Craig Sisterson's Reviews > The Faceless

The Faceless by Vanda Symon
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Jun 04, 12

bookshelves: new-zealand, crime, thrillers
Read in April, 2012

After kick-starting her acclaimed crime writing career with a series of four good to great novels starring stroppy policewoman Sam Shephard, laced with humour, personality and personal life amongst the crime, Symon’s latest effort takes a decidedly darker turn.

Bradley is an over-worked, under-appreciated office worker trudging through a mundane but high-pressure life. A spontaneous tryst with Billy, a young hooker, turns ugly when, embarrassed, he lashes out. Panicked, he takes her to an abandoned warehouse; leaving her imprisoned while he tries to work out what to do. Max is homeless, a dishevelled shell of who he once was. When his only friend Billy goes missing, he’s forced to reopen past wounds in an effort to save her. Meanwhile, Billy lies shackled, wondering what fate, and a nice-looking man capable of explosive rage, has in store for her.

While readers might miss the lighter touches of the Sam Shephard books, The Faceless is truly a terrific, well-paced, well-plotted dark thriller that delivers not only into a gripping storyline, but delves into issues of homelessness, domestic drudgery, shrivelled dreams, loyalty, grief and loss, and how we can be surrounded by people we don’t really ‘see’. Tense and thought-provoking; highly recommended.
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