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Stain of Guilt (Hidden Faces Series #2) Paperback – September 19, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (September 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310251044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310251040
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #746,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'...Collins keeps the reader gasping and guessing as her artistic prose paints vivid pictures on their minds. High marks for original plotting and superb pacing.' (RT Bookclub)

From the Author

Stain of Guilt, book 2 in my Hidden Faces Series, carries my Seatbelt Suspense® brand promise: fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith.  ~ Brandilyn

More About the Author

"Collins is a fine writer who knows how to both horrify readers and keep them turning pages." -- Publishers Weekly

"Collins keeps coming with fascinating, unique plots." --RT BookReviews

"Brandilyn Collins, the queen of Seatbelt Suspense®, certainly lives up to her well-deserved reputation." -- CBA Retailers

"[Collins is] a master of her craft ... intensity, tension, high-caliber suspense, and engaging mystery." -- The Christian Manifesto

"Collins keeps the reader gasping and guessing ... artistic prose paints vivid pictures ... High marks for original plotting and superb pacing." -- RT BookClub

Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademarked Seatbelt Suspense®--fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. She also writes insightful contemporary novels with rich characters. She is often blamed for keeping her readers up at night, as they "just have to see what happens next."

In nonfiction, Brandilyn is known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). Writers Digest Magazine named Getting Into Character one of the top books on writing of 2002.

You can read excerpts from all Brandilyn's books at her Web site: That's also a good place to subscribe to her free newsletter, Sneak Pique, so you can be among the first to know about her latest releases.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Brandilyn knows how to keep readers turning pages.
Evan Morgan
Annie is depicted as a single mother with real problems that anyone can relate to, which made her easy to identify with and care about.
I have read this book myself, but bought this copy for a gift.
P. A. Morse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Camy Tang on October 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
Incredibly exciting reading. As in "Brink of Death," the novel opens like the gentle prelude to a symphony, then screeches off like a tire-burning corvette disappearing down the street. I started reading it Sunday afternoon and couldn't stop until I finished that night.

Annie Kingston's character was complex, and I could relate to her inner fears, spiritual questions and maternal ferocity. She was not a superwoman performing feats of courage or displaying acute intellectual insight. She was a real woman like me or anyone else, caught in a dire situation. Her questions about God echoed what I asked when I was seeking Him, and the minor characters answered with gentleness, honesty, and empathy.

The villain Bland was drawn with such vivid description that I could envision his face, hear his voice. He character had immense depth and richness. Annie literally crawled into his head and dragged the reader with her as she discovered who he was under the surface, what made up the mind of this ruthless man.

Even the minor characters--Annie's children, her sister, etc.--had that aura of realism that made them colorful and varied. I could name someone I knew who reminded me of each character. This aspect drew me into the story quickly because I felt like I knew these people, they were familiar to me.

There was a doozy of a plot twist near the end, and Brandilyn did a very good job leading up to it. However, I think I've read too much Agatha Christie, because I guessed the plot twist in the first quarter of the book. But that being said, it didn't make the ending any less heart-pounding, nail-biting, or satisfying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C.J. Darlington on January 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Six months after the events of BRINK OF DEATH, protagonist Annie Kingston returns in Book #2 of the Hidden Faces series. In the throes of her sixteen-year-old son's rebellion, Annie agrees to draw her most ambitious composite sketch yet - a fugitive update. Requiring every ounce of her skill, can she complete the drawing for the television show American Fugitive before the killer can get to her?

I picked up STAIN OF GUILT unsure if Brandilyn could keep from re-hashing the plot of Book #1. I wasn't disappointed. Although starting a bit slower than BRINK OF DEATH, after a few chapters I was immersed in Annie Kingston's world. Spiritually, Brandilyn once again gently leads readers toward God (without preachiness) as we follow Annie's believable spiritual journey.

The Hidden Faces series is a wonderful addition to Christian suspense fiction. With it's first person narration and thrilling storyline it has the feel of many secular crime novels, but without the swearing, excessive gore, and sex. I've already recommended it to a Sue Grafton fan. I am thoroughly hooked and eagerly anticipating #3, DEAD OF NIGHT available this spring.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By on December 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
A double murder comes back to haunt forensic artist Annie Kingston in STAIN OF GUILT, the stand-alone follow-up to BRINK OF DEATH in Brandilyn Collins's "Hidden Faces" series.

Divorcee Annie Kingston's career as a forensic artist is about to accelerate when the television drama "American Fugitive" hires her to research and draw an updated portrait of the accused at-large perpetrator of a heinous crime that took place two decades ago. She has given a description of Bill Bland, a humorless control freak, intricate planner, and lover of mystery novels. The cold, arrogant Bland is accused of embezzling money from Emily Tarell's husband's business, and Emily, whose husband was one of the two men killed at the murder scene, wants justice.

Emily's son Edwin, who witnessed both murders, is more hesitant, cautioning Annie to refuse the assignment unless she can complete it successfully. Yet Annie's fear is less of doing a poor job portraying an aged Bland than her horror of descending into the mind of the murderer --- something she must do if she is to complete her task of drawing him successfully. "My mind ran its own movie projector on a daily basis, envisioning in screaming color any stray thought that ventured its way. I could only imagine the insanity it would wreak upon me if I embarked on this assignment," Annie realizes. "The deeper I dug into understanding Bill Bland and his murderous brain, the more I would `see' every picture in my head."

The over-stressed Annie's personal life is also in a tangle. She has her hands full bringing up her two children alone, with her rebellious teenage son Stephen's proclivity for the wrong friends and smoking pot, and her adolescent daughter Kelly's newfound love for church, something Annie hasn't yet fully embraced for herself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
Forensic artist Annie Kingston faces another challenge - make a drawing of a person who committed a double murder twenty years before. Popular television show American Fugitive had chosen this case for an upcoming program. The elusive fugitive is Bill Bland.

Caught in embezzlement, Bland, an accountant, had been summoned to the home of business owner Don Terell for a confrontation. Also in attendance were Don's son, Edwin, and Peter Dessinger, employee. But their plans went horribly wrong, leaving two men dead and Bland on the run.

Now, Edwin Terell and his mother, Emily, approach Annie to do an aging drawing of how Bland would look now. Their hope is that the American Fugitive TV show, along with Annie's drawing, would flush out Bland so he could be put behind bars for the twenty-year-old crime, and their long nightmare would come to an end.

In order to do the updated face of Bland, Annie needs to learn all she can about the man. She needs to get inside his skin - his mind. What makes him tick? How would certain mannerisms affect how he would appear today? She needs to almost become Bill Bland. As she works, tension mounts.

Annie can't shake memories of the consequences after the drawing she did for the killer of her neighbor Lisa Willit a year ago. Her entire family had been placed in jeopardy, living in terror. Would history repeat itself if she worked on this new face? Wasn't it enough that she, a single mom, had to deal with a rebellious teen son hell-bent on self-destruction?

When Annie feels ready to start her composite, things begin to happen. Threats. Phone calls. Her neighbor Dave Willit, and local police detective Ralph Chetterling promise help and protection. But how can they? The nightmare begins again.
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