The Face Thief
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The Face Thief

3.08 of 5 stars 3.08  ·  rating details  ·  314 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Eli Gottlieb’s previous novel, Now You See Him, was acclaimed by reviewers as “irresistible … moving” (New York Times Book Review), “a triumph…of literary suspense” (Los Angeles Times), and “gorgeous” (USA Today). With The Face Thief, he returns with a driving, compulsively readable novel that probes the wellsprings of human greed and loyalty beset by temptation.

Gottlieb i...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jill
Can any of us ever take our interactions with others at face value? That seems to be the question that’s at the core of Eli Gottlieb’s page-turning psychological suspense novel.

Three characters dominate the book: Margot, the narcissistic chameleon who wrecks havoc with the lives of the men she becomes involved with. At the start of the novel, she has taken a dangerous fall down a long staircase and is in the process of recapturing her memories. Who pushed her? It could be Lawrence Billings, a ch...more
Drew
An interesting if ultimately inconsequential read. It almost feels like the prequel you didn't quite need to a series that's otherwise mostly awesome. And I do hope to see Margot again - she's an interesting character. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of development for anyone else and there's a distinct hollowness to the proceedings. It's well-paced but there's something missing. A level of investment that I never quite put down, even when I was at my most engaged.

More thoughts at RB: http://wp...more
Tara Chevrestt
You would think I would love this book....after all, it's about a woman using men. Surprisingly, I didn't care for it much. I thought I was getting a book following a woman and a detective...but really, the book is about the woman, but told from the POVs of two different men.

Was it done well? I guess so, but too much testosterone for me, and I couldn't stand the woman either. One man is happily married-at least I think so. He does go on about his wife's weight and lack of youth, but he's not a...more
Stephanie D.
The Face Thief by Eli Gottlieb begins with a stunning sequence - one that made me wince and flinch with every excruciating sentence. A woman is falling down the stairs and we get a running narrative of her body's physical trauma. Her orbital orb cracking, rib fracturing - However, in between the descriptions of breaking bones, we get the woman's emotional reaction with memorable, lyrical passages in stark contrast to the painful ones.

"Pain had a voice. It spoke to her as she shot off the top st...more
Judi
Feb 12, 2012 Judi rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Judi by: Guy
Shelves: read-in-2012
Guy Savage was on the one to recommend Eli Gottlieb's book NOW YOU SEE HIM (http://swiftlytiltingplanet.wordpress...), which I considered a 5 star read... so when Guy mentioned that he was reading an arc of THE FACE THIEF, I was very curious and anxious to hear his comments... and to read it for myself.

Guy was not very forthcoming regarding comments on this book... but offered to send the arc to me when finished with it.

It is very hard to love a book that doesn't have any nice characters in it.....more
Tarin Towers
I enjoyed reading this book up to a point and then felt I had wasted my time doing so. Unless the point of the book is the utter pointlessness of reading such books, in which case, it's an existential whammy. It's well written but the writing tends to call attention to itself, and the characters are sums of their behavior and clothing, but ironically reveal little of themselves in a book about the nature of character. And the plot? Here's a case in which redemption should be had! And punishment...more
Lisa
There is something I find really intriguing, at least in novels, about a female criminal. Their motivations seem so different from most male criminals — it never seems to be just about greed or power. It’s something more subtle. In The Face Thief by Eli Gottlieb, Margot is a promising young journalist. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that the lavish lifestyle she can glimpse from her assignments is just out of her grasp…but there are ways to extend her reach.

Margot meets Lawrence Billing...more
Jackie
Lawrence Billings finds himself with an promising student for his training on how to read faces and body language. But it might just be the professor who fails the final in that class.

John Potash has carefully been building his financial future, and has had a great deal of luck so far. He does his due diligence with a company, eventually buying into it with with most of his life savings, only to find the investment office gone the next day.

In a Manhattan hospital, a young woman is trying to reco...more
Tricia Douglas
This was the first Eli Gottlieb book that I've had the chance to read and it was suspenseful, intriquing, and mentally scary. I would like to give this a 4.5. The way the characters are described and their actions makes the book one that I had to read in one sitting. The main character, Margot, is a sly young woman out to frame the pants off of the other male characters. The ending is superb and highly unexpected. Having a sequel to read would be great. This was an ARC book I received from Bookb...more
Nancy Rosenthal
Really liked this book. Particularly enjoyed the weaving of the characters'situations. Very fast read. Had the pleasure to meet the author who is charming and an avid people reader also. My favorite line in the book was, "The investigator's large, soft face was creased by a sudden smile, giving Potash time to notice that his two front teeth were crossed one over the other like the legs of a sitting woman. I'll remember that one forever. Eli def has a lot of sex going on with it not going on in t...more
laurenpie
Lacks intensity

Any potential here lies with the plot, which actually was interesting. However, I couldn't bring myself to care about any character. The action and dialogue are dry, and that not in the humorous sense. The lack of intensity, or passion, or even a bit of charm made this read mediocre.
Michele Weiner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cindi
The Face Thief is a cerebral, character-rich thriller that I found unable to put down. I simply had to finish it before I fell asleep. The narrative flows so well and suspense kept me turning the pages so quickly that I was able to turn out the light long before my husband finished watching television and came to bed.

The beautiful woman's fall down the stairs was probably not an accident and Dan France, the honest detective who can't help falling for the victim, is determined to find out who pus...more
Sheri
Gottlieb was trying way too hard with this. I think the most often used note I have in my kindle copy of this book is "blechh" or "very blechh" (read as Alfred E Neuman please). These "blechh"s are peppered throughout when Gottlieb tried to educate the reader. Even if I granted him the evolutionary psych stuff upon which his "erudite" Lawrence character is based, it was so overtly stuffed down my face as to require a "blechh" every few pages (and no, as a social psychologist I am fundamentally u...more
Rich Stoehr
It begins with a fall, the experience and shock of being pushed down a set of stairs. But who pushed Margot, and why? This is the central mystery around which The Face Thief is built.

It's the story of three characters, each presenting a superficial identity and hiding their true selves under layer after layer of deception. It's a story told not only in words an dialogue, but also in body language and subtle hints. As Margot recovers from her fall we discover that she may not be an innocent victi...more
Niratisaya
Jika seorang penulis dituntut kreatif. Maka seorang pembaca pun harus demikian. Pemikiran ini saya dapat setelah membaca cerita tentang seorang wanita bernama Margot, yang memiliki keahlian membaca wajah seseorang. Bukan membaca biasa, tapi langsung menebak seperti apa sifatnya, apa kekurangan serta kelebihannya.

Kemampuan Margot ini didapatkannya dari sang guru Lawrence, yang dulunya mahasiswa psikologi sebelum Lawrence banting setir menjadi pembicara dan penulis buku mengenai ilmu membaca wajah...more
Sandie
What does your face say about you? What secret desire lies buried in your smile, in the arch of your eyebrow, in your eyes? Anyone who has ever read a book about or gone to a seminar explaining "body language" will be able to appreciate and understand the premise of THE FACE THIEF by Eli Gottlieb. Rather than focusing on the non-verbal positive and negative emotions communicated by the body, Mr. Gottlieb has chosen to concentrate his tale on the machinations of a woman who has become an expert i...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
The perfect criminal is one who can read the body language and facial features of their victim and that is just the premise for the latest book from Eli Gottlieb, The Face Thief.

The book revolves around the lives of three people involving a series of circumstances with a common thread. The more you know about a person, the better it enables you to gain the upper hand. If you can define someone simply by how they carry themselves and what their face tells you that their words don't can be very be...more
Boris Limpopo
Gottlieb, Eli (2012). The Face Thief. New York: HarperCollins. 2012.
ISBN 9780061735059. Pagine 256. 11,33 €

Avrei voluto iniziare la mia recensione levando il calice alla nascita di un’altra indimenticabile dark lady, come non ne incontravo da tempo. Ma poi una mia giovane amica, dotata di antica saggezza e cultrice della materia, mi ha domandato: “Dark lady, o gatta morta?” E, davanti alla mia espressione sconcertata, ha subito chiarito: “Dark lady è Barbara Stanwick in La fiamma del peccato, ga...more
Bennett Gavrish
Grade: C

L/C Ratio: 60/40
(This means I estimate the author devoted 60% of his effort to creating a literary work of art and 40% of his effort to creating a commercial bestseller.)

Thematic Breakdown:
40% - The art of the con
30% - Body language
20% - Relationships
10% - Mystery


The story of a con man – or in the case of The Face Thief, a con woman – can work in one of two ways. Either the reader gets attached to the victim of the con, or the writer pulls a Sawyer (as in LOST) and makes the con man a sy...more
Allie
The Face Thief explores the art of reading body language and nonverbal cues. Some are naturally skilled at reading people's behavior, but apparently there is an entire art to psychoanalyzing the structure of a face. Lawrence Billings has made a living out of this. At a seminar he gives, Lawrence meets Margot, an intriguing, bright journalist who begs for private tutoring in the art.

Interesting idea, but it fell short of its potential. The "face reading" was ridiculous. You can't make true infere...more
Brittany Rehage
I really enjoyed this book. It was a great look into the minds of people and how one person can use knowledge to completely manipulate others and become the perfect criminal.

It was hard in the beginning to see how each story would tie together. The lives of John Potash and Lawrence Billings are very different, separated by the country and seemingly not connected at all. But as the story unravels, you can see just how Billings’s actions, through Margot, directly affect the life of Potash.

And then...more
Adrian Pratama
This is my first psychologycal thriller novel. Sequence in this novel is really make me curious. Every plot have their own scene and their own deceit. Finally, in the end of the sequence, it show you the beauty but vicious, pity but malicious.
Charla Wilson
The way the people's lives in this book intertwine is fascinating. At first I found myself wandering what one person had to do with another, but I kept reading and soon found out how they were all connected. They were all linked together by one woman. This womans name was Margot and she was hell bent on destroying every man that she came in contact with. She is definitely an interesting character and she is not a nice person. She is about as self centered as anyone can be, but it goes much deepe...more
CarolB
Recommended by my sister, this book had more of a suspense plot than I usually read, but hooked me early on with fascinating information about how people can read clues in a person's face and carriage. These clues supposedly give the viewer important advance information about the people around them. The main character is a man who lectures and authors books on this topic. A young woman in his lecture somehow confuses him with the clues she seems to control, though for normal people they are auto...more
Clivemichael Justice
Strangely compelling collision of three lives. Well defined characters, interesting subjects with an abundance of intimate details told in a offhand dispassionate voice and loaded with irony.
Dan
Margot is a grifter that has been pushed down the stairs and lost her memory. As the story unfolds we learn that she has swindled John Potash of his life savings. He is determined to get it back at any cost. She also learns from speaker Lawrence Billings who gives body language and face reading seminars. She becomes a private student and somewhere along the way their relationship turns bizarre.

At first, as I begin reading, I enjoyed what was going on but thought all in all it would be a differen...more
Penny
A book written in 2012 - 1st one I've read this year!
Well it was interesting and at times I didn't want to put it down. Primarilly it's about 3 people: Margot - a young woman who milks money from men, Potash - one of the men who doesn't want to tell his mother and new wife that he was ripped off, and Lawrence Billings who wrote books and taught seminars on the art of face reading and body language for your professional advantage. Of course Margot is a natural at that but even tops his abilties a...more
Dot
I had really high hopes for this book, but I was a bit disappointed. It had the makings of "Gone Girl," but I just felt it jumped around too much between characters as well as back and forth from past to present. I DID find the sections on reading someone's personality and/or thought processes via their expressions and gestures quite fascinating. Unfortunately, it just didn't tie in to the overall story as much as I was hoping for. Bottom line...this isn't a book I would recommend to my "book bu...more
Michael
My full review for this novel will be published on review day (Jan. 17), but my general feeling is that Gottlieb took this literary psychological thriller about 3/4 of the way, but couldn't quite cross the finish line. The central figure informing the entire book, Margot, is rendered in a surprisingly shallow manner, and there's a fourth character hovering in Margot's orbit whose trajectory disappointed me. Gottlieb can write, though, and most of the book does glide along on an unsettling moment...more
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“The real reason we have faces," Margot Lassiter observes, "is to hold back what we're thinking from the world.” 3 likes
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