REVIEW: THE FACE THIEF by Eli Gottlieb

This was one of those books that just appeared, unsolicited, in my mailbox.  While I always give those surprise titles a glance, I usually don’t have time to read and review them in addition to the ones I’ve already committed to.  Add to that my suspicion of modern novels and it’s strange that I even ended up reading it.

I suppose I mention this only because I’m still reeling from how I was sucked into it.

An interchangeable hotel conference room, rather like the one Lawrence presents in.

The story revolves around a brilliant con-woman and her marks, but it is more than cat-and-mouse game.  Multiple narratives twist together to form a story of identity and suspense.  Various points-of-view overlap and slowly a clear picture comes into focus.  Each narrator has its own voice, yet the author’s style remains clear.  And although each narrator is unreliable in its own way, the reader can begin to piece together the truth.  Of course, there are still come unanswered philosophical questions for the reader to answer for themselves.

The writing is fresh without being forced.  Here are a couple of excerpts:

With a peculiar copper taste in his mouth, he took the elevator back down and walked back through the lobby.  He felt like a figure in an illustration manual.  Slumping nearly in tears on a bench in front of the building, he again dialed Cas, who picked up on the first ring.
pg. 56

In the dark, the house with its tall peaked roof resembles a witch’s hat.  The windows were covered with frilly sheers and the driveway was a humped pour of macadam that glistened in the streetlight like a pair of new shoes.  To the letter, it was the kind of tidy working-class home that she had staked her entire life avoiding.
pg. 195

 This book is solidly literary and yet delightfully sensational.  Gottlieb takes a simple idea and explores it from multiple angles, bringing life to various points of view and taking the reader on a psychological adventure.

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Many thanks to the folks at HarperCollins for the review copy.  Visit the author’s site.

ISBN: 9780061735059
Imprint: William Morrow
On Sale: 1/17/2012
Format: Hardcover
Trimsize: 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Pages: 256
$24.99; Ages: 18 and Up

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