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The Face Thief

3.05  ·  Rating Details ·  399 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Author of the New York Times Notable Book The Boy Who Went Away—winner of the Rome Prize and the British Society of Authors’ McKitterick Prize—Eli Gottlieb returns with The Face Thief. A powerfully dark and gripping tale of two men obsessed with one very charismatic, very damaged woman who’s determined to con from each of them everything she needs to survive, The Face Thie ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jan 30, 2012 Bookish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 11, 2012 Drew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 12, 2012 Judi rated it liked it  ·  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..
Oct 28, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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
Tricia Douglas
Dec 11, 2011 Tricia Douglas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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 ...more
Nancy Rosenthal
Mar 14, 2012 Nancy Rosenthal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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.
Indira Iljas
secara keseluruhan ceritanya oke. tp alurnya bikin bingung. di tambah terjemahannya.... :(. sayang bgt deh penerbit ini, nerbitin bukunya bagus2 tp tdk diiringi dgn kualitas terjemahannya.....
Oct 19, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another reminder of how unpredictably unfair life can be, when the guilty walk free.... Beware of beautiful women :-P
Boris Limpopo
Mar 04, 2012 Boris Limpopo rated it really liked it
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, gat
Michele Weiner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
Jan 10, 2014 Jill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2016 Allie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
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
Brittany Rehage
Mar 10, 2012 Brittany Rehage rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Niratisaya 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
Rich Stoehr
Nov 23, 2011 Rich Stoehr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-vine
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
Jan 05, 2012 Cindi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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
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
Melanie A. Florence
I gave this book 4 stars because I like the way Eli Gottlieb writes. He muses in a philosophical and intriguing way, using a lot of similes and pondering subjects in unsuspected directions.

Although the story is somewhat simple, the two male characters are deeply and artistically developed. He intersperses chapters of Potash and Lawrence, the two male characters, with Margot's recovering memory after an accident. We get to know Potash and Lawrence very well through their thoughts and actions but
Apr 15, 2013 CarolB rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Charla Wilson
Jan 09, 2012 Charla Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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 ...more
Feb 17, 2012 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2012 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 02, 2011 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
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 ...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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