cover image The Face Thief

The Face Thief

Eli Gottlieb. Morrow, $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-173505-9

At the start of Gottlieb’s third novel, a taut psychological thriller, an unnamed woman, later identified as Margot Lassiter, sustains grievous injuries as she tumbles down a long flight of stairs. Flashbacks reveal the enigmatic and charismatic Margot, before her near fatal fall, as a consummate schemer. Soon after Margot hired Lawrence Billings, a self-professed expert at reading body language, to give her private instruction, she tried to seduce him. Also, under an alias, Margot enticed 42-year-old John Potash, who spent most of his career as the vice principal of a small alternative Manhattan high school, to invest much of his family’s fortune in a fraudulent financial firm. Meanwhile, in the present, police detective Dan France takes a deep interest in Margot’s well-being as she recovers in the hospital. Not just a gifted storyteller, Gottlieb (Now You See Him) provocatively explores human relationships and the lies we tell ourselves and each other. Agent: Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency. (Jan.)