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Fear Itself Hardcover – January 5, 2002

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Schumacher debuts strongly with this captivatingly spooky thriller about a San Francisco doctor seeking to make sense of the savage killing of his wife and then revenge her death. Dr. Reed Haler, a geneticist working toward a cure for childhood leukemia, had always made light of his wife's uncanny ability to predict the future. But after Devrie Haler is pulled from her tent on a camping trip with Reed and brutally murdered, Reed begins scrutinizing her diary. Not only does he discover that she foretold her impending death and that of their unborn child, but also that she made veiled references to the identity of the killer and to future victims. Haler abandons his research and embarks on a cross-country search steered solely by the clues he gleans from the diary. He eventually stumbles on a disturbing revelation: someone with mystical powers is killing people whose work could eventually lead to dramatic increases in human life span. But why kill Devrie, a third-grade teacher? Piece by piece, Haler assembles the puzzle. His quest takes him to Alamosa, N.Mex., where he begins to feel the presence of evil and sets the stage for drawing the killer out. Schumacher's otherwise inventive story line leaves several questions unanswered in the end, and his narrative's reliance on dream sequences tends to interrupt rather than advance the story. Yet the plot's strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. The narrative moves naturally, devoid of the form's usual trappings and twists. Schumacher has created a highly sympathetic character in Haler and thrown him into a tense, desperate situation rich in suspense and action.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Barret Schumacher gives us lucky readers a true thrill ride with Fear Itself. It's a compelling page-turner that blends traditional suspense with a harrowing flavor of the unknown."--Jeffery Deaver, bestselling author of The Blue Nowhere and The Bone Collector

"Fear Itself is a fascinating blend of crime and the supernatural. Schumacher is a gifted writer who knows which buttons to push, and when and how to push them."--John Lutz, author of SWF Seeks Same

"Fear Itself has all the markings of a successful suspense thriller and should find an eager public." --Dr. Hans Holzer, parapsychologist and author of 119 books, including Are You Psychic?: Unlocking the Power Within
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (January 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076530130X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765301307
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,823,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Though San Francisco University research geneticist Reed Haler adores his wife Devrie, he thinks her ability to foresee the future is a charming parlor trick. Still he loves his spouse and looks forward to the birth of their child already named Alana. However, on a camping trip, a thug kills Devrie and their unborn child. Reed deeply mourns his loss and struggles to regain some normalcy.

Reed reads Devrie's journal filled with cryptic notes to include her own death and hints of future murders. Accompanied by a dog Hoover they found on that fatal camping trip, Reed travels to Cowhollow, Tennessee to talk with a psychic Maysie Fabrioso who has helped police. Following Maysie's advice and Devrie's journal, Reed stops in Alamosa, Colorado where he expects the killer to seek new victims. He meets Jessica Morraine, a divorced pediatrician with a seven-year-old daughter. Due to the eerie not so coincidental first name of Alana, Reed investigates the murder of a doctor in town, but remains unaware that the killer is already waiting for him.

FEAR ITSELF is a taut psychic thriller that grabs the audience's attention from the start of the book until the tale finishes. Reed is a strong character bound to gain reader sympathy, as he poorly copes with his spouse's violent death and a para-world he never believed existed. Though the dream sequences slow down a dramatic plot, the audience will relish Barret Schumacher's debut tale and want more novels just like this exciting one.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm on April 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book was great! I wish there were a way for me to contact Mr. Schumacher to tell him how much I enjoyed it. I could not put it down, and was up until 1am because I could not go to bed until I knew how it turned out. If you like the newer Dean Koontz such as "From the Corner of His Eye", you will like "Fear Itself". I am looking forward to another tale from Mr. Schumacher.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By allybeth (TheChickWhoClicks) on December 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
FEAR ITSELF has a fantastic & intuitive style of writing. With each chapter, there's a little bit more to pull us deeper into the novel. The characters, the locations, & the suspense (which is extraordinary) all come together for a journey that leaves the reader feeling perfectly satisfied. Bravo to Barret Schumacher for writing a debut that already deserves a standing ovation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michelle L Hillard on September 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Couldn't put this one down. It kept my interest on so many dimensions -- I must say, I was sad to reach the last page. If only there were more books like this one!
If you typcially have a hard time staying interested in a book, this is the read for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The author was very good at creating suspense and keeping the reader turning the pages. It was like watching a movie. In fact, it seemed intended as a feature film. Not surprisingly, the author works for the film industry. I felt myself annoyed at the writing. It was clumsy and stilted. In spite of this, I had to know what happened next. So, if you're looking for a good beach book and don't mind less than fine literature, it's a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Bowes on March 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This 1st novel joins the serial killer genre with the paranormal, yet earns its real success with more basic writing. The author creates characters we really care about and when bad things happen, we take it personally. Well done all around, a few really dreadful moments, and I look foward to more.
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