The Face of a Killer
A Sydney Fitzpatrick Mystery by Robin Burcell
Review: Robin Burcell introduces a new series character, San Francisco-based FBI forensic artist Sydney Fitzpatrick, in the fast-paced, multi-faceted The Face of a Killer.
Sydney's father was murdered 20 years ago. The man accused and convicted of crime is scheduled to be executed within the next ten days. He has always maintained his innocence. To bring closure of her dad's death, something she has not yet been able to do, Sydney, on the twentieth anniversary of his death, goes to the prison to meet her father's killer face to face. She has no idea this visit would set up a chain of events that would place her friends, family and herself in harm's way. On the day she goes to the prison, a manila envelope is placed in Sydney's mail box. This envelope contains an old photograph of her father with his friends during the war. Also found in the envelope is a blackmail letter written by her dad, plus a bank deposit slip from a bank that had closed its doors years before. Unable to believe that her father was involved in a blackmail scheme, Sydney is beginning to have second thoughts about who did in fact did kill him. The more she pushes for answers the deeper she finds herself on a trail of corruption and cover-ups not only in the military, but within the CIA and other political offices. In order to continue her search for the truth she must learn to bend — if not break — the rules set down for investigators by the FBI. Time is running out for the convicted man. But little does she know that the clock is also ticking for her.
The Face of a Killer is a remarkable debut for this series with an attention-grabbing, riveting story. The author effectively weaves the political realities of government and its bureaucracy into her fictional plot, drawing the reader in and not letting go. It is a pleasure getting to know the characters, and Sydney herself is particularly engaging. The doubt she experiences as both a daughter and an investigator, and the suspense that is generated as she learns more about the past, decidedly contribute to this intense, terrific book.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Face of a Killer.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of The Face of a Killer for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Bone Chamber
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), December 2009
ISBN-13: 9781590583753; ISBN-10: 1590583752
Location(s) referenced in The Face of a Killer: San Francisco, California
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The Face of a Killer by Robin Burcell — A Sydney Fitzpatrick Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: November 2008
List Price: $24.95