Another great book by John Saul the story focuses on a young girl who ends up making major life decisions because of peer pressure. Of course since its a Saul book there are a lot of scary angles to the story with the girls stepfather being a famous plastic surgeon but things about him seem just a little bit off. He basically "created" his first wife by doing intensive plastic surgery on her and after a car accident scars her, she ends up killing herself. Within the story there is a series of serial killings going on and the reader is drawn into the story and turning page after page waiting to see how the serial killer ties into the main storyline.
If you are looking for one of John Saul's supernatural horror books, this is not for you. The horror in this book comes from what people can really do to each other, although in this case it is fiction. The main character is a teenager named Allison whose mother marries a renowned plastic surgeon after discovering her first husband is gay(an unusual twist for Saul, but well done). They move to Beverly Hills and have trouble adjusting to the shallowness of people there. It also appears that Dr. Stepdad isn't quite over the death of his first wife. Meanwhile, Allison 's dad has moved in with his lover and his newsrooom is following the story of a serial killer who removes certain glands of each victim. Who would do that, and why? Well, if you read a lot of Saul you might figure it all out before it's revealed, but who cares. The read is about the characters and their journey, and this is a satisfying read.
Now that's what I call a wrong book description of what's actually happening in the book. I sometimes wonder who writes those. Certainly not the author who should be familiar with what he wrote.
Cut the humbug about the mother who wants her child desperately being beautiful. Nothing of that is in the book.
In fact the last four sentences are almost completely nonsense.
It seems they tried to make the book more appealing to pot. buyers but probably didn't read it because it is in fact quite good and doesn't deserve a misleading description.
Risa and Alison Shaw are getting their life together without father Michael who discovered, after years of being married, that his affection towards his own gender is his fulfillment.
Nevertheless the family plus the new addition, Scott, still stays close and Risa finally found a new man, plastic surgeon Conrad Dunn.
He's been married and lost his beautiful women due to suicide. Beautiful as she was she couldn't life with the half disfigured face a boat accident left her with.
Margot Dunn was everything but beautiful in the beginning but Conrad made her the supermodel. He transformed her into a masterpiece of natural beauty.
Alison Shaw is overwhelmed from everything that happened during the year her father left their house. She doesn't like her mothers new man, nor does she like to live in his huge, expensive house. Going to a new elite school makes everything much more difficult for her. Surrounded by teenagers that already had undergone several surgeries to become the best they could get she feels insecure of herself and her looks. Reluctantly she agrees to undergo a breast surgery, to finally fit into this nice dress she found for her sixteenth birthday, in Conrad's office.
Meanwhile young women are murdered. The killer's MO always seems to be the same except that he always takes a part of each victim with him: A nose, the lips, ears, eyebrows.
Tina Wong, star reporter, is hard on his heels, desperately trying to figure out the connections between each victim and the killer's motive. She's puzzling at a picture of what the killer is creating but doesn't seem to get much further with it.
After Alison's breast surgery all seems to go well until the whole world seems to crash down on Alison and Risa.
What I really liked about this book was that it never got boring and is in fact a great, suspenseful mystery.
Typical for John Saul's books he picks up certain topics which built the main frame for his books. Like in Faces of Fear one of the main characters is a teenager struggling. He again touched a serious topic with sensible, honest and modern words which made this book loveable from this perspective.
This book reads quickly and is rather predictable. The concept is chilling and up to Saul's usual horrific imagination, but overall, this book, much like the last few that he has written, failed to thrill me much.
I read it because I can't leave a John Saul book unread, but I was disappointed by it as a whole.
Another great John Saul classic. He takes a step away from his usual supernatural theme and creates a great thriller that will leave you wanting to turn the pages to peek at what's ahead. A definite "up all night" read.