Chyna Shepherd is a
twenty-six-year-old woman whose deeply troubled childhood taught her the hard
rules of survival, and whose adult life has been an unrelenting struggle for
self-respect and safety. Now rare trust has blossomed for Chyna into friendship
with the woman whose family home she is visiting for the weekend: a farm in the
Napa Valley surrounded by vineyards and hills, which Chyna can see from the
guest-room window where she sits at one o’clock in the morning, fully dressed,
unable to sleep. Suspicions she learned in childhood still make her uneasy in
unfamiliar houses—even this one, where her closest friend is sound asleep down
the hall. And in this case her most disturbing instincts prove reliable. A man
has entered the house, a man who lives for one purpose: to satisfy all
appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear,
remorse, or limits—to live with intensity.
His name is Edgler
Foreman Vess. He likes to make words with the letters from his name—GOD, DEMON,
SAVE, RAGE, ANGER, FEAR, FOREVER, are just a few of them—and then makes
sentences with the words. One of his favorites, GOD FEARS ME, is sometimes the
last thing he whispers to his victims. Edgler Vess is a self-proclaimed “homicidal
adventurer”: On this night, his adventure—murdering everyone in the house—becomes
Chyna’s long nightmare.
Trapped in Vess’s
deadly orbit, Chyna thinks only of getting out alive. But when she
inadvertently learns the identity of Vess’s intended next victim, waiting for
him far from Napa Valley, Chyna is gripped with concern for this other person,
who is as innocent as Chyna, and as endangered. Driven now by a sense of
responsibility for another, by a purpose and meaning beyond mere
self-preservation, Chyna rises to unexpected heights of courage and daring—her
only hope as the threat of Edgler Foreman Vess closes in and grows more
horrifying moment by moment.
Intensity unfolds over the course of just twenty-four hours, but within that brief
time frame, Dean Koontz gives us what is perhaps his most inventive,
emotionally intricate, and terrifyingly suspenseful novel yet.
Download and start listening now!