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Summary

A classic novel by John D. MacDonald with an exclusive introduction written and read by Dean Koontz.

An insane criminal threatens to destroy a family, and the police are powerless to protect them.

For 14 years convicted rapist Max Cady nursed his hatred for Sam Bowden into an insane passion for revenge. He lived only for the day he would be free - free to track down and destroy the man who had put him behind bars. Murder was merciful compared to what Cady had in mind - and what Cady had in mind was Bowden's innocent and lovely teenaged daughter….

©1957, 1958 John D. MacDonald Publishing, Inc. Copyright renewed 1985, 1986 by John D. MacDonald. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Critic reviews

"A powerful and frightening story." (The New York Times)

What listeners say about Cape Fear (aka The Executioners)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Chilling

We all know how the story ends, but MacDonald builds the tension until it shreds your nerves.
This book disturbed me. It's been a longtime since I've been able to say that about a book.

3 people found this helpful

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Sinister Psychopath territory.

Would you listen to Cape Fear (aka The Executioners) again? Why?

Yes, a few years down the line. The story really went for it. I felt for the terrorised family.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Cape Fear (aka The Executioners)?

I don't do spoilers!

Have you listened to any of Stephen Hoye and Dean Koontz (introduction) ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yeah, solid. The narrator had a classic detective thing going on. His delivery was fluent.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I pretty much did. It drifts off a bit in the latter half of the novel, still very interesting and gripping.

2 people found this helpful

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This is worth a listen: Builds Nicely

Old school writing...lovely build up of tension and invasion into the perfect world of Sam Bowden.

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  • Darwin8u
  • 21-05-18

The Executioners

The best kind of John D. MacDonald novel. I've read so much Travis McGee, I've forgotten that John D. could write different characters. I liked Sam Bowden and his wife a lot. They seemed to reflect me (and my situation) more than Travis McGee ever did. I could relate better. It seemed a bit more grounded, less of a heroic caricature.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 24-09-15

Dated But Great

It's made clear early in the book that the story is set on the early 1960s. If you never lived in that culture you won't understand the significance of all the time spent lightning, sharing, picking up putting down, and even smoking cigarettes. Just ignore all that. It's a great story. Enjoy it.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Squawkingbeak
  • 03-05-16

Robert Mitchum is the bad guy

What made the experience of listening to Cape Fear (aka The Executioners) the most enjoyable?

I remember the movie. It was a bit different and a long time ago, but the suspense was there all the way through.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lars
  • 18-12-19

Music.

Perfect writing. Golden story. In my opinion: near unsurpassable. And it is great fun all through.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-12-19

Terrible Narrator.. So Wrong For the Material

I struggled to get even 1/4 of the way through this audio book before realizing the narrator wasn't just bad but actually painful to listen to! The guy just talks in this super weird breathy pompous 1920's radio announcer monotone. He definitely ruined this book for me. I don't understand how anyone could listen to that guy and say ok, let's do a novel? Maybe ok for a 30 second tv commercial or something but not a whole book! Jesus people..

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-05-19

I would rather read than listen to this one.

Although I enjoyed the plot build and suspense, the narrator was too monotone for me.

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  • Dr. Joe de Beauchamp
  • 29-04-19

Cape Fear

Movies of this book are as good as thus book. I see this book as true crime book and horror.... excellent narraration!

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  • RobLow
  • 03-02-19

Movie's Better

One of the few books where the movie is far superior to the book. Wasn't that suspenseful and a bit anticlimactic.

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  • Jack Karpan
  • 03-04-18

Classic!

Totally unlike either com version. There simply was no "Cape Fear." Great, just the same.

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  • Neil
  • 12-03-18

nope didnt like it.

in a rare case I happen to like the movie much better I don't know what it was the way it was red I didn't care for the way it was written the story just didn't piqued my interest and keep me interested. so for me this was not worth my money and was a fail