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The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett, #2)
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The Face of Death

(Smoky Barrett #2)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  7,750 ratings  ·  504 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
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Aubre Rice Yep, it's still there through out the book - but it's no match for how good this book is!…moreYep, it's still there through out the book - but it's no match for how good this book is!(less)

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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  7,750 ratings  ·  504 reviews

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Dec 08, 2015 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
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Face Of Death is the second book in the Smoky Barrett series. I had read book one on high recommendation so thought it was high time that I undertook book two.

Time has moved on since the last book and Smoky is now faced with a new challenge. (Gotta say, I'm still struggling with the name .... but hey ho!). We know from the blurb that a sixteen year old girl asks for Smoky at a crime scene. It's not clear initially what has gone on, is the girl a killer or a victim? But as the book progresse
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. ...more
Amanda McGill
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
For full review - The Limit of Books Does Not Exist

This is a book that will not be for everyone. This is a book that is scary and horrible and upsetting. I’m a huge fan of mysteries and thrillers and there were nights that I couldn’t read this novel before I went to sleep because I didn’t want to go to sleep upset. It’s a tough, tough read.

The first thing that I loved about the novel (and the series) is the cast of characters. Each character is flawed and scarred both physically and mentally. Pu
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sick. Sick. Sick.
But I loved it.
I liked this one a little bit more than the first one, but this one was really messed up. Also, absurdly correct about all the violence and sh*tstorms that people can face. Wet still, it will be a long time until I decide to read the next one.
I need something “happy” now.
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
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books
Dear reader,

They say you should beware of strangers, and oddly enough,this statement has never been more true or pertinent than in this tale!!

Avenging past wrongs,the Stranger,an evil and sadistic serial killer,seems to have targeted sixteen year old child Sarah Langstrom for no apparent reason.

Found covered in blood,and threatening suicide,in the front garden of her foster parents' home,we wonder what Sarah has done that necessitated her witnessing the macabre slaying of her latest foster fam
Mary Beth
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved loved loved it! Not for the faint of heart.
Review to come shortly.
Feb 21, 2016 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
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. ...more
Tim Warner
Apr 01, 2012 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
Jan 05, 2009 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
Mar 18, 2013 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
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
Dec 23, 2011 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
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is going to haunt me for years to come. This was mind boggling and tense. My friend borrowed me this book and just said read it but she had a devious spark in her eyes and I was kind of scared to start it. It is gruesome at some points. The quantity of life alternating and scary sh** that has happened in this book is enormous. It definitely leaves you thinking whether you're safe walking in broad daylight.
I can't say the book was fast paced, it was somewhere between moderate and fast-
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is just like the 1st in the series.. Excellent story, some "gory" details (if you are a fan of Chris Carter, they are very similar like that)

And AGAIN the only reason why I dont give it a 5 star rating is because of the "I" writing, were Smokey just "know", thats kind of over the top.

But if you are a fan of crime with details, dont cheat yourself, read this :D
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
With just a few pages to go, I have found the most believable characters to be the two labrador retrievers who make a brief appearance.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With Smoky's first person narrative & Sarah's creepy, eerie diary excerpts, add in a great cast of characters, and this thriller is not your average serial killer norm!
Blew my mind away....AGAIN! This was another fast paced page turner....Cody McFadyen is absolutely brilliant! Like Shadow Man, this story gripped me from the get go and the ending was as shocking as it was tragic.
This was a graphic, troubling story....but Smoky is a classic spunky heroine with a first rate tea
Dec 09, 2009 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
May 03, 2010 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
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
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
The Face of Death by Cody McFadyen
Series: Smoky Barrett, book #2
Thriller / Mystery / Suspense

I did not like this one and skipped a lot. There was too much violence, blood, cruelty and gruesome details, it was not possible to enjoy the storyline and the characters.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Special Agent Smoky Barrett, head of the FBI's Violent Crimes Unit in Los Angeles, takes a few weeks vacation to go through her dead husband's belongings plus her daughter's room as well as think about whether or not she wants to accept a teaching job at Quantico. The time is quickly cut short as she's called to a triple murder scene where a 16 year old girl Sarah is holding a gun to her own head and refusing to speak to anyone except Smoky. Sarah tells Smoky a man called The Stranger killed her ...more
Feb 21, 2012 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
Jul 05, 2021 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. It is well narrated and the investigation methods are very well and in a structured way covered, in my opinion. It tells a very dark and gruesome tale full of horrendous details but the story is much too implausible. The author depicts the two young girls, Bonnie and Sarah as too mature for their respective and evolving ages and the gruesome acts the perpetrator forces the latter to commit, do not reflect reality at all. The ending is rather thin and does n ...more
Apr 08, 2008 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
Oct 01, 2011 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
Aug 14, 2007 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.
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Liked it better than book 1 even. Something about this series, the writing and the characters that makes me keep reading.
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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. In 2011 his stand alone thriller Der Menschenmacher was published in Germany with no English translation. Before releasing book five in the Smoky Barrett series in 2016, McFadyen took four years off to care for his ailing pare ...more

Other books in the series

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

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