New York Times bestselling author John Saul is a master at writing novels that chill the bones, curdle the blood, and tap into our darkest fears. He creates characters so real that you’ll feel as if they’re friends or family, and throws them into situations so terrifying that you won’t be able to look away until you turn the final page. Now, in Faces of Fear, Saul proves that there’s a fine line between perfection and madness.
Fifteen-year-old Alison Shaw may not be beautiful, but she doesn’t really care: She’d much rather read a good book than primp in front of a mirror anyway. But Alison’s gorgeous mother, Risa, knows that beauty can be a key to success and wishes only the best for her daughter, especially when Risa marries a widowed plastic surgeon and moves Alison from Santa Monica to Bel Air. Beauty may be only skin deep, but to the denizens of Bel Air it means the world. Everywhere mother and daughter look, they are surrounded by beautiful people, many of whom have benefited from the skills of Alison’s new stepfather, the charismatic Peter Dunn. Peter is certain he can turn Alison into a vision of loveliness, and Risa–drawn in by his cool confidence–is delighted. Reluctantly, Alison agrees to undergo the first procedure, and her transformation begins.
But soon Alison discovers a picture of Peter’s first wife. To Alison’s horror, she notices a resemblance between the image in the photo and the work her stepfather is doing on her. Though Risa refuses to acknowledge the strange similarity, Alison becomes increasingly frightened. Digging further into her stepfather’s murky past, Alison uncovers dark secrets–and even darker motives–and realizes that her worst fears are fast becoming her reality.
Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Conrad Dunn has put his talents to work making his wife, Margot, the embodiment of physical perfection, but after her face is scarred in a boating accident, Margot takes her own life in this less than suspenseful thriller from bestseller Saul (The Devil's Labyrinth). Remarrying within a year, Dunn persuades his new teenage stepdaughter, Alison Shaw, who's struggling to adjust to life in the Dunn mansion and to a private school with a ridiculously affluent student body, to undergo breast-enhancement surgery. Meanwhile, the police are searching frantically for the Frankenstein Killer, a serial slayer who removes his female victims' glands as well as more obvious body parts. The motive for the killings and the eventual outcome will surprise few readers. The basic premise has a plot hole big enough to fit a truck, but Saul fans may not notice or care if they do.