The Face Stealer by Robert Scott-Norton

Police and a murder suspect investigate bizarre faceless killers in this nicely constructed science fiction mystery, set in the UK.

The start of this novel strongly resembles crime fiction: we’ve got the ex-alcoholic policeman, the pathologist, the murder suspect protesting his innocence. But it’s soon clear that weird things are afoot, as not only does the murder victim have no face, but live faceless people turn up with murderous intent. Murder suspect Max Harding goes on the run, trying to track down his psycho wife to prove his innocence.

The characters are rather flat, but there’s plenty of action, flashes of humour, and a satisfying explanation of all the weirdness at the end. The writing is readable throughout with some nice imagery, though there are also some notable editing errors.

Although envisaged as the first of series, this is a standalone story. Expect plenty of violence, but the gore isn’t lingered on unnecessarily.

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