After losing her beloved child to a serial killer, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan survives by focusing on her career. The best in her field at rebuilding faces from bare skull bones, Eve specializes in identifying missing children. When billionaire John Logan requests her help in identifying an adult skull, Eve--already swamped with work--tells Logan that she isn't interested. But when he volunteers to donate a large sum of money to a charity for missing children in exchange for her time, Eve reluctantly agrees. Logan neglects to tell her that there are powerful, desperate people who are determined to keep the skull's true identity a secret at any cost. Eve's gut instincts tell her that Logan is holding back vital information: Does the billionaire really believe that he's uncovered new insight into the Kennedy assassination? Or does the skull tie him to a mysterious murder? Eve's wildest guesses don't even come close to the stunning truth that she discovers when she at last studies the restored face. Now she and Logan have proof of a dark secret that could get them killed. And it will take all of their combined cunning and sheer nerve to survive. Well plotted, meticulously researched and spine-tingling, The Face of Deception
is a fast-paced game of hide-and-seek, as Eve and Logan race to stay one step ahead of relentless pursuers while accomplishing the delicate, high-tech restoration for which Eve is famous. Leave all the lights on if you read this one at night alone. --Lois Faye Dyer
From Publishers Weekly
While not as unrelentingly grim as its predecessor, And Then You Die, this suspense thriller?from an author who has successfully written historical romance with a dark edge?has its share of grisly scenes, beginning in medias res at the execution of Ralph Fraser, the serial killer who has murdered protagonist Eve Ducan's only child, Bonnie. To overcome her grief, Eve takes up a (notably icky) career as a forensic sculptor, making busts from the skulls of unidentified murdered children so that their parents can identify them. New trouble comes when computer mogul John Logan recruits Eve to reconstruct and identify an adult male skull. The job comes with unforeseen risks and political implications; various criminal figures want to keep the skull's identity a secret and are ruthlessly determined to go to any lengths to avoid exposure. Eve, who combines a tough survivor's instinct with emotional vulnerability, is led to fear for her own life and for the lives of her mother and dearest friends. Despite slow early chapters and stilted dialogue, Johansen makes an admirable effort to give psychological depth even to her villains, and her action scenes use terse prose to build tension. With the help of well-timed, steady disclosures and surprising revelations, the book's twists and turns manage to hold the reader hostage until the denouement, a sure crowd pleaser (since it promises a sequel). Major ad/promo. (Oct.) FYI: A 16-page excerpt of The Face of Deception will be included in the paperback reprint of And Then You Die, out in September.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.