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» » The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett Series)
The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett Series)


Joyce Bean,Cody McFadyen


The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett Series)


Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

PDF ebook size:

1488 kb

ePub ebook size:

1566 kb

Fb2 ebook size:

1682 kb

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Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (May 29, 2007)




Thrillers and Suspense

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The Face of Death (Smoky Barrett Series) by Joyce Bean,Cody McFadyen

“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.
The Face of Death is book 2 in Cory McFadyen’s Smoky Barrett series. Last month I read book 1, Shadow Man, and declared nothing could possibly beat it for my book of the year. I was wrong. The Face of Death is even better. It now holds the honor of my favorite thriller book ever.

Where to start? I do not want to give any of the story away, so for a brief outline of the plot, please see the blurb. Cory McFadyen is unlike any other author I have come across. This is a police procedural, plus so much more. The plot is deliciously complex and involves dark and grievous transgressions with deep religious undertones, human trafficking, and more importantly, the destruction and salvation of human souls. The depth of Mr. McFadyen’s storytelling is highly unusual, especially since he is a he. The characters are so real and evoked an incredible emotional response in me. My emotions were all over the place with this one. I felt love, hate, rage, tension, shock, empathy, sympathy, sadness, heartache, and joy. I cried at the end of each of the last 2 chapters. The characters are so well drawn that I am sure many of them will stick in my mind for years to come.

A significant portion of the story is told through the diary of a young girl (Sarah) from the time she was 6 through age 16. This works really well and is a brilliant plot device in my opinion. We watch as Sarah goes from a happy love-filled early childhood to a well-plotted “ruined life”, trying her very best not to lose all hope. I really don’t have the words to express how well her story is told.

A couple of warnings: There is a brief though shocking allusion to animal abuse; fortunately, we are not subjected to the actual deed. There are also some horrendously abominable acts of murder that are not for the faint of heart.

With the above caveats, I cannot recommend this novel and the Smoky Barrett series more highly. It has now clearly become my favorite series of all time. Thriller fans, don’t let these books pass you by.
lucky kitten
I believe a word I have used about the first book in the series was "disturbing." That is an accurate word for the second book as well. I find myself surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and I look forward to others in the series. I am surprised because I don't like the horror genre at all, and I am not saying this is "horror" per se. But the scenes and certainly the acts are horrible. I am not even tittilated by a thriller, but it is not the rubber-necking of watching the evil acts that make this such an interesting book, it is the realness of the characters, even the uplifting quality of the heroes and sometimes the victims, that strikes me.

In non-fiction it's all about "Is it true?" Are these facts or propositions that I can believe in and make future decisions on? In fiction, for me, it's about "Is it believable?" That is true for me in good science fiction or great novels. Here the scenes are very unreal in our day-to-day experiences, yet even the resiliency of the victims of these horrific crimes is believable. Perhaps not likely, but it is quite wonderful how the author makes the miracle of the human spirit come alive. I enjoyed the book.
Golden freddi
Second book of this author I just finished. I didn't think he could get any better but he proved me wrong. When a writer does a mystery, especially when it's about a serial killer, you have to wonder, how do they do it? How do they know so much about the darkness of our souls? The characters he has created are spectacular, yes even the killers. You can't have believable in a story without empathy, hatred, fear or love for the characters going through what they do. John Stanford hooked me with his books years ago and I had nightmares for the longest time, but that is the hallmark of a great writer. Life can be dark, it can be dangerous, it can hold unholy acts to show the rest of us how very vulnerable we are, so read this man's books.
It's rare that I can find a mystery where I haven't figured out who did it by the fourth chapter. I found that in JD Robb's "in Death" series and I've found it again with the Smokey Barrett books. I admit I read this one first, but after reading this one, I'm pretty sure I will enjoy the others.
If you're a fan of JD Robb and the TV show "Criminal Minds" you will love this series. It does have some seriously messed up people in it. And you will find explicit sex -- although not quite as annoyingly often as JD Robb's Eve and her god-like husband Roark. And just like in JD Robb's you can skip them because they don't contain any clues about the plot.
Usually the second book in a series doesn't meet the expectations of a solid debut. I don't think Cody McFadyen experienced a 'sophomore slump' with THE FACE OF DEATH as Smoky Barrett and her team solves a crime of diabolical standards.

Read this series, in order, which starts with SHADOW MAN.

Smoky is personally called to a scene involving a family killing. There she meets Sarah who can only be summed up in two words: a victim. We learn about the emotionally painful life of Sarah as Smoky works the case. The story is structured well with the main plot as well as keeping us entertained with subplots involving the series characters.

Cody McFadyen books definitely have a dark undertone which is different than my usual mystery genre but it adds a dimension to the evil aspect which only intensifies my reading need for 'the good' to solve the crime.

In my quest to figure out the mystery of this book, I was fooled; however, I do feel the track that I was on may have served as a better 'twist' ending.

I enjoyed this book a bit more than the first and the third book in the series, THE DARKER SIDE, is definitely next on my list!
I love this series. I just left a review of the latest novel in the series and it had tons of spelling errors due to using Swype on my Kindle. Sorry Mr. McFadyen. This whole series is phenomenal. Please read them all. You will be so glad you did. Highly recommended. Smokey is one of my favorite characters. So strong, so vulnerable, completely complex. I beg of you to read these. Amazing!

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