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 of my brand new John Saul book.
This story is mainly focused on Alison Shaw, a teenager who is struggling with coming into being a young woman. She’s not beautiful or at least she doesn’t think so but most of the time she doesn’t care or does she? Her mother, while being a great mom, wants only the best for her daughter and believes that beauty is often the key to success. Eventually Alison’s mom marries a famous plastic surgeon and from that point on things take on an extremely creepy tone.
Now Alison is living in a rich neighborhood and finding out that with a stepfather who is a great plastic surgeon, almost anything is possible and even expected. So, begins her transformation into a more beautiful Alison. However, her stepfather Conrad is still obsessed with his late wife and is now obsessed with having Alison look like her. As the story evolves and Alison learns more she becomes increasingly terrified. To top things off, there is a madman on the loose butchering people…
This is a must read for Saul fans and for anybody out for a creepy psychological thriller. On the inside cover, it says that ‘Saul proves that there’s a fine line between perfection and madness’. What some people will do to achieve that state of perfection is definitely enough to creep me out. Another great novel by one of my favorite authors!