Dean Koontz Books: The Perfect Sci-fi Horror Blend for Nonstop Reading

With hundreds of novels and short fiction pieces throughout a long career, many of which were best-sellers, Dean Koontz is often regarded as one of the world’s most prolific writers. Some of his best works incorporate elements of science fiction, mystery, horror, and fantasy. We think we have the highest rated Dean Koontz books below.

Dean Koontz Books: prodigal son

Prodigal Son (2005)

Right from the first book, it is apparent that the award winning author retells the classic Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with modern sci-fi touches. In Prodigal Son, Dr. Frankenstein is alive and well in the form of Victor Helios. Being a mad scientist as he has always been, Helios wants to replace the human population with a New Race born and developed in pods. The real story begins when at least one of his engineered creatures turns out to be a serial killer.

Dean Koontz Books: odd thomas

Odd Thomas (2003)

The main character and narrator is Odd Thomas, a 20-year-old fry cook in a fictional California town with the ability to see ghosts. In the book, “ghosts” are the souls of the dead, lingering around usually for some unfortunate reasons. Only three people know about Odd’s abilities: his girlfriend (Stormy Llewellyn), an author who doesn’t like him (Little Ozzie), and the police chief (Wyatt Porter). The first novel gives a glimpse of Odd’s abilities following an encounter with a stranger stalked by bodachs, a swarm of shadowy spirits. Since bodachs only appear at times of calamities, Odd realizes something bad is about to happen in town.

dean koontz books

Demon Seed (1997)

It is the story of a sentient machine, Prometheus, within a computer. The machine now controls everything in the home of a woman named Susan. Prometheus wants get out of the box and lives his life like people do. His plan is simple: impregnate Susan and be born into the world as a species superior to human.

dean koontz books

Phantoms (1983)

Phantoms is a thriller/horror story set in a small mountain town where the residents have disappeared. Jenny and Lisa Paige return to Snowfield, a small ski resort in California, to find the town completely devoid of life. They come across mutilated bodies and strange signs of death. Jenny alerts the police who arrive with the help of the military Biological Investigations Unit. The only clue they find is a victim’s message, mentioning the name of British author Timothy Flyte and his book on ancient vanishings.

They discover that Snowfield was built over the hibernation spot of an amoeboid shapeshifter, an Ancient Enemy that mimics and consumes other life forms. The shapeshifter’s nucleus is located at its center and is vulnerable to oil-eating bacteria. The sisters, police and military must work together to stop this ancient evil. With its fast-paced action and gripping plot, Phantoms is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

dean koontz books

Watchers (1987)

Watchers is a thriller that centers around a genetically engineered dog named Einstein and the man who adopts him, Travis Cornell. When a group of scientists attempt to recapture Einstein, Travis must protect him and uncover the truth behind the dog’s creation. The story is a mix of science fiction, action, and suspense, as Travis and Einstein are pursued by both the scientists and a mysterious organization. With its compelling characters, fast-paced plot, and elements of the supernatural, Watchers is a gripping and entertaining read.

dean koontz books

Intensity (1985)

Intensity is a thriller that tells the story of Chyna Shepherd, a young woman who witnesses the brutal murder of her best friend. She then must flee the killer. Along the way, she meets Edgler Vess, a charming but dangerous man who is determined to make Chyna his next victim. The novel is characterized by its intense and suspenseful plot, as Chyna tries to stay one step ahead of Vess and uncover the truth about his motivations. With its captivating characters, unpredictable twists, and psychological depth, Intensity is a nail-biting read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

dean koontz books

Tick Tock (1996)

Tick Tock is a horror/comedy novel. Tommy Phan is a Vietnamese-American detective novelist in California who gets a new Corvette and argues with his mother. At a diner, he meets a blond waitress and hears eerie voices on his radio. After finding a Rag doll on his front steps with a note in Vietnamese, the doll bursts open to reveal a monster seeking to kill him. He teams up with the waitress, Del, and they race to escape the monster. In Intensity, Koontz combines screwball comedy and horror elements, with the comedy gradually taking over. Themes of pagan magic and cultural conflicts are tackled, but balanced with humor reminiscent of classic 1930s comedy films like “Bringing Up Baby”.

dean koontz books

Lightning (1988)

Lightning tells the story of Laura Shane, born during a mysterious lightning storm. She is saved from murder twice as a child by a stranger linked to the lightning. As she grows up to become a famous writer, gets married, and has a child. But she’s attacked again and rescued by the same stranger. Through the story, she discovers that her rescuer is from another time, and her survival is crucial to the fate of the free world. Laura, along with her rescuer, fights for their lives and her son’s against an unstoppable enemy who can travel through time to find her. With its gripping action, unpredictable twists, and compelling characters, Lightning is a thrilling and entertaining read.

dean koontz books

Whispers (1980)

Whispers is a psychological thriller that follows Bruno Fyre. For 35 years, Bruno Frye was terrorized by his adopted mother. And even though she has been passed away for 5 years, he is still haunted by her memory and driven to kill. Hilary Thomas is one of his targets, but she is about to discover that a evil person’s death doesn’t necessarily mean the end of their influence. With its captivating characters and tense atmosphere, Whispers is a thrilling read.

Night Chills (1976)

Night Chills is a psychological thriller. Widower Paul Annendale has brought his two children, Rya and Mark, on their yearly camping trip to the small town of Black Water in New England. However, the town is unaware that it has become a testing ground for a new subliminal advertising experiment. The experiment, funded by millionaire Leonard Dawson and developed by unethical scientist Ogden Salsbury, is introduced into the town through a chemical in the water supply. With the use of a special code phrase, it gives the user complete control over the mind of the subject. Alongside local store owner Sam Edison, Paul aims to stop this unethical and illegal scheme. Night Chills is a gripping and thrilling read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

The Mask (1981)

The Mask is a thriller that Koontz originally originally released under the pseudonym Owen West in 1981. A blonde girl with memory loss appears abruptly in the midst of heavy traffic on a bustling day. Carol and Paul, a married couple, are immediately drawn to her and see her as the missing piece of their lives. They offer her a place to stay. However, Carol soon starts having disturbing nightmares featuring ear-piercing noises during the quiet hours of night, a reflection of a face covered in blood, and a razor-sharp ax. With its unpredictable twists, The Mask is a book that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Strangers (1986)

A group of people with unique conditions come together. Dominick suffers from somnambulism, Ginger goes into fugue states, Father Brendan, who lost his faith until he witnessed a miracle, and Ernie who suffers from nyctophobia. Dominick finds Polaroids that take him to the Tranquility Motel, where he meets Ned and Sandy and realizes their memories from the previous year have been suppressed. Ginger joins the group and reveals the memories were erased by Azrael Blocks through drugs and hypnosis. The Tranquility “community” is watched by unknown entities and is joined by Jack Twist. The group decides to uncover the government secret hidden at the Thunder Hill Depository. A must read Koontz title!

Midnight (1989)

Midnight is divided into three parts: “Along the Night Coast”, “Daybreak in Hades”, and “The Night Belongs to Them”. It was Koontz’s first No. 1 bestseller on the New York Times list and includes elements of the films “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and H.G. Wells’ “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” which are mentioned in the book.

Janice Capshaw is killed by mysterious beasts while jogging on a beach in Moonlight Cove. FBI agent Sam Booker investigates her death along with the recent rash of suspicious deaths. Tessa Jane Lockland, Capshaw’s sister, also arrives in Moonlight Cove to investigate. Chrissie Foster, an 11-year-old who witnessed her parents in a physically altered state, flees and heads to town for help. Sam, Tessa, and Chrissie are hunted by the beasts. They eventually meet in a laundromat where they realize they must work together to survive.

With its gripping characters and intense atmosphere, Midnight is a must read.

The Bad Place (1990)

The Bad Place is a 1990 horror novel blending horror, suspense, and mystery, with a twist on the private eye genre. Frank Pollard wakes up in an alley, disoriented and in fear for his life, pursued by an unknown attacker. He has no memory except his name. And every time he falls asleep, he finds evidence of strange nighttime activities. Seeking help, he turns to security team Bobby and Julie Dakota. The case at first seems absurd. But as they delve deeper into Frank’s life, they uncover a dark and dangerous world threatened by a madman thirsting for blood.

Dragon Tears (1993)

The story starts off with a vivid description of a seemingly perfect day in California. “Tuesday was a fine day, with sunshine and promise,” but everything changes when Harry Lyon is forced to fire his weapon during lunchtime. The book weaves together the experiences of multiple characters as their day spirals into a nightmarish situation with real-life monsters. Combined with magic pushing them to their breaking point, both physically and mentally.

Cop Harry Lyon values tradition and order, but his partner Connie Gulliver embraces the chaos of the 1990s. After a surreal shootout in a restaurant, Harry is warned he has only 16 hours to live. As he tries to maintain order, he realizes someone is after him. As well as Connie and those he loves, dragging him into a world of terror and violence.

Mr Murder (1998)

Mr. Murder is a thriller that follows the story of a bestselling suspense novelist named Marty Stillwater who begins to receive strange and threatening letters from someone claiming to be his long-dead father. As Marty investigates, he realizes that the letters are part of a sinister plot by a mysterious figure known only as “Mr. Murder” to destroy his life and those he loves. The novel is characterized by its suspenseful plot, unpredictable twists, and intense action, as Marty races against time to stop Mr. Murder and protect his family.

Life Expectancy (2004)

Life Expectancy is a suspense/horror that follows the story of a man named Jimmy Tock who is born five minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve, into a family with a cursed history. The prediction of Jimmy Tock’s grandfather, who passed away on a tumultuous night, haunts Jimmy to this day. He foretold that Jimmy would face five fateful days of darkness in his life, spaced out between his 20th and 30th year. The events that will unfold on these five ominous dates are unknown and Jimmy must brace himself for the worst. The journey ahead will test Jimmy’s resilience, as he must overcome obstacles and face challenges that go beyond his imagination. However, he is determined to emerge victorious with the help of love, humor, and bravery. The mystery surrounding Jimmy’s identity and the purpose he must fulfill on these five transformative days is both perilous and miraculous.

The Husband (2006)

The Husband tells the tale of a regular man whose uncommon devotion to his spouse leads him on a dangerous journey of adventure, sacrifice, and salvation to unravel the mystery of love, and face the forces of evil threatening to annihilate it. When Mitch Rafferty, a small business owner, answers a call from someone claiming to have kidnapped his wife Holly, he is faced with a terrifying ultimatum. The caller demands two million dollars in exchange for Holly’s safe return, and warns that informing the police will result in her torture and death. As Mitch protests that he doesn’t have the money, he sees a man across the street get shot in the head, reinforcing the severity of the situation. Trapped and unable to turn to the authorities for help, Mitch is forced to find a way to save the love of his life.

From The Corner Of His Eye (2000)

From the Corner of His Eye is a mystery/thriller that follows the story of a young man named Barty Lampion, who is blind from birth but possesses a remarkable gift for seeing into the hearts of those around him.

The story follows Barty Lampion, a boy, Junior Cain, a cruel murderer, and Angel, a girl born from rape, as they navigate good and evil in their lives. The narrative begins with three distinct storylines, which eventually converge into one touching tale of a mother’s love for her gifted son, the pursuit of a merciless killer, and a young woman who rises to the challenge of raising her late sister’s child.

The Silent Corner (2017)

The Silent Corner is a thriller that follows the story of a woman named Jane Hawk, a former FBI agent who embarks on a mission to uncover the truth behind the mysterious suicides of several of her colleagues. As Jane delves deeper into the case, she realizes that there is a sinister plot at play, and that she may be the only one who can stop it. The novel is characterized by its suspenseful plot, unpredictable twists, and intense action, as Jane races against time to bring the conspirators to justice and protect herself and those she loves.

Wow! Dean Koontz is amazing! That guy has so many ideas I’ll bet his brain is busting at the seams to get them all written. My fav Dean Koontz book is Watchers, it is one freakish and scary read! What’s your favorite Koontz novel? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you might want to know about.

What Dean Koontz books have been made into movies?

Several books written by Dean Koontz have been adapted into movies. Some of the most notable adaptations include:

  1. Phantoms-1998
  2. Watchers-1988
  3. Odd Thomas-2013
  4. Intensity-1997
  5. Demon Seed-1977
  6. Sole Survivor-2000
  7. Hideaway-1995
  8. Servants of Twilight-1991

What are the pseudonyms that Koontz has written under?

These are the pseudonyms that Koontz has written under:

  • Brian Coffey
  • Deanna Dwyer
  • K.R. Dwyer
  • Leigh Nichols
  • Owen West

In what order should you read Dean Koontz books?

According to Koontz have published over 100 novels during his career, and has written under several pseudonyms. His books have sold over 500 million copies worldwide. He has been on the New York Bestseller list over a dozen times. 

This list is the order to read Koontz stand alone books.

  1. Chase (1972)
  2. Demon Seed (1973)
  3. Shattered (1973)
  4. Night Chills (1976)
  5. Icebound (1976)
  6. The Vision (1977)
  7. The Face of Fear (1977)
  8. The Key to Midnight (1979)
  9. Whispers (1980)
  10. The Voice of the Night (1980)
  11. The Funhouse (1980)
  12. The Eyes of Darkness (1981)
  13. The Mask (1981)
  14. The House of Thunder (1982)
  15. Phantoms (1983)
  16. The Servants of Twilight (1984)
  17. Darkfall (1984)
  18. Twilight Eyes (1984)
  19. The Door to December (1985)
  20. Strangers (1986)
  21. Watchers (1987)
  22. Shadow fires (1987)
  23. Lightning (1988)
  24. Midnight (1989)
  25. The Bad Place (1990)
  26. Cold Fire (1991)
  27. Hideaway (1992)
  28. Mr. Murder (1993)
  29. Dragon Tears (1993)
  30. Winter Moon (1993)
  31. Dark Rivers of the Heart (1994)