night chillsDean Koontz
Atheneum / Berkley
1976 / 1983

Vacationing in the mountains near the isolated logging town of Black river, Maine has been a yearly tradition for Paul Annendale and his two children since his wife died seven years ago. This year, however, is different; unbeknownst to him and the citizens of Black River, this town has been selected as a test sight for subliminal mind testing – a test that has the full backing of a multi-billion dollar corporation head, the enforcement of a renegade Army general, and the scientific mind of a madman testing his nefarious creation. And they don’t cotton well to outsiders messing with their experiments…

An early psychological thriller by Koontz that has less to do with the titular “night chills” (it’s touched on briefly at the beginning as a temporary side effect from the mind control drug), and more to do with the issue of subliminal subversion. Several references to the 1970’s, as well as the wars fought before then, dates the story a bit much. Fairly simple and fast-paced plot, although some of the disposition between the three “evil” guys on the whole history of subliminal sounded like so much rattling off of textbooks; indeed, there is a bibliography of references at the end of the book where Koontz gleaned his information from for the story. Otherwise, fairly decent fast-food thriller…