A horror/thriller book by Dean Koontz, published in 1992.
After antique dealer Hatch Harrison gets into a fatal car accident and gets revived from the brink of death, he discovers that he has developed a psychic connection to a serial killer calling himself Vassago. Both being aware of this development, this sets a stage for Hatch's family becoming potential victims for the villain....
This novel has examples of:
- Abandoned Area: Fantasy World, an abandoned amusement park, where Vassago lives. He displays the corpses of his victims in the basement of the funhouse.
- Angst Coma: Regina goes into one while being held captive by Vassago. She imagines being in a beautiful bedroom that smells like roses, where nothing from the outside world can get in and harm her. She is unresponsive to all physical stimuli while in this state. Thankfully, she comes out of the catatonia a few days after being rescued.
- Big Bad: Vassago, a Serial Killer who is trying to create a masterpiece that'll allow him to properly descend into hell and become a demon.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Averted. Vassago reflects on his time in Hell at one point, describing it as a cold, lightless place.
- Hell Seeker: Vassago believes that he is the human incarnation of one of the demon princes of Hell and that by hideously murdering enough people, will be allowed to return to Hell at Satan's right hand. It is hinted in the ending that his beliefs of demon heritage may not be so delusional after all.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: The orphan Regina does this briefly. She is afraid that Hatch and Lindsey will only adopt her for a little while before they get sick of her and bring her back to the orphanage, which will hurt her deeply. So instead of going through that pain, she tries to scare them off from adopting her in the first place.
- Papa Wolf: Hatch goes into this mode after Vassago kidnaps his adopted daughter Regina, giving a chase after him with the help of their shared Psychic Link, and taking doing dangerous maneuvers when he finds the villain.
- Poetic Serial Killer: Vassago tortures his victims to death and poses their bodies in ways he thinks would suit their flaws and sins.
- Psychic Link: Since they both were brought back from death (by same doctor, even), Vassago and Hatch share a connection which allows them to see each others' dreams and thoughts, even directly through their eyes for brief moments during intense outbursts of emotion.
- Sunglasses at Night: After he was brought back to life years ago, the process made Vassago's eyes very sensitive to light, which forces him to wear sunglasses almost at all times, even at night.
- Terms of Endangerment: Vassago calls Regina things like "baby," "precious," and "sweet little lamb," as he's taking her to an abandoned amusement park where he plans to kill and dismember her.