By Lucretia Grindle
Felony & Mayhem Press, $14.95, 448 pages

Two years ago, Mary Warren was brutally attacked and her husband killed. Now she has returned to Florence to be with her lover and to study art. Things are going along well until Mary’s roommate, Billy, discovers her past and starts playing games with her. This seems to set off a chain of events that has Mary convinced that there is a copycat killer on the loose. Determined to help before other women are harmed, Mary starts looking for clues to the killer’s identity and finds that the people she knows may not be the people she should trust.

The Faces of Angels is a novel that is striking in its sense of atmosphere and place. Florence feels alive in the descriptions and character itself. The atmosphere changes as well, as the story goes along, becoming more tangible and giving the reader a sense of claustrophobia and foreboding as Mary finds out more details of the crimes. Some of the situations are hard to accept – one example being Mary’s determination to be friends with her mercurial roommate Billy, who is challenging to live with, at best. The writing, luckily, rises above the plot issues and is a worthwhile read.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern