Book Review: Faceless by Dawn Kopman Whidden

Dawn Kopman Whidden
Brighton Publishing, November 2013
ISBN 978-1-62183-140-2
Trade Paperback

As a fan of the mysterious, the creepy, and psychological, twisted thrillers; I have questioned my sanity; but the quest is always short-lived, as I really and truly just want to start reading. When I delightedly ripped open the package containing my (very special, personalized, signed copy) of Faceless and began reading as I stumbled away from the still open mail-box, I was struck by a second, even quirkier query.

I had been stalking my post-man for days, not just because Ms. Whidden spins an alluring, captivating web of mystery, murder and mayhem; but because I knew that I was in for a special reunion, as the very characters I admired and grew fond of in A Child is Torn are the same characters in this tome! But wait. What does that say about me? I am thrilled to see how their lives have changed, what’s new, as if I am checking up on old friends, all the while knowing that, well, something bad is certainly going to happen.

A reader isn’t kept waiting, for indeed there is a gruesome, twisted murder and a delightful cacophony of surly teens that could easily morph into suspects with just a bit of finesse. But, true to form, Ms. Whidden doesn’t dare make the story so simple. Upon closer inspection, we have a respected adult that most certainly could have committed the heinous act, albeit the “why” is not so obvious.

As the townsfolk casually size one and other up, another victim is taken. The act of murder, in and of itself, raises thousands of questions; but when the perpetrator appears to have so much anger and hatred bottled up inside, but behaves normally on the surface, fear and apprehension rise to new terrifying levels. Faceless has all of the quintessential elements needed for a thrilling mystery and while you may think you know who the killer is, I have a feeling that this author will surprise you.

Ms. Whidden masterfully blends the captivating lives of the recurring characters with the turmoil and terror caused by the knowledge of the serial killer among them. These characters that entranced me in A Child is Torn, became beloved in Faceless. So much so, that one day I found myself tearing through chores and errands just so that I could squeeze in some time with my “pals” in Faceless…..until it hit me…..I had finished the book the night before. I had no choice but to immediately order the next chapter of their lives, Stolen. Now, where is that post-man?

Reviewed by jv poore, September 2014.

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