A June 2007 Significant Seven Editors' Pick: Don't let the title fool you. Cody McFadyen's The Face of Death is not just another scary-as-hell serial killer novel (although it is that in spades). Drawing a chilling portrait of a child stalked by a serial killer seeking revenge, McFadyen's second novel is surprisingly moving, standing out in an already packed genre by focusing on victim Sarah Langstrom and her struggle to survive. McFadyen knocked our socks off with his first book Shadow Man, but this arguably better sequel gives readers more time with Special Agent Smoky Barrett (Harris fans should imagine a stronger, more deeply scarred Clarice Starling). Barrett is a remarkable character--a ferocious survivor and reluctant heroine who only realizes her true potential in the face of unspeakable tragedy. Shocking, gruesome, and terrifying as it may be, the big kicker of this second novel is that it may also move you to tears. Easily one of my favorite thrillers of the year so far, The Face of Death is a perfect book for fans of Deaver, Koontz and King. But don't let me convince you, have a gander at the first chapter and decide for yourself. --Daphne Durham
In Shadow Man, Cody McFadyen took the suspense thriller where other writers have feared to tread. He introduced readers to a heroine every bit as dark and edgy as the serial killers she hunts: Special Agent Smoky Barrett. Now, in his latest novel, McFadyen brings Agent Barrett back to track down a killer who breaks all the rules. Get ready for a shattering confrontation with the very essence of human evil.
“I want to talk to Smoky Barrett or I’ll kill myself.”
The girl is sixteen, at the scene of a grisly triple homicide, and has a gun to her head. She claims “The Stranger” killed her adoptive family, that he’s been following her all her life, killing everyone she ever loved, and that no one believes her.
No one has. Until now.
Special Agent Smoky Barrett is head of the violent crimes unit in Los Angeles, the part of the FBI reserved for tracking down the worst of the worst. Her team has been handpicked from among the nation’s elite law enforcement specialists and they are as obsessed and relentless as the psychos they hunt; they’ll have to be to deal with this case.
For another vicious double homicide reveals a killer embarked on a dark crusade of trauma and death: an “artist” who’s molding sixteen-year-old Sarah into the perfect victim—and the ultimate weapon. But Smoky Barrett has another, more personal reason for catching The Stranger—an adopted daughter and a new life that are worth protecting at any cost.
This time Smoky is going to have to put it all on the line. Because The Stranger is all too real, all too close, and all too relentless. And when he finally shows his face, if she’s not ready to confront her worst fear, Smoky won’t have time to do anything but die.
From the Hardcover edition.