The Face mixes both elements of psychological and supernatural terror in an unusual and disturbing way. "The Face" is a Hollywood superstar who's never at home. For his lonely son Fric, that's the keynote of life: a father who gives him everything, including the run of a fabulous Bel Air mansion (the Palazzo Rospo) in a large estate, but no personal affection. A series of cryptic gifts arrive, suggesting a stalker's threat to the actor, but in fact the person in danger is 10-year-old Fric.
The house security boss, former LAPD cop Ethan Truman, isn't that worried. The Face is away as usual and the Palazzo's defences are spectacular. What does worry him is that after tracking down the middleman who delivered one of those sinister parcels, Ethan is killed--twice. But yet he lives, as though time has been rewound; and he keeps glimpsing an old friend who is very definitely dead.
Koontz's villain is a memorably unpleasant creation; thanks to wealth, contacts and horrible ingenuity, this bad guy is well-equipped to crack the Palazzo defences, kill Ethan and grab Fric. Gradually his inhuman scheme is revealed.
Meanwhile the supernatural element is working on the other side, though shackled by rules that forbid direct action. Fric gets disquieting phone calls warning that someone or something called Moloch, devourer of children, is coming and that the boy had better find a safe hiding place. Chillingly, the caller always knows exactly where Fric is and what he's doing. And these messages somehow don't register on the Palazzo's elaborate logging system.
Appalling rain drenches Los Angeles as Moloch's day approaches; Fric's terror grows, Ethan and a friend who's still in the LAPD follow hopeless leads and even the dead begin to despair of thwarting a psychopath who holds all the high cards. No plan, however, quite survives contact with reality. The finale offers extreme violence and electrifying twists, and delivers satisfaction. --David Langford