Face Off

Face Off

by Brenda Novak

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466888029
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 08/28/2018
Series: Evelyn Talbot Chronicles Series , #3
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 11,167
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

BRENDA NOVAK and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children-three girls and two boys. When she's not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fund-raiser for diabetes research. Brenda's novels have made The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and won many awards, including three Rita nominations, the Book Buyer's Best, the Book Seller's Best and the National Reader's Choice Award.

Brenda is the author of the Dr. Evelyn Talbot Novels, including Hello Again and Her Darkest Nightmare.


Brenda Novak and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children-three girls and two boys. When she's not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fund-raiser for diabetes research. Brenda's novels have made The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and won many awards, including three Rita nominations, the Book Buyer's Best, the Book Seller's Best and the National Reader's Choice Award.

Brenda is the author of the Dr. Evelyn Talbot Novels, including Hello Again and Her Darkest Nightmare.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

The weather was turning.

Sierra Yerbowitz stood at the window of the small, rustic cabin she'd rented with her brother and his two friends and felt her stomach muscles tighten as she watched a sea of dark clouds roll toward her. She'd always wanted to visit Alaska, had wondered what the last frontier was like. With climate change and population growth, she knew it wouldn't remain unspoiled forever. Because it was vastly different from Louisiana, where she and her family lived, it intrigued her. So when her brother offered to take her on the hunting trip he'd been planning for ages, she'd readily agreed.

She would've preferred visiting in the summer, when daylight lasted longer and bad weather wasn't much of an issue. But Leland and his friends Peter and Ted were each determined to bag a moose, and their permits specified that they could hunt only from September 15 to October 15. They'd hoped to come in September, but a conflict in schedules left them with no other option than to take the trip after October 8.

"Where are you?" she muttered, searching for any sign of the men driving through the trees beyond the snow that covered the ground immediately surrounding her. Surely Leland and his friends had spotted the clouds and were heading back. They'd taken the Ford Expedition they'd rented in Anchorage, along with a trailer carrying two ATVs, down a dirt road to a river. Sierra couldn't remember the name of the river because there were rivers everywhere in Alaska and she hadn't been paying attention when they were plotting their route. None of it pertained to her, since she wasn't interested in hunting. All she knew was that they planned to branch out from the SUV and go wherever the moose scat or tracks led them.

She hoped they hadn't wandered too far from their staging area. If so, it could take a long time to get back, and by then the storm would be upon them....

She checked her watch. Noon. Her brother had said they'd return at four, which had sounded early when he'd mentioned it that morning. Now she feared it wouldn't be early enough.

"Come on, Leland." It would be like her brother to discount the weather, push his luck. He'd always been a risk taker and, after coming so far and going to so much expense, he wouldn't give up easily. They hadn't gotten a bull yet, and this was their last chance. First thing tomorrow, they had to leave for Juneau so they could see other parts of the state before going home.

Alaska could be unpredictable. She'd read that in all the literature. What if Leland and his friends got turned around and couldn't make their way back to the truck? What if they got separated trying?

If they didn't return, she couldn't even call for help. There was no cell service in this area, no phone service at all. And they'd taken the only vehicle, so she didn't have a car. Hilltop, the closest town — not that a few squat buildings and five hundred people constituted much of a town — wasn't far as the crow flew. But she'd have to use the roads, which made the trip significantly longer. She wouldn't be able to walk that distance even if it wasn't storming.

Determined not to let herself get too worked up, she moved away from the window. They'd been at the cabin for three days and were low on firewood. She needed to figure out how to get more from the shed behind the cabin, so she could be prepared, if necessary. But when Leland had gone out last night to do just that, he'd come back empty-handed. He'd said the combination they'd been given wouldn't open the lock, which hadn't been good news. The cabin had a generator for lights and hot water, but the wood-burning stove served as the only source of heat.

Still, they hadn't been too worried. They were leaving soon and had a few sticks they could use to get by. They'd thought they could make it. But a storm changed everything. They could get snowed in, be stranded for days....

Sierra yanked on her heavy coat, shoved her feet into her boots and, when she left the cabin, closed the door behind her to preserve what heat there was before trudging across an icy bank of snow that rested in the shade of a thick stand of western hemlock and spruce trees. She hoped to get into that shed before the wind blowing at her back grew any stronger and the snow began to fall. Nervous as she was about being alone in this storm and having her brother and his friends out in the open, she'd feel a lot better if she at least had some firewood.

The lock was a simple padlock. She tried the combination provided by the rental company to no avail, proving Leland had been right.

Had the rental company accidentally transposed two digits?

She tried different options, stood there for twenty minutes, struggling to find the right combination.

Nothing worked.

"Damn it!" she cried, but wasn't willing to give up.

She supposed the combination could be written somewhere as a fail-safe. They'd already looked inside, but now she searched outside, too — on the shed itself, under the rocks nearby in case there was a note, on the tiny back porch of the cabin — hoping to discover it tacked up somewhere.

No luck.

Her ears were ringing from the cold by the time she went back in to warm up. Blowing on her hands, which felt like blocks of ice, she checked the front window. Still no sign of the men, and the sky was growing ever darker.

They were in for a big one. She could feel it in her bones. When they'd been gathering up all the gear they needed for the hunt, the locals in Anchorage had told them that winter was coming early this year and to be careful. They'd mentioned having their "termination dust," or the first snowstorm signaling the end of the summer working season, on the tenth of September, an entire month before it usually came. She hoped her brother was thinking about that right now and getting himself back to the truck ...

"What should I do?" she asked herself. She got out all the food, water and candles they had left, in case the generator failed or they ran out of propane, and set it on the counter. There wasn't a lot, but they could stretch their supplies for a day or two.

Maybe the storm would blow over quickly.

Either way, they'd need more wood. So how would she get it?

She'd have to break the shed door.

She went back out to the shed, where she shoved, pulled and yanked, even rammed her shoulder into the panel, hoping to make the latch give way. But it was too sturdy; she didn't have the strength. She was walking around the small building, looking for any loose boards she might be able to pry away, when she remembered the ax hanging on the wall of the mudroom.

Although she'd been hoping to keep any damage to a minimum, she'd exhausted her other options. It wasn't her fault they hadn't been given the correct combination to the lock! That wood could be a matter of life and death; in her mind, she had every right to go after it.

Once she got the ax and returned, she swung it as hard as she could. The wind was nearly blowing her down, so it wasn't easy to wield such a heavy object, especially since she'd never used one before. The blade landed with a satisfying thwack, but the metal head bit so deep, she broke several fingernails trying to get it out, and she still couldn't manage.

For a moment she feared that would be the end of this idea. But after considerable effort, she managed to dislodge it. Then she swung again and again, until she'd completely destroyed the door.

If the storm didn't turn out to be a bad one and she was doing this for nothing, her brother wouldn't be happy if they got stuck paying for the damage. But she wasn't willing to take the chance of freezing to death when there was wood in this shed.

Once she formed a hole large enough to step through, she dropped the ax and went inside. The sunlight, already nearly obliterated by the roiling clouds outside, could scarcely penetrate the cracks between the slats. Even the big opening she'd made afforded almost no light. But she found wood. Plenty of it. Although she could barely make out the dimly lit pile, she could smell the sap.

"Thank God." Relief swept through her as she bent to pick up an armful. It wasn't until she stood and turned to go that she glanced anywhere else, but when she did she saw a shape that caused her to scream and drop the logs she'd gathered.

She wasn't alone. Unless her eyes deceived her, someone else was curled up in the corner — naked.

* * *

"Are you sure you want a baby?"

Now that the doctor had finished her pelvic exam, Evelyn Talbot sat up and straightened the lap covering she'd been given, along with the paper gown she was wearing. She and her boyfriend, Amarok, a nickname that meant "wolf" in the language of the native Inuit people around whom he'd grown up, had been sleeping together without birth control for the past eight months. Yet nothing had come of it. She was beginning to think nothing ever would. "I'm approaching forty, Dr. Fielding. If I'm going to have a child, it should happen soon, wouldn't you say?"

He peeled off his latex gloves. "I agree with you from a timing standpoint."

"But ... I'm not physically capable? Is that what you're saying?" During the hour-long drive from Hilltop, where she both lived and worked, she'd worried about the news she might get today. She hadn't even told Amarok she'd made this appointment. If she couldn't have kids, she wanted a chance to absorb the blow before having that talk with him. He knew about her background, understood there was a possibility she might be sterile, of course. Since she'd been kidnapped and tortured — by her own boyfriend — when she was only sixteen, she hadn't had regular periods. But she and Amarok had been holding out hope that she might be able to conceive in spite of that. The doctors she'd seen before leaving Boston had indicated children were still a possibility.

"There's some scar tissue from ... from before." He stepped on the pedal that opened the trash can and tossed his gloves inside. "It could cause problems."

She let her breath seep out. "You don't sound optimistic."

He rested a hand on the counter. "I wouldn't go that far, Dr. Talbot. You went through medical school before becoming a psychiatrist. You know human bodies are amazingly resilient, sometimes more resilient than human minds."

"You could make a case for that in certain situations," she agreed.

"Your body seems to have healed well."

Given his reticent manner, she felt a moment's confusion.

"That's good, isn't it?"

"Perhaps. But may I speak frankly?"

"Of course."

"I admit I wouldn't have this conversation with just any patient. It might be going too far, even for someone I consider a colleague of sorts. But I respect who you are, what you've been through and what you've done as a result. So I'd advise you to think carefully about this. You study — interact with — psychopaths on a daily basis. From what I heard and saw of you on TV when you were lobbying for Hanover House to be built a few years ago, you're incredibly dedicated to your work."

"I am. There's no question about that." She had to be. Psychopathy was on the rise. Someone had to figure out why — and how to stop those who preyed on the innocent. After what she'd endured, she'd made it her life's work.

"You're still that committed?" he asked. "Even after so many close calls?"

She assumed he was talking primarily about what had happened with Lyman Bishop last winter, since that incident had been highly publicized in Alaska. "What happened with Bishop won't happen again. He had a brain hemorrhage while he was in the hospital trying to recover from ... that night. These days he's in an institution. He can hardly speak."

"But you deal with hundreds of psychopaths, many of them extremely dangerous. Men who kill for pleasure. There could be another Lyman Bishop."

Or Jasper Moore could show up. Fielding didn't mention that, but she was always wondering when her former boyfriend might strike again.

"You're a bright, well-educated, attractive woman, and an authority figure, in a prison with an entirely male population —"

"A lot of people become infatuated with their doctor, preacher, teacher, et cetera," she broke in. "That's not unusual, even outside prison. Granted, with the men I study, it'd be more of a fixation than a true infatuation. But I'm well aware of the dynamic."

"I would guess that you are." He slid his glasses higher on the bridge of his nose. "What if you're carrying a baby the next time a sadist gets hold of you? Have you thought about that? You could be setting yourself up for some real heartbreak. And you wouldn't be the only one to suffer. Think about your family — and your partner."

She wanted to claim there was no chance of her being attacked again. The situation with Bishop had been unique. The institution was set up to protect the psychology team while they studied "the conscienceless," so it wasn't the convicts at Hanover House, the men behind bars, who worried her. It was Jasper Moore. He'd never been caught, was still out there somewhere, and she knew he'd like nothing more than to finish what he'd started when he'd killed three of her best friends, and tried to kill her, while they were in high school. The fact that he'd made another attempt to kidnap her two years ago told her he hadn't forgotten her. She hadn't seen his face that night. He'd been wearing a mask, so she had no idea how the years might've changed him, but he'd made no secret of who he was. He'd wanted her to know he was back.

She'd be dead now if she hadn't escaped almost immediately.

What if she'd been pregnant when that happened?

"I can't let fear stop me from living my life." She told herself that all the time. Told other victims they couldn't allow fear to paralyze them, either. But did that advice apply when an innocent child was involved?

Dr. Fielding drummed his fingers on the counter. "Then you're willing to accept the risks — and the consequences — if something goes wrong."

"Yes." She wasn't as certain as she made it sound, but she didn't want him to know that.

He seemed to accept her answer. "Well, then. I see nothing from a biological standpoint to indicate you can't get pregnant. Generally, we wait until a couple's been trying for twelve months before recommending any type of fertility treatment, but considering your background and your age, I think we're justified in starting sooner. Our first step would be to test Amarok, so we can get a clear picture of the entire situation."

After the terrible things Jasper had done, she had to be the one with infertility problems. But she understood why Amarok would need to be tested, as well. Although chances were small, he could have a low sperm count, low mobility or something else that contributed to the problem. He'd never been checked out, not for that. He'd told her he'd only been to a doctor twice in his entire life — and both instances were for broken bones.

Dr. Fielding didn't ask, but she could tell he was curious as to why she hadn't mentioned marrying Amarok if they might be having a child together. No one else could understand how truly complicated her situation was. She loved Amarok. There was no question about that. But at this point she wasn't committed to spending the rest of her life in Alaska. She had responsibilities back in Boston, where she was from, and she knew he'd never be happy anywhere else. He'd been born and raised in Hilltop, was a sixteenth-part Inuit, on his father's side. He was the town's only police presence, too, and he thrived on living in such a rugged part of the world. Alaska was in his blood. Dragging him down to the Lower 48 would be like caging a wild animal.

And yet her biological clock was ticking. She wouldn't leave Hilltop for another three or four years. By then, it'd be too late to have a baby, especially since she'd have to wait for another relationship to develop like the one she had with Amarok, which probably wouldn't happen. Other than Jasper, way back when, Amarok was the only man she'd ever truly loved. He was also the only man she'd ever been able to sleep with. After the violence she'd suffered at sixteen, she struggled with trust issues. If she ever wanted to be a mother, this could be her one chance. She didn't want to be childless without even considering her options. And if she did get pregnant? She'd simply have to stay in Alaska; that would make the decision for her.

"I'll speak to him about it," she said. But she wasn't sure how to bring up the subject. If she did, she knew Amarok would want to talk about marriage. He had every right to ask for a lifelong commitment instead of gambling with his heart.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Face Off"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Brenda Novak, Inc..
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Face Off 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 62 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended. Great series.. Absolutely loved it. Couldn't put it down...!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story! I could not put it down. I really enjoyed the plot twists too. Terrific addition to the Hanover House collection and Evelyn's story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brenda Novak continues the suspenseful saga following Dr Evelyn Talbot. She manages to pull you in and keep you up reading late as you can' t wait to find out what happens. Only suggestion is read them in order. Great stories, can't wait for next book in series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’m crazy about Evelyn and Amorak! Can’t wait to read the next book. My only complaint is the constant, repeating and recapping of the history between Evelyn and Jasper. I’m sure it was used as a filler but it was bit overboard. I’m hoping the the next installment doesn’t do the same otherwise still a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite Writers! This series is Amazing! Reading from the beginning again tomorrow!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the other books in this series and this book definitely doesn't disappoint!
Cora 7 months ago
Face Off is book three in the Evelyn Talbot series. We finally got to see the confrontation between Evelyn and Jasper that has been building throughout the series. This book was absolutely fabulous. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout quite a bit of the book. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Anonymous 9 months ago
I have read EVERY book Brenda Novak has written!!! This as usual was worth waiting for and I cant wait for her next one in December.
NovelKim More than 1 year ago
Although “Face Off” is part of a series with repeating characters it is difficult to believe that the previous books could be more wicked or vicious. I have not read them and am fairly sure that I never will. This book was just too evil, too deadly. The plot deals with the height of human depravity cloaked in a label – serial killer. Pray that you never meet a “Jasper”. I thought the writing and subsequent dialogue was forced and not fluid, the characters one dimensional and the situations unbelievable. Since I read the papers and keep up with the news I realize that a one-dimensional character can often be found in an unbelievable situation that becomes the nightmare of their reality. Even so, I found it hard to return to this book whenever I put it down. After perusing other reviews, I think I read a different book – I could barely get through this and when I turned the last page I was relieved that I was looking at the back cover. Bottom line, if you like psychological thrillers with murder and mayhem this is your book. Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy.
KahlanMercy More than 1 year ago
Evelyn Talbot Chronicles Book Three Evelyn and Amarok are racing to find Jasper before he comes after them, but he may already be in Hilltop. The discovery of two bodies convinces the two that Jasper is killing in their hometown. When the lab results come in that prove Jasper's involvement in several previous murders, including his own parents, Amarok believes he has enough evidence to request the flight manifests linking those murders. If they can only find out Jasper's current alias, maybe they can stop him for good. If you've been waiting for Evelyn's resolution of her experience with her tormentor, this is the book for you!
KahlanMercy More than 1 year ago
Evelyn Talbot Chronicles Book Three Evelyn and Amarok are racing to find Jasper before he comes after them, but he may already be in Hilltop. The discovery of two bodies convinces the two that Jasper is killing in their hometown. When the lab results come in that prove Jasper's involvement in several previous murders, including his own parents, Amarok believes he has enough evidence to request the flight manifests linking those murders. If they can only find out Jasper's current alias, maybe they can stop him for good. If you've been waiting for Evelyn's resolution of her experience with her tormentor, this is the book for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
danny0 More than 1 year ago
BRENDA NOVAK just gets better and better. FACE OFF takes you on a roller coaster ride of suspense and drama. What an incredible story, I loved it! This book is crazy good and Ms. Novak is a premier storyteller!
lhill82125 More than 1 year ago
Oh Brenda, this Talbot series just keeps getting more and more intense with each book. This one had me literally sitting on the edge of my seat. I don’t know if I can handle having to wait for Blindspot to come out! That is pure torture LOL! Thanks Brenda!
adwest More than 1 year ago
This book is no different than the others in the series, in that it definitely brings suspense and keeps you on your toes! Evelyn just can't quite leave the past behind, and it seems like things may come back to haunt her again. All of the books I've read by Mrs. Novak, always make me feel deeply for the characters. This was a good, suspenseful read! *arc provided by the author for honest review
AvidReaderOfAllBooks More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in the series and by far the best. It was the story of Evelyn and Amorak going through the investigation of two more murders. Things that I truly liked about this book are: the ups and downs of the psychological strain that Evelyn is going through, and therefore Amorak, are excellently written; Jasper is superbly creepy due to the fact that he’s working at Hanover House with Evelyn and nobody knows that Andy Smith and Jasper Moore are the same person; Evelyn having to wrestle with the decision of whether she stays in Alaska or goes home to Boston; and Jasper being able to get close to Evelyn’s sister Brianne. The only thing I didn’t like is the fact that I didn’t see that it was definitely decided whether Evelyn was going to stay in Alaska or not. This is the first and only book that I wish we could rate with more than 5 stars.
faerea1968 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book! The suspense is exciting, and keeps you on the edge. Dr. Talbot is on the edge, she has been fighting her personal demons for years, but now it is becoming too much. She needs some resolution so that she can get on with her life. Her personal nightmare, Jasper is close, she can feel it. He is getting ready, making plans, and she and Amarok need to catch him before he can finally get his hands on her. This book was fantastic and such a great addition to the series. I found myself on the edge of my seat, and there was a moment in this story that I actually had tears running down my face. If you read anything at all, don't miss this one!
Ejaygirl More than 1 year ago
This series has a continuing story arc. I do not recommend reading the books out of order. The Set Up Evelyn Talbot is the head psychiatrist at Hanover House, a maximum security prison for serial killers, located in Hilltop, Alaska. The facility is devoted to the psychological study of these criminals and it’s her mission to somehow discover what drives them so she might better understand the one who tried to kill her when she was sixteen years old. Benjamin (Amarok) Murphy is an Alaska State Trooper assigned to the community and is in a relationship with Evelyn. He’s recently returned from the lower 48 after coming very close to capturing Jasper Moore, the man who has haunted Evelyn for most of her life. The Issues Unbeknownst to Evelyn and Amarok, Jasper is hiding in plain sight. He surgically altered his appearance years ago, moved to Alaska eight months ago and is a corrections officer at the prison. Jasper’s methodically plotting his final face off with the one that got away and who he’s obsessed with. When two women are found murdered, both Amarok and Evelyn know instinctively that Jasper is now among them. The Bottom Line It was chilling getting the alternating narratives, particularly Jasper’s, holding my breath as they investigated and searched for him, trying to figure out his identity. The close calls and near misses kept me off balance and so highly stressed I had to keep putting the book down. This final confrontation was one I was anticipating and looking forward to reading. I just didn’t think about how suspenseful, thrilling and downright scary it would be. There wasn’t any relief at all and that’s what made this SO good! (I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review)
AvidReaderREE More than 1 year ago
This was another amazing chapter in the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles and this one most certainly kept me guessing! The one negative thing I would have to say is that I really enjoyed the previous novels with real quotes from famous serial killers, so that was a bit missed in this novel. Regardless, that did not detract from the novel at all. We pick up this novel only a few months after the end of the previous novel where Evelyn is still a bit shaken up from the incidents that occurred and Amarok is fiercely on the hunt for Jasper, but it seems to no avail. Evelyn begins to realize that she is not holding up well any longer and may have to make some changes for her life and her sanity, but can she leave the man who is the love of her life? Amarok wants to do anything he can to NOT lose Evelyn because he feels like he has found his partner for life, but Jasper cannot keep evading him forever and he is hot on his tail. As we are seeing the novel from these two love birds perspectives we also get to see everything going on with Jasper, who has taken the name of Andy Smith and is LITERALLY right under Evelyn and Amarok's noses as a security guard at the Hanover House institution. As Amarok begins to draw more and more near, Jasper/Andy is becoming more and more impatient and wants to finish of what he started more than twenty years ago and he is determined that he will have Evelyn for himself. Another thrilling novel that one does NOT want to put down at all and this one REALLY had me scared at a few points there where I am just reading with my mouth completely open! Such a good novel and series and I would highly recommend to anyone who is enjoying anything like the likes of True Detective or Mindhunter, pick up this series! I also really appreciate that you can tell the author has done some series research to fully understand psychopaths and sociopaths and how they would react and respond in so many different situations.
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
4 1/2 STARS! Jasper returns ... and life will never be the same! With the next book in the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, we pick up shortly after the previous book left off. Deviant Jasper is hiding in plain sight right under Evelyn's nose, and planning his next big attack. We foray the ups and downs of how life is settling in with everyone and watch with baited breath for them to figure out the evil that is lurking. The next book is set up in a huge way, so I'm really looking forward to the next installment! Psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot has never let life get her down. Even when brutalized and left for dead at 16 by her psychopath boyfriend, she picked up the pieces and made it her life's work to study the minds of such criminals to see how she could help stop it from happening again. Now she's the lead doctor at a specialized prison in Hilltop, Alaska that she helped spearhead into being built. Behind their doors, they study some of the most horrific serial killers from around the country. When a couple of women's bodies are found in ways reminiscent of Jasper's past crime scenes, Evelyn and her boyfriend Amarok who is the only law around for the small Alaskan town begin to get worried. Jasper is near, and he's coming for her. She's escaped with her life before, but odds are she won't be that lucky again!
perriknows More than 1 year ago
The place, Alaska. Near enough to Anchorage to have employees of the maximum security psychiatric prison live there rather than the small town where the prison is located. The prison, holds the worst of the worst. Men who murder because they like it. Here Evelyn and her team work to try to understand the minds of the perpetrators of these grizzly crimes. The problem. One person has been able to escape capture, because he works there. If you've been reading this series, you know the problem person is Jasper Moore. He lives in Anchorage and goes about his life, working, killing, hiding bodies. Evelyn and Amarok are pretty certain Jasper is in Alaska, but just can't seem to find him. If Jasper hadn't had the bad luck to have his latest kill found by a vacationer, he might have succeeded with his plan to kidnap Evelyn. Evelyn needs to start acting like the intelligent administrator that she had to be to get this project off the ground. She needs to let her family know their games won't be tolerated. There are issues with her family that need to be discussed, and she needs to take those head on. She also needs to decide what she wants in her personal relationship. Amarok won't wait around forever. I really liked this book, but just couldn't give it 5 stars because it seemed to me that Jasper became dumbed down in Face Off. In the other books in this series, he was a brilliant psychopath. In this one, he did a number of really dumb things so you knew it wouldn't end well for him. After the terrifying and jaw dropping ending in the last book, I was hoping for more of the same.
KerryACroucier More than 1 year ago
Hang on! It's a wild ride! The third book in the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles kept me up all night turning pages because I couldn’t go to sleep without finding out what happened. Evelyn and Amarok’s relationship is progressing, but the specter of Jasper is still hanging over every aspect of Evelyn’s life. When events come together to convince them both that Jasper has come to Alaska, Evelyn is determined to finally face the man who changed her life and move on. There were definitely twists in the story as it moved to its climax. The characters are continuously developing and adding more depth to their relationships. There are also some tough decisions for Evelyn, with no small amount of agonizing. Brenda Novak weaves a story that will reel you in and hold you captive until the end. #FaceOff #EvelynTalbotChronicles #HanoverHouse #BrendaNovak #StMartins
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
This is book 3 in the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles and we return to Hilltop, Alaska with Evelyn and Amorak. This is another brilliant game of cat and mouse between these two and Jasper. He’s starting to make mistakes and the kill count is rising but it’s far from over. The story line is built so well that you get ensnared and dinner has to be postponed until you read just one more chapter. I love it! The small taste we get at the end of this book has me waiting so impatiently for the next book in this brilliantly written series.
Robbiebee More than 1 year ago
At 16 Evelyn Talbot was tortured and left dead. Now she studies serial killers and psychopaths at Hanover House, a facility in Alaska dedicated to the incarceration of such criminals. When two young women go missing in the small town of Hilltop, local sheriff Amarok, Evelyn's boyfriend, is called to investigate. Always at the back of the mind of both Evelyn and Amarok is the fact that Jasper, the man who had attacked Evelyn at 16, was never caught. They feel he's coming for her and live their lives with that spectre hanging over them. What they don't know is that Jasper has been hiding in plain sight. And so, this third installment in the Evelyn Talbot chronicles begins. From the first this tale of suspense, with just a bit of romance, takes off and continues to increase in intensity. Along the way, bumps in the road come in the form of Amorak's ex-girl friend who is searching for a way to get Evelyn out of his life and Evelyn's sister who is visiting from Boston and wants only to bring Evelyn home with her. Since the beginning, I've been rooting for Evelyn and Amarok. Evelyn's uncertainty and the twists and turns in this story left me a little frustrated, but the action and suspense left me breathless. I highly recommend the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, but make sure you start from the beginning of the series to get the full, breath taking experience. I received an ARC of this book and have voluntarily offered my review.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Dr. Evelyn Talbot has spent her life trying to overcome the effects of the brutal attack of Jasper Moore. She wants to stop living in fear that he'll come after her again. She's in Alaska working with psychopaths at Hanover House. Amarok, her boyfriend, loves her deeply, but she has problems committing. When the bodies of two women are found, they know Jasper is close. Will this be the final Face Off. Evelyn is a powerful character. She keeps going, even though she has endured so much. I admired her strength. I loved that her relationship with Amarok has strengthened. This is what I wanted. They trust each other. Amarok is an Alaska State Trooper so he's investigating these murders. He needs to find the killer and protect Evelyn. I was on the edge of my seat as the story unfolded. The suspense was unbearable. Brenda Novak has outdone herself with Face Off. I've been waiting for Evelyn to have closure. She an Amarok deserve a chance to make a life together.