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Faces of Fear

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,280 ratings  ·  193 reviews
Fifteen-year old Allison Shaw may not be beautiful, but she doesn't really care. She is happier hanging with her friends and playing sports than admiring herself in a mirror. But when her mother, Risa, marries the premier plastic surgeon Conrad Dunn, he moves them from Santa Monica to his enormous home in exclusive Bel Air.

Everywhere Allison and her mother look beautiful
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published August 12th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  2,280 ratings  ·  193 reviews

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I used to love John Saul's books. They were haunting and atmospheric, usually taking place in some cozy seaside town where one would THINK nothing bad happens. (This is John Saul so think again.)

But over the years many of his books lost that feeling and descended into straight up horror without that human element. This book is one of those.

While not the worst, this book let me down. It is a straight up thriller but does not contain the haunting elements of what made me love Saul in the first
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Fantastic novel that really ran shivers down my spine. Who is the grizly Frankenstein killer taking special parts of his victims? What has the series of murder cases to do with cosmetic surgeon Conrad Dunn? What about his stepdaughter Alison and his new wife Risa? Classic Saul and satire against American beauty craze and plastic surgery. Even homosexuality is covered within the pages. Absolute pageturner and definitely worth your time! The novel reads like a movie an "cuts" on your nerves.
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 ...more
Babydimps (Suzy)
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
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.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Modern day frankenstein? Plastic surgeon obsessed with his dead wife! Killings and missing body parts. Harvesting for a purpose!
Very good read, gripping.
Barbara Nutting
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fortunately, cosmetic surgery is not on my bucket list - if it were, this book would have scared me out of it! I always thought insecure people went in for that and then end up with shiny skin and squinty eyes (think Melania Trump!)

For some reason I really liked this book, maybe because it took place in the parts of LA where I grew up. Hadn’t read John Saul in many years, he is one of the oldies but goodies! This was a psychological thriller minus lurid sex and foul language.

I like how he
Oct 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: california, horror
AUTHOR: Saul, John
TITLE: Faces of Fear
DATE READ: 10/09/14
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Horror-Suspense/2007/Random House/394 pgs
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/
Oct 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 17, 2009 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Dec 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
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
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 ...more
May 04, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jim C
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Not your typical John Saul book. There was no overlying supernatural themes. It was a just old fashioned thriller. This book kept me interested even though the revelation of the killer was no surprise. The book moved along as I thought it would but I still enjoyed it. This is a good book to bring down the beach or if you want to read something that will not overwork the mind.
Oct 19, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Donna Zigmont
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite John Saul books. The Mother just made me want to slap her. I loved Alison's relationship with her Dad. I loved the twists and turns and creepy suspense of the book as well. Perfect thing to read when you're trying to decide on plastic surgery.
Donna Hazlett
Oct 08, 2012 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.
Aug 20, 2015 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.
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-given-2me
Really enjoyed reading. Good mystery and thiller.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, earlier this year I started a sort of sabbatical, along with a major drop in income. So when Amazon advertised a big sale on Kindle books I seriously stocked up, my list including just about the whole back-catalogue of John Saul (and Richard Laymon). Sadly, that's meant that I've been trolling through layer upon layer of second-rate horror and thrillers, which are really testing my enthusiasm.

This one, a later-career Saul, is a marked improvement on many of the others. It's pretty slow to
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Saam
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Allison Shaw is a teenage girl who’s parents divorce after her mother finds her father having an affair with a man. Soon after, her mother marries Conrad Dunn, a wealthy and prestigious plastic surgeon. Allison is uprooted from her surroundings and moves into a massive home and begins attending an exclusive private school. Meanwhile a serial killer is murdering women in a gruesome fashion and stealing their body parts.

I have to say I hated how stereotypical the characters all were. Conrad Dunn
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patricia Morales
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 09, 2017 rated it liked it
It was OK.

This book was not one of his best, but not bad.

For me it was hard to get into the book at first. It had a few good moments. The story just lagged for me. But about 60% of the way into the book the story started to pick up and I really got into it. The ending ended up being better than I thought.
jacqueline webster
This book was different to what I was expecting

I have read a few of John Sauls books in the past but was surprised by this book it had the same scary feel running through it from the beginning I loved it the story the conclusion was great had me on pin till the last page
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was typical and predictable.
Jodie Taylor
Quick read

John Saul grabs you very quickly. Although the outcome is predictable, I enjoyed the journey. Looking forward to more from this author.
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
its a mysterious great book
i recommand you to read it
Tanner Ashley
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was good slow-burned horror.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, john-saul
THIS... Needs to be made into a movie!
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John Saul grew up in Whittier California 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 decided the best thing for a college dropout to
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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”
“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”
More quotes…