The Face Thief by Eli Gottlieb

The Face Thief  follows the parallel stories of a woman waking from a coma with severe head injuries, and her conversations with a young investigator. As he slowly probes into what caused her injuries the reader learns the stories of two men whose lives have been all but destroyed by a young female con artist. One searches for her in an attempt to recover his life saving, and the other is ruminating over how he, who had mastered all the signs of body language and face reading, has been duped by one with a greater natural aptitude and talent. I don’t think you’re meant to have any doubt that all the stories are connected, and that the men have been involved with the same woman. The mystery remains in exactly who attempted to kill her. The men we meet certainly have ample motive, but I wondered if it could also be connected to some other crimes she may have committed, or lives she has destroyed.

The Face Thief is a fast and entertaining read. The info and technique of face reading was attention grabbing, but some also seemed a bit farfetched. They lost me a little with hairlines and ear shapes having anything to do with personality and the ability to know divine another’s thoughts. A glimpse into the lives and motivations of the men involved with Margot given, but the novel would have been that much stronger with a more solid rationale for why Margot acted as she did. Her behavior just seemed way off the rails and for really no plausible reason. I needed more to believe in her. Most of this book functions as a character study, so it falls short when Margot lacks the needed depth to make her completely believable.

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