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Face Blind: A Mystery

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  61 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A man with a neurological disorder that prevents him from recognizing human faces confronts an enigmatic killer in Chile's Atacama desert - the most lifeless place on earth

Gabe Traylin is face-blind, unable to tell one person from the next. Content to earn his living well away from civilization, he works as an astronomer at an observatory in the earth's driest
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by Minotaur Books (first published July 19th 2016)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  61 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, nook, one-of-mine
4 stars
This is one of my quirky reads that I enjoy so much. This novel was recommended in Mystery Scene magazine for independent publishers and I am so glad I gave this a try.

Gabe Traylin is face blind. This is a true condition whose medical term is prosopagnosia. Gabe cannot make out details of peoples faces. He usually distinguished people by their walk or voice or clothing. When he looks at a face it blurs the image so nothing is distinguishable. Gabe is an astronomy graduat
First Sentence: No rain has fallen here in four hundred years.

Gabriel Traylin witnesses a murder outside an observatory in Chili’s Adacama desert. By the time the police arrive, the body has disappeared. What is found is a bag containing a severely mutilated body. Due to prospagnosia, a neurological condition which prevents one from being able to differentiate facial features, Gabe can’t describe the killer, or the victim, to the police, making him a suspect. With the help of three strang
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book had an uphill battle for me from the first page after these lines:
The billion crystal stars overhead were no more mysterious than this desolation, this empty skull of earth. The complete and bleak denial of all life. "Like a few women I've known," he said to himself, only half meaning it. Always the comedian, even when he was alone. He should've done stand-up at eighteen instead of Stanford.

Not usually the best sign when I'm already rolling my eyes at that point. I thought the premise was interest/>The
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A quirky but exciting read. So different from books I usually read. The characters are unique. Gabe who has a rare neurological disorder that I had no idea really existed. He can see but can't recognize faces.Then there is Mira and her twin brother, Luke. Luke can only read the words in one book but his savant-like talents are amazing at times.Ben is the author of that one book that Luke can read, is the only book he ever wrote. There are also other characters who work with Gabe at an astronomy ...more
Conlan Knight
Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it
A gift from my mother, "Face Blind" was a nice change of pace from the more academic prose I was entrenched in. Despite a lackluster performance from our stories protagonist, the supporting characters and unique landscape compelled me to read on and consequently made this mystery-thriller my first completed novel of 2018. While the analogies and metaphors felt forced and awkward throughout the book, which clashed with the more serious tone of the killers crimes, the overall product was entertain ...more
Lynette Johnson
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was in the bargain section at my local Chapters, and I used the GoodReads ranking to see that it was almost a 4/5, so I picked it up for $8.

What an interesting, and fun read (yes, despite the killing and torture, there were fun/funny moments).

All of the characters (except the evil ones) were instantly endearing, and Lance Hawvermale uses a unique (at least to me) literary device: his main character is "face blind". You will learn about this (actual) condition in the book.<
Mary Hlavacka
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookcase-club
Incredibly interesting premise for the book paired with engaging characters and an unpredictable ending left me reading and turning the pages as fast as I could to find out how it ends!

Fantastic book. Would highly recommend and would love to read again.
Jul 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
***Received via Goodreads Giveaway***

Two seemingly unrelated plots pull together in the end. Really well written, at some point quite gruesome, but I loved this.

Glad that the biggest mystery wasn't solved.
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
What happens when the eye witness to a murder has prosopagnosia - the inability to recognize faces. An interesting first novel that takes place in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
A shout out to my library for purchasing this book after I asked about it.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure whether I'd like this very unique plot, but the story was engaging, well paced & thought provoking.
Nick Lyon
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book.
Dan Klonowski
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Heart-pounding. Try as I might, I couldn’t put together the pieces of the mystery before reading all the way through, nor did I see the final start-to-finish twist coming.
Jordan Scaman
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had a hard time getting into this book, and I honestly didn't think I'd like it very much, but once it gets going, it doesn't stop! I am just so amazed by this book.
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved the story! I think this book was so well written and the characters interesting! The action started right from the beginning and I just couldn’t put my book down.

Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
Weird book. I was intrigued by the title and summary.
Christine Zibas
Review to come.
David Cranmer
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’ve always thought two of the more intriguing protagonists finding themselves in a world of mierda were from the 1966 stage production of Wait Until Dark (later adapted into the Audrey Hepburn film), featuring a blind woman going up against three men who have invaded her home, and Jonathan Nolan’s 2001 short story “Memento Mori” (also made into a movie—Hollywood knows a good thing), where a man with backwards amnesia continually tattoos himself to remember imperative details related to his wife ...more
The Bibliofool
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Do a quick Google search for face blindness and right away you'll come upon some very interesting facts; Oliver Sacks was face blind, for instance, Chuck Close, too—which is even more fascinating when you think of the facial mosaic paintings that are his signature. More interesting, or unnerving, is the image search. Visuals abound of how a face blind person sees the world, jarring simulations that are almost impossible to imagine, easier perhaps to grasp total blindness than being blind to just ...more
Good Reads Giveaway

This is one of the most amazing settings for a mystery, the Atacama Desert of Chile. The main character, Gabe Traylin has prosopagnosia (face blindness), the rest of the cast include Ben, a failed sci-fi writer and his brother, a wheel-chair bound researcher; Luke, a dyslexic who can only read books written by Ben, plus Mira, twin sister of Luke, who must protect her brother. There is also the staff of 2 different astronomic and military research stations plus the
Carolyn Rose
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wonderful setting (the Atacama Desert) and description. Some of the description of torture is not for the faint of heart. Occasionally I wanted to smack the protagonist and tell him not to try to be the Lone Ranger - I couldn't quite grasp his need to do it alone.
rated it really liked it
Oct 25, 2016
Tin Minute
***Not rated*** DNF'd at pg 153.
Dante Witt
rated it really liked it
Oct 08, 2018
rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2017
rated it really liked it
Dec 15, 2018
Baleigh Lehman
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2019
Dean Vaughan
rated it it was amazing
Oct 20, 2016
rated it liked it
Dec 04, 2016
Lance Hawvermale
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
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Under the female pseudonym of Erin O'Rourke, Lance Hawvermale published the thrillers SEEING PINK (2003) and FUGITIVE SHOES (2006). His poetry and fiction have garnered numerous awards. He is an alumnus of AmeriCorps, performing his service on tribal lands in Oklahoma.

Hawvermale holds a master's degree in English and has worked as a college professor, an editor, and a youth counselor.