she said, "Chris, I am so sorry," as though she had been waiting for this call and as if in the ringing of her phone she had heard the same ominous note the Orson and I had heard in mine.

    I bit my lip and refused to consider what was coming. As long as Dad was alive, hope remained that his doctors were wrong. Even at the eleventh hour, the cancer might go into remission.

    I believe in the possibility of miracles.

    After all, in spite of my condition, I have lived more than twenty-eight years, which is a miracle of sorts - although some other people, seeing my life from outside, might think it is a curse.

    I believe in the possibility of miracles, but more to the point, I believe in our need for them.

    "I'll be there in five minutes," Sasha promised.

    At night I could walk to the hospital,...

About 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 spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.
    Keith Szarabajka works extensively onstage, on television and radio, in film, and in audiobooks. His film Credits include Argo, The Dark Knight, A Perfect World, MissingI, and The Insomniac. His TV work includes Angel, Cold Case, Sons of Anarchy, Profit, and The Equalizer. Keith has appeared on NPR's Selected Shorts since 1987.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine FEAR NOTHING is Dean Koontz at his strangest--a peculiar protagonist is called on to solve a baffling supernatural mystery. The story has considerably more narrative than dialogue, so Keith Szarabajka can read it without having to project a myriad of characters. But when called on to become a character besides the dour hero, Christopher Snow, he does so with relish. He even does a decent dog voice. The setting is the California town of Moonlight Bay, where dead bodies disappear and weird things are happening to the living. Koontz outdid himself in making the town and its creepy--and not so creepy--inhabitants seem real. Still, it's not a place anyone would like to visit. M.S. (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine From the first few lines, Dean Koontz arouses in listeners a protective feeling for the main character of Fear Nothing. Forced to spend his life in the dark due to a rare genetic disorder that makes him vulnerable to light, Christopher Snow is thrown into an eerie thriller he seems hardly able to handle. Keith Szarabajka's capable performance relays Chris's strong will, although at times it's difficult to believe such a sure voice would belong to a 28-year-old man who has been isolated his whole life. Regardless, Szarabajka's reading, like Koontz's writing, sweeps listeners into the exciting adventure and keeps them rooting for the unlikely hero. R.A.P. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
  • San Francisco Examiner

    "Fear Nothing will make you fear almost everything."

  • People "[An] adrenaline-pumping . . . breakneck chiller . . . Fear Nothing demonstrates a master of darkness's continuing power to scare the daylights out of us."
  • The Flint Journal
    "An eerie, captivating thriller . . . packs more suspenseful excitement than a dozen novels."
  • Rocky Mountain News "Fear Nothing is among the best the author has written, and it certainly whets the appetite for [more]."
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Fear Nothing
Fear Nothing
Moonlight Bay Series, Book 1
Dean Koontz
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