Title: Face Off
Author: Brenda Novak
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Page Count: 416
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
From New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak comes Face Off, the next installment of Dr. Evelyn Talbot and her murderous home for psychopaths.
SHE VOWED NEVER TO BE A VICTIM AGAIN. BUT NOW A KILLER HAS HER IN HIS SIGHT. . .
Tortured and left for dead at sixteen, Evelyn Talbot turned her personal nightmare into her life’s work―studying the disturbing psychopathy of some of the world’s most vicious serial killers. Now a leading psychiatrist at Hanover House in a small Alaskan town, she tries to believe the past will never come back to haunt her―until a woman goes missing from a cabin nearby, and every clue points to the man who once brutalized her…
As her boyfriend, who is the area’s only police, begins to investigate―and finds not one but two bodies―Evelyn can’t forget that her would-be killer, Jasper Moore, was never caught. But there are no new faces in tiny Hilltop, no one who seems suspicious or potentially violent. In this twisted game of cat and mouse, Evelyn is certain of only one thing―Jasper must be hiding in plain sight. And if she can’t find him before he comes for her, she won’t be lucky enough to survive twice…
Face Off by Brenda Novak is third full length novel in the The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles but there was also a prequel novella setting up the series before the full length books began. The story is ongoing from book to book so it is a series that needs to be read from the beginning to be completely understood but the author also does a wonderful job refreshing readers with each addition.
This series really is a bit of romantic suspense mixed into a harder edge thriller story as there is a relationship that developed in the early installments that does have some steamier moments. But with the plot being centered around serial killers it is definitely a bit more than just “suspense”.
The character that the series is centered around is Dr. Evelyn Talbot who was once a victim of a killer herself when she was attacked and abused by her high school sweetheart who went onto becoming a serial killer himself. Evelyn has lived with the fear of him being out there but has tried to move on with her life as best she could by going into studying psychopaths and setting up a maximum security prison in Alaska to house the worse of the worse offenders.
Each book in the series picks up from the last with this being no exception. Again the sleepy little Alaskan town is hit with the disappearance of another young woman. Readers are immediately drawn right back into the action as Evelyn and Amarok are drawn into the investigation and the intensity slowly increases page by page.
I’ve been a huge fan of this series from the beginning and can’t recommend it enough. The setting is so wonderfully done, the characters fully fleshed out and the story keeps a steady pace keeping me completely engrossed from beginning to end and always wanting to see what will happen next.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
BRENDA NOVAK and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children-three girls and two boys. When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fund-raiser for diabetes research. Brenda’s novels have made The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and won many awards, including three Rita nominations, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Book Seller’s Best and the National Reader’s Choice Award.
Brenda is the author of the Dr. Evelyn Talbot Novels, including Hello Again and Her Darkest Nightmare.