Cold Fire

6.5 Overall Score

Interesting story

Has some ending issues, characters feel generic

Book Info

Book Title:   Cold Fire

Publisher:  Berkley Publishing

Writer:  Dean R. Koontz

Release Date: 1991


Dean R. Koontz

Jim Ironheart is blessed or cursed…he can foresee danger for people and has the potential to prevent it.  He doesn’t know where the gift comes from but knows that it comes to him in dreams and visions.  When a reporter named Holly Thorne witnesses one of Ironheart’s miraculous saves, she begins to investigate Ironheart and finds herself pulled into his strange and scary visions.  Surviving a plane crash, Holly and Jim decide to seek out Jim’s visions which means diving into his past involving a strange windmill on the family farm and something lurking beneath the nearby pond.

Written by Dean R. Koontz, Cold Fire was published in 1991.  Following The Bad Place in 1990, Cold Fire was published by Berkley Publishing and the horror/mystery novel received positive reviews and big sales like many of Koontz’s books.

Dean Koontz is a strange writer.  He came up in the whole post-Stephen King reinvention of horror, but his novels don’t always involve horror.  Here, Cold Fire is almost a bit sci-fi and more of a mystery thriller than an out-and-out horror story, though it does have a lot of horror elements.

I always have felt that Stephen King is a decent writer that suffers from sometimes poor plots.  Dean Koontz is a so-so writer who is but has decent plots.  Cold Fire presents rather generic characters and that don’t feel necessarily rounded or real in their thoughts or conversations.  It is close, but still feels like dialogue from stock characters.


Current Edition

As far as Cold Fire’s plot goes, it is pretty good.  The mystery surrounding Jim is interesting and the horror of The Friend and The Enemy is rather interesting.  *****Spoiler Alert***** The origin of the mysterious “Friend” and “Enemy” is pretty easy to call near the end, and it feels a bit like the characters are an unnecessary step behind.  I have a hard time calling this horror because it comes down to an almost sci-fi storyline kind of like Stephen King’s The Dead Zone which isn’t necessarily horror either…both stories are more of a thriller.

Koontz also seems to suffer from ending issues.  Often I don’t feel very fulfilled when I finish a Koontz novel.  This one has a bit more resolution than others, but others I feel end too abruptly.  Here the ending feels drawn out due to the characters trying to comprehend what is occurring (which as I mentioned feels a step behind), so it isn’t as abrupt, but the story also has a bit of lead up to a sequel feel that never has happened.  The book feels a bit like his popular Odd Thomas line of stories which have developed sequels.

Cold Fire is very typical of Koontz style and writing.  It is a quick easy read that won’t consume too much of your time so it is worth the ride.  It is a vacation type book that is easy to pick-up and put down but also can be plowed through if necessary.  Koontz followed up Cold Fire with Hideaway in 1992.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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