False Memory: A thriller that plays tricks with your mind...

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9780747258346: False Memory: A thriller that plays tricks with your mind...
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Martie Rhodes, a happily married, successful video games designer, takes an agoraphobic friend to therapy sessions twice a week. Each trip is a grim ordeal, but the experience has brought the two friends even closer together. Then, one morning, Martie experiences a brief, irrational but disquieting fear of... her shadow. When autophobia - one of the rarest and most intriguing phobias known to psychology - is diagnosed, suddenly, radically her life changes, and her future looks dark. Martie's husband, Dusty, loves her profoundly, and is desperate to understand the cause of her autophobia. But as he comes closer to the terrible truth, Dusty himself starts showing signs of a psychological disorder even more frightening than that afflicting Martie...

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Review:

Not a continuation of the Moonlight Bay series (Seize the Night and Fear Nothing) as many fans were expecting, False Memory is nonetheless just as powerful and compulsive as anything Koontz has written before.

Martie Rhodes is a successful young computer games designer with a loving husband, Dusty, and a seemingly normal life. Her best friend, Susan, however, suffers from agoraphobia, or a fear of open spaces, and relies on Martie to take her to weekly therapy sessions. Suddenly and inexplicably, Martie herself begins exhibiting worrying signs of a mental disorder, fearing herself capable of inflicting great harm on her loved ones. At the same time, Dusty's brother Skeet also succumbs to irrational mental behavior and tries to throw himself from a roof. It soon becomes clear that these four characters are involved in something much more than a sinister coincidence.

Koontz's great skill, as he demonstrates so well in this novel, is creating believable characters and thrusting them into seemingly impossible but--for the period of the story--completely plausible situations. The plot is as carefully layered as the most intricate orchestral compositions, and Koontz conducts the proceedings with almost unbearable tension. One of his greatest abilities as a writer, however, is tapping into the dark paranoia of society. As we approach the Millennium, and an age in which we are becoming increasingly desensitized to death and violence, Martie's fear of herself, known as autophobia, seems a terrifying warning that soon the only thing we will have left to fear is ourselves.

Deeper meanings aside, this is easily one of his best thrillers. The prose moves at a breakneck speed, and the denouement will leave you with a pounding heart and chills up and down your spine. Koontz delivers exciting, boundary-breaking fiction better than anyone else in the game, and False Memory (though at times shocking and disturbing) is a perfect example of a master author in top form. --Jonathan Weir, Amazon.co.uk

From the Inside Flap:

Read by Stephen Lang
10 Cassettes, 18 hours

Martie Rhodes is a young wife (happily married to Dustin for three years), a video game designer, and a compassionate woman who takes her agoraphobic friend Carol to therapy sessions.  Carol is so afraid of leaving her apartment that the trips are grim ordeals for both women--but bonding experiences as well.

Then one morning Martie experiences a sudden fear of her own, a brief but disquieting terror of...her shadow.  The episode is over so quickly it leaves her shaken, but amused.  Then, as she is about to check her makeup, she realizes she is terrified to look in the mirror and confront her own face.

As the episodes of this traumatic condition --autophobia-- build, the lives of Martie and her husband change drastically.  Frantic to discover the trigger for her descent into hell, Dustin begins to look into the background of a respected therapist.  As he comes closer to the truth about this strange and troubled "healer," Dustin finds himself afflicted with a condition even more bizarre and terrifying than Martie's.

No fan of psychological suspense will want to miss this extraordinary novel of the human mind's capacity to torment...and destroy.

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