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Review – Face of a Killer by Robin Burcell


Face of a Killer
by Robin Burcell
381 pages
Published November 25, 2008

I snatched Face of a Killer by Robin Burcell from my library after reading two posts by Jen about this book. In the first post, she was still reading the book but she had to stop and mention the little illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. The author is a forensic sketch artist for the FBI, so at the beginning of chapter one there’s the start of a head, and at the beginning of each consecutive chapter, she adds a little bit more to the illustration. I’ll show you a little, but these aren’t my pics, they’re Jen’s, so you should go check out her post as she shows you two more of these.

Jen took this pic! Not me.

Jen took this pic! Not me.

Jen took this pic, too.

Jen took this pic, too.

Isn’t that cool? It’s nice to get an unexpected surprise in a book.

On to the book. Face of a Killer is about Sydney Fitzpatric, an FBI forensic sketch artist. Her dad was murdered 20 years ago and the man convicted of killing him is scheduled to be put to death in six days. Hoping for closure, Sydney goes to visit her father’s killer, but after a few things he said, she’s not convinced anymore that the man who killed her father is really behind bars.

Things start getting out of control now and serious action ensues.

Sydney’s ex-fiance shows up at her house with news that a man who was friends with her father committed suicide, and it just so happens that this same man has mailed Sydney a package that has a photo of him, Sydney’s father, and three other buddies. This photo becomes important as Sydney tries to delve into what kind of a man her father was and whether or not the man who killed him is the same one who is scheduled to be put to death.

There is absolutely no waiting for some action with this book. I love that! The action begins in the first chapter and holds steady the whole way.

I loved that Sydney (and the author!) is a forensic sketch artist. How often I’ve wished I could draw…and this just made me jealous all over again. 🙂

The author does an excellent job of giving you plot twists but making it all make sense in the end. Everytime I was pretty sure I had things figured out, a wrench was thrown into my deductions and I had to go back to the drawing board.

My only complaint was that some of the chapters end with the obvious cliff hangers, situations where you’re compelled to continue reading. I would have liked fewer chapters and a little more flow. It’s a picky thing, I know, but really, the story and plot are good enough to keep me reading without being bribed. Unless you bribe me with chocolate, in which case, it’s no holds barred.

Honestly, this was a really good book. If you like mysteries, you’ll gobble this up so fast you’ll get a tummy ache. The author put a great story and a fresh look on the age old whodunit.

Rating: 89 out of 100

Another (probably definitely better) review:

Jen’s Book Thoughts


9 Responses to “Review – Face of a Killer by Robin Burcell”

  1. Jeane

    This isn’t at all the kind of book I usually read, but the way those chapter illustrations build on each other is really cool! I love finding neat little details like that in books.


  2. Steph

    This sounds really interesting. At first glance I wouldn’t have necessarily thought this would be something for me (that book cover is really creepy!), but reading your review has convinced me otherwise. Onto the TBR queue it goes!


  3. Jessica

    What a neat idea for the faces!


  4. Staci

    very cool concept…I want to read this!!


  5. Joanne

    The sketches are a neat little extra. Sounds like a great read, I really like cliffhanger chapter ends, but it does make it feel like you must read on – there’ve been many a late night I’ve spent reading an entire book because of that.


  6. Lenore

    I love, love, love the faces idea. So inspired!


  7. bermudaonion

    What a great concept for a book. The faces are really cool.


  8. Samantha

    This sounds like a really interesting book. I usually enjoy a good mystery so I’ll be adding this one to the TBR list. Great review 🙂


  9. Jen Forbus

    I agree with Samatha, Trish, GREAT REVIEW!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!


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