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Faces of Fear

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  1,964 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author John Saul is a master at writing novels that chill the bones, curdle the blood, and tap into our darkest fears. He creates characters so real that you’ll feel as if they’re friends or family, and throws them into situations so terrifying that you won’t be able to look away until you turn the final page. Now, in Faces of Fear, Saul proves t ...more
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Published August 12th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Jennifer (INnerSANITY)
Well.. This book.. I don't know.. It didn't feel like a John Saul book to me.. I've been on a spree of his books.. Just recently having read Devils Labyrinth, House of Reckoning, Suffer the Children, and I enjoyed those books.. This just didn't seem like the same weirdly intriguing paranormal thriller with twisted kids I'm used to from him.. The idea of plastic surgery being the norm for teenage girls IS twisted.. But I found it over the top.. I mean is it really like that in the glamour and gli ...more
Pam
Oct 12, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: california, horror
AUTHOR: Saul, John
TITLE: Faces of Fear
DATE READ: 10/09/14
RATING: 4/B
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Horror-Suspense/2007/Random House/394 pgs
SERIES/STAND-ALONE: S/A
TIME/PLACE: Present/Southern California
CHARACTERS: Alison Shaw 15-yrs old; Risa Shaw: mother & realtor; Michael Shaw; Alison's father and newspaper journalist; Dr. Conrad Dunn; plastic surgeon & Alison's step-father
FIRST LINES: Alison Shaw felt good. Really good. She made the final turn around the smooth cinder track w/ lon
...more
Darlene
Oct 17, 2008 Darlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to believe that Faces of Fear is John Saul's thirty-fifth novel. He published his first novel in 1977 and about five years later I started reading his books and have been a loyal fan since loving each thrill along the way.

The latest one, Faces of Fear, did not disappoint me whatsoever. It was different from your ordinary thriller as it was more psychological but it was full of suspense and creepiness which is exactly what I've come to expect and look forward to when I crack open the spine o
...more
Laurie
Feb 17, 2009 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-other
Faces of Fear was an average book for writer John Saul. Although I have not read many of his books, this book seemed to lack the luster of some of his other works. In Faces of Fear, Alison Shaw and her mother Rita are left reeling after the departure of Rita's husband who suddenly reveals to them that he is a gay man in love with someone. While their relationship remains amicable, both are left hurting and looking to put their lives back together. Enter Conrad Dunn, a prominent and wealthy plast ...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Faces of Fear by John Saul, read August 2008

Saul's 35th Novel! Plastic surgery, My Space and homosexuality, oh my! Other themes in this book include: wealth, perfection, teens, online predators, self, perception, image, change and ego. This was not bad for a John Saul novel, not bad at all! Right away I found the story intriguing and Saul was able to keep my interest throughout the book, although as the story went on, it became just a little unbelievable. The one thing I am impressed with more t
...more
Lori
I listened to the unabridged audio version of this novel. There were 8 CDs. I really enjoyed the story (the plot, the suspense, the characters, etc.) until I got to CD #7 which I guess one could call this to be 7/8ths into the novel. That is where it fell apart for me. The reason being that it was too far-fetched. Realistic to a certain point (with a plastic surgeon trying to make a 16-year-old look like his beloved, late wife). Then the details, that I will leave out for other readers, that bec ...more
Diane
May 04, 2009 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
This book wasn't bad. It kept my interest and I read it quicky because I wanted to know what woud happen. I had a pretty good idea early on of how everything woud resolve, but thought it possible there coud be a twist. The issue of plastic surgery and young girls being so obsesssed with perfection, they undergo these surgeries before they're even fully grown (and parents let them) was intriguing and disturbing. The ending was a litte disappointing for me in that I just didn't think it quite made ...more
Maicie
Oct 19, 2010 Maicie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
library. audio book.

So-so story. I was annoyed with the narration. If you can't 'do' voices, don't. The women characters all talked in the soprano range; the men in the bass range. And the teens all talked baby talk. Very distracting.
Philip
May 31, 2014 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed reading. Good mystery and thiller.
Sara
Aug 20, 2015 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was a good suspense/thriller it had me guessing all the way through the book.
Donna Hazlett
Oct 08, 2012 Donna Hazlett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-audio-books
Book is actually Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, book 1, Lost Souls. Great Book but a big cliffhanger. I'd have book 2 near by.
Babydimps
Predictable, boring and the characters were not likable. I was looking for something a bit more thrilling and chilling, but this book isn't it. Just didn't do it for me. At least I still have a few days of October left to read something scarier and worthwhile.
Elusive
Nov 18, 2015 Elusive rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
In ‘Faces of Fear’, a highly successful and famous plastic surgeon Conrad Dunn is despaired when his wife Margot commits suicide after an accident leaves her with a half-disfigured face. A year later, he’s married to Risa who has a fifteen-year-old daughter Alison. A series of gruesome murders is being committed while Alison begins considering plastic surgery when she notices that everyone around her has benefited from her stepfather’s work.

If I had read this book without knowing who the author
...more
Charlene
May 12, 2009 Charlene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The only qualms I have with this book is when Conrad Dunn was doing surgery on a Filipino girl and the mother of the girl was saying "Si" for "yes". Ummm... hello? Do your research John Saul. Filipino's do not say "Si" at all. Now on to my review.

Faces of Fear gives you an insight to the dark side of the rich and the superficial. The book itself was not as creepy as the first book I've read by John Saul Perfect Nightmare. It dealt a lot more with Allison Dunn battle with the idea of plastic surg
...more
Christy
15-year-old Alison Shaw enjoys her middle-class life with her parents, a real estate agent and a TV production manager. However, her world is turned upside down when her parents’ marriage dissolves after her father reveals he is gay. Alison’s mother marries acclaimed plastic surgeon Conrad Dunn, whose wife committed suicide after a boating accident left her perfect (albeit surgery-enhanced) face permanently scarred. Alison moves with her mother to Dunn’s mansion and has trouble adjusting to an a ...more
Laren
Sep 30, 2008 Laren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
If you are looking for one of John Saul's supernatural horror books, this is not for you. The horror in this book comes from what people can really do to each other, although in this case it is fiction. The main character is a teenager named Allison whose mother marries a renowned plastic surgeon after discovering her first husband is gay (an unusual twist for Saul, but well done). They move to Beverly Hills and have trouble adjusting to the shallowness of people there. It also appears Dr. Stepd ...more
Mark R.
***1/2

I read two John Saul books prior to this one, "Suffer the Children" and "Black Lightning," and neither of them left an impression on me. But I received "Faces of Fear" recently and actually enjoyed it quite a bit.

A grim horror story, "Faces" also works as a very dark satire. It begins with the suicide of a once beautiful but become disfigured wife of a premier Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. She can't live with the scarring from an accident, takes her life, and her husband is married withi
...more
Kylie
May 01, 2012 Kylie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I managed to finish this book, but if I wasn't a huge Saul fan, I couldn't have gotten through it. There was little to keep me interested. The parts from the reporter's PoV were particularly boring, as the reader knows more than she does and are left just waiting for her to figure it out so that the story could move along.

There were no surprises whatsoever in this novel. My only question was: Who is the man (presumably now a woman) from the prologue? There were only a couple of options, and (wha
...more
Silver
Jul 05, 2014 Silver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was captivating to say the least. This book kept me guessing and kept me reading because of how intricately written it was. The one thing I did not like exactly was that whenever a name would come up, the last name would usually also be present no matter how many times the name had previously been said, it seemed somewhat repetitive. Besides that, this book blew my mind. I was up at 3.00 a.m. To finish this book. The ending made me cry but it was so good as well. Then when I fell aslee ...more
Rorie
Dec 06, 2008 Rorie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a John Saul fan for several years, but a few years ago, decided to stop reading his books because they were so dark. When I saw this at the library, I decided to give him another chance. This book was a refreshing change from most of his other books. (Good kid moves to a place inhabited by evil spirit. People are very mean to kid. Kid is possessed by evil spirit. Lots of gory deaths and carnage. Kid dies. Evil spirit waits to claim next vicitm. The end.) I think maybe John Saul may h ...more
Dennis
Sep 20, 2009 Dennis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my third John Saul book, the first two being The Homing and Shadows. I would put this book maybe not quite as high as those, altough I found this a very good read. The story moved at a good pace, and som intriguing turns. I found that the characters developed quite nicely, mostly Alison and Doctor Dunn. Saul does a good job building tension, so that by the end you're usually dragged through the proverbial wringer. The story deals with the subjects of vanity, beauty, and the lengths that ...more
Meagan
Jan 29, 2012 Meagan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Saul is one of my all time favourite writers (and I would not consider myself a huge fan of the horror genre in general). I think I just have a morbid fascination with his stories and the way things never end happily. Maybe that's why I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as I did his other books. Don't get me wrong, the writing is fantastic, he really is a natural story teller. But this book ended happily. Sure lots of people died in disgusting and completely unnecessary ways, but in the ...more
Shawnee Bowlin
Nov 10, 2016 Shawnee Bowlin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! John Saul knew how to work the readers with this one!
Risa was blindsided, Conrad was a smooth, rich, popular lunatic, and Alison was the typical teen.
I could certainly put myself more in Alison's shoes than anyone else in the story. Moving from old friends to new is tough at any age, as is trying to fit in and accept a world entirely different from what is the norm. One doesn't exactly grow out of that, contrary to public opinion. I could feel Alison's struggles as though they were my own.
I
...more
Tony Yeafoli
Dec 30, 2014 Tony Yeafoli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh
I haven't read a John Saul novel in well over a decade and this one left something to be desired. It didn't feel as dark and gritty as his earlier novels like Suffer the Children or Darkness. It wasn't a bad book but I felt like there could have been more development when it came to the villains plan instead of the "protagonist's" social life. The revelation of who it was could have come earlier in the book.

I can't say I'll read it again but I won't use physical force to stop someone else from r
...more
Carol
Oct 23, 2013 Carol rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have always wanted to read a John Saul. I will never read another. The book was a train wreck. He probably has a wide fan base and I mean no harm but gosh this one was terrible. Saul crams a lot into one story. He touches on gays plus transgenders and then add two highly functioning sociopaths plus suicide then the murders of girls for their facial parts....plus all the rich of Beverly Hills and the teenagers trying to fit in and I forgot Tina the newscaster....oh, and Margot, for who this thi ...more
Jennifer
Dec 28, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Audio
I LOVED John Saul when I was in my late teens. I haven't read anything by him as an adult and have always wondered what turned me off. I realized from listening to this book that the target audience really does seem to be teenagers. The story was slightly entertaining (albeit quite gory) but even James Patterson is better at constructing believable characters.

And seriously, I just couldn't get over the idea of 15 year olds having breast implants and the parents all just acting like this wa
...more
L.D.
Aug 20, 2009 L.D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW!!!! I really needed to read something with this caliber. This is my first with John Soul. I would not hesitate reading others by this author. Right from the very first few pages he had my attention and I wanted to give this book more. Talk about the " Rich and Famous?" The one confusion I had was, after Margot's so called "Run in with the Blades," and Conrad had done the surgery, why was she left with so much scaring? If he was that good why leave her that way. Well, if you want a story that ...more
Circa
Jan 29, 2016 Circa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think we can all agree who the killer is before even finishing the synopsis on the inner flap of the book. That lack of any real whodunit suspense aside, even 70 pages in I don't care about any of these characters. They all sound the same and have the same cookie cutter thoughts and emotions. I don't understand why this is shelved as horror when there is a lack of any sort of horror atmosphere whatsoever. It comes off more like a campy lifetime film, except less fun.
Tracey
May 09, 2016 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this was not as good as other books by John Saul, per my opinion. You actually could guess in the middle of the story who the killer is. And it is slightly gory, but I've read worse by him. It was a good story to a certain point. If you are just looking at reading this because you have a teenager who is wanting to blend in with society more, with cosmetic surgery, then this is a good book for you. Otherwise, a thriller this book is not.
Kat
Oct 28, 2013 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
I loved this book. When I first looked at the blurb, I thought it was just going to be another boring thriller with a somewhat interesting concept.
But the way Saul wrote the book keeps readers at the edge of their seat.
I was pleasantly surprised by the characters and how well they were portrayed. What I thought were just going to be caricatures ended up being full flesh-and-blood characters.
The novel was a fast-paced read and did keep the reader guessing until the very end.
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John Saul was born in Pasadena, California on February 25, 1942, and grew up in Whittier where he graduated from Whittier High School in 1959. He attended several colleges—Antioch, in Ohio, Cerritos, in Norwalk, California, Montana State University and San Francisco State College, variously majoring in anthropology, liberal arts, and theater, but never obtaining a degree.
After leaving college, he
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“She stood a little straighter, closed her eyes, and raised her arms in embrace of her final act.

The she took a deep breath and dove, headfirst--face-first--into oblivion”
4 likes
“She stood a little straighter, closed her eyes, and raised her arms in embrace of her final act.

Then she took a deep breath and dove, headfirst--face-first--into oblivion”
3 likes
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