The Face-changers

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

At the end of SHADOW WOMAN (1997), Thomas Perry’s third book featuring Jane Whitefield as the Native American heroine who saves people’s lives by helping them disappear, Jane promises her new husband, Dr. Carey McKinnon, that she will give up her dangerous occupation. Now in THE FACE-CHANGERS, Carey calls Jane and says that his mentor, a 67-year-old plastic surgeon named Richard Dahlman, is waiting for emergency surgery for a gunshot wound and is wanted by police for the murder of his medical partner. McKinnon knows that Dahlman is no murderer and that someone has framed him. Fearing that his old friend will be killed in jail before his case comes to trial, McKinnon asks Jane to make Dahlman disappear. Dahlman was one of six people involved in an operation to change the face of a man who wanted a new identity, and now five of those six medical personnel have been killed to keep them from identifying the “before” and “after” looks of this man. Dahlman’s life is in danger as long as he can identify his patient.

As Jane helps Dahlman, she discovers that a group calling themselves The Face-Changers has been copying her techniques and that they charge exorbitant fees to give people new identities. They are using Whitefield’s name and reputation to convince their clients of their reliability, but there is a major difference: Jane never charged money for her services and her victims were truly in danger. In this breathtaking thriller Jane risks her life and her husband’s career while she tries to outwit the enemy, the police, and the F.B.I.