Robert Cormier, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $15.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-385-32590-5
The irony of the title will haunt readers of this novel as they delve into the mind of a WWII veteran whose face has been blown off by a grenade. After winning a Silver Star for bravery, 18-year-old Francis Cassavant could return home a hero, but he keeps his identity secret in anticipation of murdering a personal enemy and wanders the streets of his hometown as a lone, grotesque figure (""People glance at me in surprise and look away quickly or cross the street when they see me coming""). The man Francis seeks is Larry LaSalle, who was once his mentor and who has also earned a Silver Star. Cormier (Tenderness; In the Middle of the Night) offers two levels of suspense in this thriller. His audience will tensely await the inevitable confrontation between the two men while trying to extract Francis's motive for murder from flashbacks revolving around his high school sweetheart and the Wreck (Recreation) Center, where they spent many happy hours under the direction of LaSalle. Cormier is once again on top of his game, as he constructs intrigue, develops complex characters and creates an unexpected climax. His story, as dark as any he has written thus far, will hold fans from first page to last, and set them thinking about what really lurks behind the face of a hero. Ages 14-up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998
Release date: 08/01/1998
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Other - 135 pages - 978-0-613-23622-5
Prebound-Glued - 135 pages - 978-0-7569-0026-7
Hardcover - 147 pages - 978-0-7862-2909-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 144 pages - 978-0-440-22769-4
Prebound-Glued - 135 pages - 978-0-606-17836-5
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