The Faces of Angels Paperback – December 16, 2011
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Mary Warren is moderately unhappy in a marriage of emotional convenience when she and her husband have the chance to live in Florence on an exchange program for religious schools. While strolling in the Boboli Gardens one afternoon, Mary is attacked by a psychopath and saved by her husband, who dies in the attempt. Ever afterwards Mary refers to these events as the accident. Returning to Florence a few years later to reunite with her lover, an affair that predates the precipitous end of her marriage, Mary is determined that the events of the past not determine her present or her future. This is not as easy as it would seem as the attack haunts her, as does her guilt over her husband, not a bad man, just not the man for her. Then other young women start dying and they all have the signature of the killer who attacked Mary and her husband. Yet this cannot be as Mary's attacker and the murderer of two other women was caught, convicted and killed in an unfortunate accident.
Mary begins to doubt that her attacker and the murderer of several other women was caught at all. Police think there may be a copy cat or a previously unknown accomplice. The solution to all of these mysteries both literal and emotional makes for an enthralling read. The characters are real but not so flawed that they are annoying and the mystery while fairly standard to the serial killer genre is raised by the quality and immediacy of the writing. Lucretia Grindle is a literate writer of thrillers and mysteries and I look forward to her other books. Moderate sex and a bit more than moderate violence, the description of Mary's original attack is horrifying to the reader. Recommended to fans of international mysteries, serial killer mysteries and literary thrillers.
The only thing I had difficulty with was the large cast of characters, and keeping them straight. I think this comes from foreign names not sticking in one's head as easily, especially when sometimes the same characters have nicknames.
Lucretia Grindle is a natural writer, so I never felt her reaching for "literary" allusions. You lose yourself in the intrigue and the tension and the characters lives flow by you.
I would be very surprised if you were disappointed in this book.