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The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett #2)

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,706 Ratings  ·  310 Reviews
In Shadow Man, Cody McFadyen took the suspense thriller where other writers have feared to tread. He introduced readers to a heroine every bit as dark and edgy as the serial killers she hunts: Special Agent Smoky Barrett. Now, in his latest novel, McFadyen brings Agent Barrett back to track down a killer who breaks all the rules. Get ready for a shattering confrontation wi ...more
Hardcover, 452 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Bantam (first published 2007)
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The Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAngels & Demons by Dan BrownThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
475th out of 2,535 books — 3,124 voters
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I Like Serial Killers
217th out of 684 books — 1,118 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 13, 2016 Christine rated it it was amazing
The Face of Death is book 2 in Cory McFadyen’s Smoky Barrett series. Last month I read book 1, Shadow Man, and declared nothing could possibly beat it for my book of the year. I was wrong. The Face of Death is even better. It now holds the honor of my favorite thriller book ever.

Where to start? I do not want to give any of the story away, so for a brief outline of the plot, please see the blurb. Cory McFadyen is unlike any other author I have come across. This is a police procedural, plus so mu
Genius, brilliant, powerful and engaging---This series is a MUST read for all suspense junkies!

You know that sad feeling you get when the book you are completely engrossed in is finally over and you have to get back to the real world? You're going to feel this with this book, but multiply that feeling times 10.

I have to admit that part of this feeling goes to the fact that I am reading this series with my favorite book buddy Christine. We both put our super sleuth hats on and dug in. It wasn't l
Book 2 of the Smoky Barrett series - Another horrifying, gripping, edge of your seat thriller!

At the start of The Face of Death Smoky Barrett and Bonnie are about to take a vacation and Smoky is finally ready to clean out the house of Matt and Alexa's things that have been untouched since their horrible murders. Of course, the vacation is over before it even starts when Smoky, one of the top FBI serial killer hunters, is called to the scene of a triple murder where 16 year-old Sara has asked fo
Jan 16, 2016 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A man Sarah calls The Stranger took control of her life on her sixth birthday. Now Sarah is 16 years old, sitting in the middle of a horrific crime scene, again. She holds a gun to her head and says she will talk to only FBI Agent Smoky Barrett. No one believed her last time, but she's going to make damn sure someone believes her this time.

Smoky's team from the first book is here, except for Leo. Perhaps he saw "too much" on the last case. Callie and Alan are like old friends, and James remains
Jean Coldwell
Apr 16, 2016 Jean Coldwell rated it it was amazing
No one should have to experience the terrifying nightmare that six-year-old Sarah witnesses when her parents are brutally killed by a man she calls “The Stranger.” Cody McFadyen has outdone himself in his second Smokey Barrett FBI thriller, The Face of Death. I say that because only a brilliant mind could concoct such an evil, yet seductive plot that has the reader’s eyes glued to the pages for hours at a time, all the while wanting to squeeze them shut because he has foreshadowed the telling of ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Great book. I read it when we were in the woods camping and that wasn't the smartest choice. Not for the faint of heart but so engrossing. Smokey is a wonderful character and I look forward to reading more about her.
Mary Beth
Mar 20, 2016 Mary Beth rated it it was amazing
I loved loved loved it! Not for the faint of heart.
Review to come shortly.
Apr 28, 2016 lenaireen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sechs von fünf Sternen mit einem dicken Ausrufezeichen ...more
Book 2 in the Smoky Barrett series. I would suggest reading these in order so you can follow the development of the recurring characters although a lot of Smoky's past is rehashed in this one. I listened to the German audio version of this again, and either the translation was better or the author's writing has improved. I'm even taking a liking to Callie now as her obsession with silly endearments seems to be under control. This was just as gruesome as the first book with a truly twisted, evil ...more
A psychopath is after FBI Special Agent Smokey Barrett and he is using innocent people to get to her.

Sarah is a young girl who has been haunted her whole life by a man who has chosen to kill everyone she becomes remotely attached to. At his most recent killing of the family she had been fostering with, Sarah is found unharmed but despondent and keeps asking for Smokey. In the past atrocities the authorities have not believed Sarah about what had happened because of her young age and over whelmi
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Another great Barrett book in this awesome series. I enjoyed this fast read but felt it wasn't as good as the others in the series. Hope the rest ate better.
Jan 13, 2009 Debby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-books
I've never read anything by Cody MdFadyen before. WOW!! In my opinion, he is right up there with Harlan Coben, Dennis Lehane, Ridley Pearson to name a few.
I'm generally turned off by boks and movites that have gratuitous violance/blood and guts in them that isn't supported by a great plot and character depth. This book was intriguing to me from the beginning. The antagonist in this book really was evil personified and I think that is what captivated me, to be honest. To see how evil works in a
Nicola Burns
Mar 13, 2016 Nicola Burns rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Another brilliant book in the Detective Smoky Series. It is so descriptive and menacing.
Tim Warner
Apr 08, 2012 Tim Warner rated it it was amazing
I am completely impressed with Cody McFadyen. He is a creative writer. I know that the genre of serial killers is kind of a strange thing to enjoy reading, and that there could be a formulaic banality or redundancy. So it is even more satisfying to see someone attempt and succeed at rising above the mediocre and run of the mill thriller. This is his second book and it is brilliant, compelling (I finished it within three days), surprising, deep, rich and intense.

There are aspects of the story whi
Ivana S.

Wow! This was both exciting and terrifying.

I was hooked after first crime scene description – it was so well done that I was scared (which doesn't happen a lot to me when I read similar books). That's why I just couldn't put this one down.

I really like Smoky. Her own tragedy makes her even better at what she does and I could actually feel her melancholy, her fear, her fight. Her relationship with Bonnie, (her adopted daughter who refuses to talk) is beautiful, full of love and empathy. They un
Feb 24, 2016 Keri rated it it was amazing
Smokey was thinking that she and Bonnie would take a vacation and try to let the horror of the past couple of weeks fade a bit. But before she can even take a deep breath, she gets a call from a murder scene where a teenage girl has a gun pointed at her own head and is going to pull the trigger unless Smokey comes and talks to her. So of course Smokey has no choice, as she arrives on scene she finds 3 people dead and the girl almost comatose in shock. Once she finally gets the girl to start talk ...more
Oct 31, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing
This book was a non-stop page turner. It brought me to anger and tears and I loved it!
May 03, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it
I borrowed this book from a friend -- I didn't realize until after I'd started it that it was the middle book of a trilogy. So if you choose to read...don't start with this one. I will say, though, that this book affected me so greatly I won't be reading the others. How's that for a recommendation?

It was very well-written. While some of the character motivations and reactions felt somewhat implausible to me in the canvass of real life, the way those characters dealt with their implausibility lef
Aug 12, 2008 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
Special Agent Smoky Barrett is once again needed for what mightbecome her toughest match yet. The police have a situation. Sixteen-year old, Sarah Kingsley has a gun to her head. She tells the police that she will shoot unless she talks to Smoky. Smoky listens to what Sarah has to say. Sarah tells Smokey that a man known as "The Stranger" has been following her all her life. He has killed everyone dear to Sarah.

Smoky is ready to bring down "The Stranger" no matter what it takes. Somkey guarante
Apr 08, 2008 Brookers rated it it was ok
I loved Shadow Man, the book prior to this one. I thought that it was one of the best thrillers I've ever read. Sure, there was some cheesy villian dialogue. The characters were great, though, especially main character, agent Smoky Barrett. I rushed to the library to pick up The Face of Death before I finished Shadow Man, so that I could go right into it. Imagine my disappointment when I read this. I wanted to like it, I really did. Unfortunately, second time is not a charm for Cody McFayden. Mc ...more
Feb 21, 2012 Peter rated it really liked it
Review of "The Face of Death" (German: "Der Todeskünstler")

In Cody McFadyen's second novel protagonist Smoky Barrett is starting to slowly regain a grip on her personal life.
During the process of removing some of the personal belongings of her deceased husband and daughter Smoky is being called to a crime scene. This in itself would not be too unusual, were it not for the fact the sole suvivor of the crime is asking to speak to Smoky in person.
As it turns out that same survivor is as 16 years ol
Oct 11, 2011 Cyn rated it it was amazing
Wow - this book was just ... wow. It's the 2nd novel in the Smoky Barrett series and it's better than the first. Far better, imo. Not that the first one was bad, but there were a couple annoyances that made me knock a star off the review (such as repeated use of the phrase 'honey love' that about made my head explode in the first book). However, Cody McFadyen has fixed the issues I had with #1 and outdid himself with The Face of Death.

It's not your normal serial-killer-crime story. It's so much
Mar 27, 2013 Bigd_041555 rated it really liked it
Oh my, definitely not for the faint of heart and most definitely a heart wrenching book - wow, kleenix alert.

Getting more use to first person writing, Smoky Barrett is a very likable and real character (to me), that Cody has managed to portray with ease.

The only fault I find with the book, is that Mr. McFadyen was more verbose in this book than the first one. Yes the storyline was a bit complex and woven with lots of suspense, some action, and still a question of who is the psycho behind all the
Aug 14, 2007 Rose rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Not for the squeemish
Shelves: serial-killers

This is part 2 of Shadow Man and yet another grisly case for Smokey Barrett. This is one of the darkest books I've ever read and just when you think it couldn't get does. I cried during this one. Excellent writing, took me right into the story right away. Love it. But read with caution.
Dec 19, 2015 Jacqui rated it it was amazing
Memorable Quotes
"I dream of the face of death. It’s an ever-changing face, worn by many at the wrong time, worn by all eventually."

"Death is endless and erosive. Its unfettered face wears on a person’s soul."

"My heart fills and empties, fills and empties."

"Was I like that once? I muse. Something beautiful enough to lower the male IQ?"

"Memories eventually lose their sharp edges and stop drawing blood. They quit cutting you and start stirring you."

"The raindrops fall through the tree leaves, soft
May 20, 2010 Maddy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007-reads
PROTAGONIST: Smoky Barrett, FBI special agent
SERIES: #2 of 2

How do you go on after everyone that you love has been brutally murdered and you yourself viciously attacked and scarred? Smoky Barrett, special agent for the FBI, is struggling to put her life back together after the deaths of her daughter, husband and best friend. The one ray of light in her life is her best friend's daughter, Bonnie, who she is raising as her own. Since Smoky has a gift for putting herself in th
Apr 16, 2010 Darcy rated it it was amazing
Smokey is back and things she is settling into her life as it is. She has come to terms with the death of her husband and daughter. She now faces a new decision her life could take, she has been offered a teaching position in Quantico. There are reasons why this would be good and there are reasons why she should stay where she is. She contemplates this new move while on vacation and packing up Matt and Alexa's things. With the support of her friends she makes quite a dent in the process until sh ...more
Teresa in Ohio
Dec 05, 2009 Teresa in Ohio rated it really liked it
Shelves: mcfadden-cory
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Blood Rose Books
Sep 12, 2011 Blood Rose Books rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in a series, the first book Shadow Man is a fantastic read and really sets the stage for the characters in the second book and really give background on Smokey who she is and why she does the things.

Cody McFayden explores the inner workings of a serial killer whose true victim is the one that he left alive.

Smokey is called away from her time off with Bonnie at the request of a girl, Sarah, whose family has just been murder. Sarah calls the man the Stranger, a man who has
Amateur de Livre
Aug 19, 2008 Amateur de Livre rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Mass Market Paperback: 624 pages
Publisher: Bantam -July 29, 2008
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553589946
ISBN-13: 978-0553589948
To purchase, please click here.
Book Synopsis:

A sixteen-year old girl holds a gun to her head at the scene of a grisly triple homicide. She claims “The Stranger” killed her adoptive family, that hes’s been following her all her life, killing everyone she ever loved, and that no one believes her. But Special Agent Smoky Barrett does. Her team has been hand-picked from am
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  • Abgeschnitten
  • The Executioner (Robert Hunter, #2)
  • The Calling of the Grave (David Hunter, #4)
  • Die Puppenmacherin
  • Das Wesen
  • Todesfrist (Maarten S. Sneijder, #1)
  • The Secret Friend (Darby McCormick #2)
  • Die Reinheit des Todes (Julius Kern, #1)
  • Trigger
  • Sorry, wir haben die Landebahn verfehlt
  • Sweetheart (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell, #2)
Cody McFadyen is an international bestselling author of six thrillers. Five of those thrillers are centered around FBI special agent Smoky Barrett, who hunts serial killers. Book number 5 of the series was published in Germany with no English translation. In 2011 his stand alone thriller Der Menschenmacher was published in Germany, again with no English translation. Since his last U.S. publication ...more
More about Cody McFadyen...

Other Books in the Series

Smoky Barrett (5 books)
  • Shadow Man (Smoky Barrett, #1)
  • The Darker Side (Smoky Barret, #3)
  • Abandoned (Smoky Barrett #4)
  • Die Stille vor dem Tod (Smoky Barrett, #5)

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