Saturday, July 12, 2014

Featured Author Dawn Kopman Whidden: Faceless - Book Review

By Dawn Kopman Whidden

5 Stars

Review by Rene

In the mood for a GREAT Psychological thriller? Then this is the story for you!! This story grabs a hold of you from the turn of the first page and continues to grip you through out the entire story!

Faceless starts about two years after A Child is Torn ends. Jean, Marty and Hope are back, along with a few of the other characters, to solve a horrific crime. 

It all started when Marty receives a call and is to report to the scene of the crime. About 10 minutes after the call, he arrives at the crime scene and was not prepared for was the sight that was right on front of him. He could not make out who the victim was that lies before him, the small body is naked from the waist up; at first he thought she was wearing a mask but the closer he looked he found that someone has burned her face right off."There was no mask and there was no blanket; whoever this was no longer had a face. Instead, there was just a charcoal mass of melted skin and muscle tissue"  Marty was determined to find the killer and solve the case, this was his first major case and it would make or break his reputation as a Homicide Detective. The victim was i.d.'d as Jamie Camp age 16. Jamie was found in the woods by a group of her friends, they heard screams and came running. The girls were taken to the police station for questioning, one of the main questions were "What were you all doing in the woods in the middle of the night?" Each girl was questioned, and unfortunately they're answers were all very bleak. The one thing that they all had in common was that they all attended the youth group at the same church, St. Mary's.  

Two of the girls were not your average teenagers, they were born into wealth and were very privileged. Katie Hepburn, her step-father is the Mayor, Tiffany Bennett, her father is a Defense Attorney. Lisa Padilla was also a part of the group, she now lives with her grandparents when the Department of Children and Families stepped in and removed her from her parents due to neglect and abuse.

This case becomes more interesting as the pages turn, there is another victim, Kimberly Weston age 16, she also went to the same youth group at St. Mary's with the other girls. Kimmie and Jamie have been long time rivals and were both running for prom queen.

This story has many more twists and turns that I cannot reveal without giving something away, you're just going to have to read it to find out!! But trust me when I say, Dawn does not disappoint!!!!

"The world had changed since I was a child. I was brought up in a world where sad and ugly things were whispered about behind closed doors. I was led to believe there were very few dark and horrific things that happened, unless it was in the make-believe world of cinema and the arts. It was there, of course, but not quite as abundant as it is today, and was definitely not available for children to witness or hear.
My children, on the other hand, were brought up in a world where they watched on a continuous loop the death and destruction of thousands of innocent men, women and children by madmen on that fatal September 11, 2001 morning. My children were raised thinking that a child’s picture on a milk carton was as normal as their class pictures, and that Amber Alerts were part of the landscape of a normal day.
When I grew up, a crime spree consisted of the boys in the neighborhood taking joyrides with someone else’s Schwinn or scrawling graffiti in the bathroom stalls in school. A bully would call you a name and you would retaliate by calling them one back. Talking back to a parent would result in a mouthful of Ivory Soap, or a good whipping.
Today, children were slaughtering their classmates and then killing themselves in order to escape punishment. They had no coping skills whatsoever. Parents today were constrained from employing punishments that once were accepted as part of normal disciplinary actions. We received corporal punishments that, in hindsight, I realize were probably well deserved."

"Was it their personalities that got them killed, or their looks? Or,was I totally off base, and was there some stranger lurking in the woods? 
Could they both simply have had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Somehow, I doubted it. I had a gut instinct that both these girls were lured to their deaths by someone they knew well.

The big question... who?"

"Although we all try to hide our feelings sometimes, our body language betrays us, and we cannot conceal our emotions."

A pretty teenage girl is found dead in the woods, her face horribly mutilated. A few days later, a second girl, also strikingly beautiful, is attacked in a similar fashion.

Who would do such a brutal thing—and why?

Is there some sort of psychopathic monster lurking out there, preying upon vulnerable females? Or were the victims targeted for some reason by someone they knew?

It’s up to two of Fallsburg’s finest, Detective Jean Whitley and her new partner, Marty Keal, to find out who’s responsible for the grisly crimes.

When she starts digging up clues, Jean is startled to learn that the crime has hit uncomfortably close to home. The victims—and many of the potential suspects—are classmates of Jean’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Bethany.

To make matters worse, Bethany’s behavior has drastically changed. Jean’s sweet, loving child has become a sullen, secretive stranger.

How much does Bethany really know about the victims—and the crimes that have taken place? Did Bethany’s hunky new heartthrob have anything to do with the crimes? And why does the mounting evidence keep pointing to a popular parish priest?

Dawn Kopman Whidden’s newest book, Faceless, returns readers to the town of Fallsburg, New York, as seen through the eyes of Detective Jean Whitley, two years after the events of Whidden’s previous book, A Child is Torn.

Suddenly deprived of her longtime police detective mentor and friend, Jean is forced to take the lead in this latest investigation, while breaking in a new partner.

As they dig deeper into the case, Jean encounters threats to her career, her family relationships, and possibly even to her own daughter’s life.

Through it all, Jean and Marty must unravel a multi-layered mystery and put a face on the unseen villain, before anyone else ends up dead…and faceless.

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