4 out of 4 stars
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The Face of Fear: A Powers and Johnson Novel, by R. J. Torbert, starts with the kidnapping of Deborah, the daughter of millionaire William Lance. As the police investigate, the action escalates into murder. This is a bone-chilling and action-packed story. The murderer wears the Ghost Face mask made famous in the horror film, Scream. The quiet community of Belle Terre, a village in Long Island, New York, becomes overrun with reporters and the public is afraid. Will the Ghost Face killer strike again? Who will be the next victim?
This mystery story kept me guessing. I correctly deduced who was involved in the kidnapping and thought that I had it all figured out. But then the murders start and I was completely baffled as to who was behind the Ghost Face mask. The ending was a surprise to me. When the mystery is hard to solve, that is the sign of a well-written story. There are clues throughout the book and the attentive reader may be able to solve the mystery.
There are many characters in this story, but they are all well developed. All of the characters are described as real people with both good and bad personality traits. I especially liked how well the author portrayed his characters because it allowed all of them to be possible suspects in the murders. I began to question and doubt even the people who were at first seen as the good guys. Some of the best characters are Chief of Police Cronin, Detective Paul Powers, and Rachelle Robinson, reporter of the local newspaper. My favorite character in the story was Detective Bud Johnson, Paul’s partner. He is funny and provides some comic relief. But also, he is extremely intelligent, a caring person, and a good policeman. Bud was a character that I would like to have as a friend.
My only criticism of the book is that it has a lot of details and is slightly long at 455 pages. The details or clues must be followed carefully to solve the kidnapping and the murders. This was fascinating to me that the author wrote the story so carefully. The mystery can be solved if you pay close attention. This book is a mystery enthusiast’s dream.
The book ends with the Author’s Note which gives praise to the Suffolk County Police Department in Long Island, New York, which was portrayed in this novel. The Suffolk County Police Memorial Fund has been set up to help the families of the police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Five percent of the author’s profits from this book are being donated to this fund. There is a list of the officers that have died in that department. The author encourages the reader to also make a donation to this fund or to the police department in their area.
This story is thrilling, suspenseful, romantic and filled with colorful characters. There were a few grammatical errors, but they didn’t distract from the action of the story. I really liked this story and thought that it was one of the best books that I have read this year. Any mystery, that keeps me guessing until the end, is a winner to me. I am giving this book, The Face of Fear, 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the mystery or thriller genre. This book would not be appropriate for young children or for anyone who is squeamish due to the graphic description of the murders.
The Face of Fear
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