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Reviews (by Author)

Reviews (by Title)


Title:  Face of a Killer

Author:  Robin Burcell

Publisher:  Poisoned Pen Press

Reviewer: Jeff Edwards – AAA member

Darkly fascinating, Face of a Killer will keep you turning the pages long into the night.

When FBI Forensic Artist Sydney Fitzpatrick is called back into work on her day off, she’s prepared for the worst. A young woman has been raped, and brutally beaten. It’s Sydney’s job to create a recognizable sketch of the attacker, with only the descriptions of the victim to guide her. As Sydney sketches half-recalled details from the memory of the traumatized young woman, a face begins to emerge on her drawing pad. It should be the face of a stranger, but it isn’t. Sydney knows the face of the man she’s just drawn a portrait of. His name is Johnnie Wheeler, and he’s supposed to be in prison, sitting on death row for the murder of Sydney’s own father.

Against the wishes of her family, Sydney travels to San Quentin prison to see Johnnie Wheeler with her own eyes. He’s still there, behind bars, waiting for the date of his execution. Sydney should be happy that she can lay her fears to rest. The man who killed her father is not free, as the sketch of the rapist seemed to suggest. But Sydney is not happy at all. Listening to Wheeler’s story, she is no longer convinced of his guilt. She’s beginning to wonder if her father’s real killer might still be loose on the streets.

No one but Sydney is interested in the wild claims of a convicted murderer. When she reopens the investigation on her own, she can’t expect backup from the FBI, or anyone else. She’s operating outside of the rules that she’s always trained herself to live by. She doesn’t care. The truth is out there, and she’s determined to uncover it before Johnnie Wheeler can be put to death for a murder he didn’t commit.

The trail leads into her father’s past, and Sydney is not prepared for what she finds. The evidence increasingly suggests that her father was not the saintly man she remembers him to be. To find the truth, she must uncover secrets that have been buried for twenty years. And someone is not ready for the truth to be know

Face of a Killer is part thriller, part mystery-suspense, and all fun.

Winner of the 2009 American Authors Association's Silver Quill Award!



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