Blog Tour: Faceless, Vanda Symon

Book Review: Faceless, Vanda Symon


Faceless, Vanda Symon

Thriller: Faceless, Vanda Symon

Blog Tour March 11, 2022


Billy is a street artist, expressing her talent with spray cans and blank walls in Auckland, NZ. Fijian by birth, she is not only a street artist. She is a resident of the streets, homeless, sheltering under cardboard boxes and selling her body to earn enough for more spray paint. Only 18, she has survived in part due to the protective nature of a homeless man, Max.


Max is the kind of “rough sleeper” that city officials despise. Filthy, smelly, long ratty hair and an unkempt beard, drunk. He cares for Billy in a very paternal way, but he is so lost in his own mind that he barely cares for himself.


Bradley is trapped in a soul-sucking job with an awful boss, trapped in a marriage that has gone cold. One night after a particularly terrible day he decides to do something different. He drives down to the rough part of Auckland to pick up a prostitute. There, he finds Billy.


Things quickly spiral out of control. Bradley takes out his frustration on Billy, beating her then holding her captive in an abandoned warehouse. Both horrified and exhilarated by what he has done, his cruelty escalates.


Billy’s only hope is that somehow Max will find her. But what can a derelict alcoholic do for her when he can’t do anything for himself?


Faceless is indeed a crime novel, but it is much more than that. Billy is faceless. She is a Fijian in a white society. She is a prostitute and homeless. When she goes missing, no one even notices. No one except Max.


Max is also faceless. Drunk, emaciated, filthy with an awful stench, scrounging in dumpsters for food, when he finally goes to the police they are unwilling to listen to him. After all, can you trust the word of someone like that? Perhaps he made it up. Perhaps Billy just went back home, or found a boyfriend, or something else. Besides, if she were missing, surely someone else would have noticed.


Bradley is also faceless. A cog in a corporate machine, afraid of his boss and his domineering wife, Bradley is the kind of person who seems to invite invisibility. When he snaps, it changes everything. His cruelty frees him to be a very different man, but the cost is likely to be Billy’s life.


Vanda Symon draws these three together and takes them on a harrowing journey. Billy must confront her fears to survive. Max must confront his past to help her. Bradley finds his face but loses his soul. Compelling and riveting, this is a book that demonstrates the capacity in each of us for good and evil, for despair and destruction, for corruption and redemption.


Vanda Symon
Vanda Symon, Author

Faceless, Vanda Symon

Our thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for our copy of Faceless, given in exchange for our honest review. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives on this book, check out the other bloggers on this tour. 


Also See:

Book Review: Containment, Sam Shephard Book 3, Vanda Symon


Faceless, Vanda Symon

Book Review: Faceless, Vanda Symon

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