Review: The Faceless

by Simon Bestwick

Solaris, out now

A missing persons enquiry in a small Lancashire town is the catalyst for the return of something spawned in the depths of a terrible horror…

On some levels, this is a well-written horror novel that mines a number of familiar ideas and takes them to some occasionally surprising, yet logical, outcomes. But imagine a story told with the descriptive powers of both crime writer Val McDermid and horror writer John Connolly, and then you’ve got The Faceless – McDermid’s downbeat but true to life portrayal of police procedures and investigations combined with the glimpses into a horrific side-world that characterises Connolly’s Charlie Parker series. And that’s before you add in the testimonies of men crippled by the battles of the First World War…

It’s not a book to be read late at night, or anywhere where there are pools of shadows around you. Bestwick’s descriptions of the Spindly Men, and the more down to earth victims, reach into your imagination and lurk in the dark recesses. Just when you think things are heading towards a slightly brighter conclusion, something goes further wrong and a very personal and private battle suddenly escalates into something on a much larger scale.

Verdict: Creepy, unsettling and unnerving, The Faceless will grip you.  8/10

Paul Simpson

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