Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Review for STEALING FACES by Michael Prescott

Review by Aaron Paul Lazar
Title: Stealing Faces
Author: Michael Prescott
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Ulverscroft
Genre: Thriller
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, and eBook
ISBN-10: 0708943500
ISBN-13: 978-0708943502
ASIN: B00547KH66
Price: Kindle, $ 0.99; Large Print, $29.91
Author’s website:

I’ve been reading and reviewing a fair amount of books this year, all of them quite good, and most of them on Kindle. Of course, I vet them before I accept a review request by reading the first few pages and the synopsis. There’s nothing worse than reviewing a book that bores you to tears or that just isn’t your cup of tea. So I almost always love the titles I accept.

In the midst of all these excellent books, however, came STEALING FACES. This high suspense thriller literally knocked my socks off.

Mr. Prescott’s writing style is what hooked me from the beginning. Smooth, tight, and fast flowing, the prose held me as spellbound as the suspense. Frankly, STEALING FACES is one of the best-written novels I’ve come across in a very long time, and I can’t believe I haven’t discovered Mr. Prescott’s work to date.

Cray has been stalking and killing women for over a decade. Well-respected by day, savage hunter by night, the man’s character is impeccably drawn using inner thoughts and dialog. The contrast between his day job (revealed partway through the book) and his secret, sick obsession, accentuates his evil.

Now, meet protagonist Elizabeth Palmer. Desperate, broke, resourceful, and lovely, this woman has fixated on finding and bringing Cray to justice since she escaped his clutches twelve years earlier.

From the first primal scream of Cray’s victim to the kaleidoscope of terror-filled memories experienced by Elizabeth, Prescott doesn’t let his readers relax, or even take a breath. Both characters, juxtaposed brilliantly against each other, drive the story forward to its very satisfying conclusion.

The plot is well recounted in many of the 100 plus reviews on Amazon, so let it suffice for me to say that many plot threads and themes are tightly woven into this book, with shock after shock and absolutely no letting down of the tension. I would actually recommend STEALING FACES as a primer for those interested in pursuing a career in writing thrillers.

Thank you, Mr. Prescott, for showing us all how it should be done, and for several nights of delicious, exhilarating thrills.

Highly recommended by Aaron Paul Lazar.

Aaron Lazar


Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Hi, folks. Mr. Prescott said he might have a chance to stop by today to say hi. Here's your chance to ask questions.

I just went online and bought all of his eBooks for 99 cents each. What a bargain!

My question for Mr. Prescott is what are you working on now, and when can we get it? ;o)

Ron Adams said...

Thanks Aaron, what a fantastic review. This sounds like a tight thriller, with an excellent main theme. I love the concept of duality in the villain, with the matching obsession of the protagonist. That always deepens the tension, like a psychological game of chicken waiting to see who will break first. I'll be looking for Mr. Prescott's work, and looking forward to getting into a top notch thriller. Nice job.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Thanks, Ron. Yeah, I'm telling you, this writer really sets the gold standard for thrillers. I just went out and bought all of his eBooks this morning - they are only 99 cents on Amazon. What a value...

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robinpwaldrop said...

Hi Michael, I just wanted to stop by and say congrats. I just bought your eBook, Stealing Faces, after reading the prologue. It started off a little slow, but once I got toward the end it really picked up. And, after reading the last paragraph, I just knew I had to read it.

What made you decide to publish on Amazon, and what did you do, if anything, to get into Kindle's top 100?

Robin P. Waldrop

Nancy said...

Nice review, Aaron!

For Mr. Prescott:
As a woman, and the mother of a teenage daughter, I am drawn to books that contain emotionally strong, intelligent female characters. It sounds as if your protagonist, Elizabeth Palmer, is just that. How would you describe her, and what is your opinion about the importance of such characters to young,impressionable female readers?

Anonymous said...

Great review, Aaron!

Michael, your books sound like a lot of fun (I went and checked out a few on Amazon). Gonna have to pick them up -- I love a good thriller!

I do have a question, out of curiosity: Why did you decide to put out a previously published book under a different name? I'm always interested in the stories behind pen names. :-)

A. F. Stewart said...

A great review and Stealing Faces sounds fantastic. Since the book features a serial killer, I'm curious to the author's views on graphic violence in books. Do you think it's necessary to portray a scenario realistically or do you think psychological or implied tension is more effective?

Marta Stephens said...

Okay, now you've really caught my interest. This sounds like a fantastic book and one that I'll have to add to my must read list.

Thanks so much, Aaron, for introducing us to Michael and his novel with this great review.

Sonia said...

I posted a comment earlier but haven't seen it show up yet....

Aaron, thanks for the great review. I love the genre and you have peaked my interest....I am not a fan of e-books and doubt I will be...I enjoy holding a 'real book' too much for that, but am definitely adding this one to my To Read list - as well as looking up his other titles. Thanks again!

Michael Prescott said...

Thanks for all the kind words, folks, and special thanks to Aaron Lazar for his generous review.

Answers to questions:

After a two-year hiatus, I'm currently writing a book about a female PI in a small town. No idea when it will come out, or whether I'll self-publish or try a different approach. I'm not a fast writer; it only seems that way because I'm dumping my entire backlist online in a fairly short period of time.

I decided to self-publish simply because I wanted to get my old books back into print. I didn't expect to sell many copies, but after a friend of mine, J. Carson Black, had great success by pricing her books at $0.99, I figured I would follow suit. The low price point is what made sales take off. I did no real promotion, other than talking up my books in a few Kindle forums (ones that invited authors to promote themselves).

I usually write strong, resourceful female protagonists. I just like that kind of character. Elizabeth is a bit more problematic than most, because she has a difficult history that has left her somewhat emotionally frayed. She is not always in control of her fears and starts to lose her grip as her circumstances deteriorate. A more straightforwardly heroic heroine is found in my earlier book, Mortal Pursuit.

I wrote six books under the name Brian Harper before poor sales figures obliged me to reinvent myself as Michael Prescott. The idea was to cover my tracks. Retailers wouldn't order my books because the sales weren't good; in order to keep getting into stores, I had to start fresh. Now that I'm in control and the retailers aren't, I'm bringing back all the books under one name. But I still indicate the ones originally published as Brian Harper titles to minimize confusion.

Sheila Deeth said...

Wow. That's quite a review--one of those rare reviews that's enough to make me go look on Amazon straight away, and at 99cents! Looking forward to reading it soon (and learning from it I guess too).

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by. A special thanks to Michael Prescott for joining us today!