Friday, September 14, 2018

#MacmillanAudio review of Face Off by Brenda Novak

Brenda Novak is a favorite author from way back so I was shocked to learn that she had a romantic suspense/thriller series that I didn't know about. And when Macmillan audio offered it up in their August review selections, plus a new to me narrator, I said yes please.
As far as the series goes I didn't feel like I missed much but I will be going back to the start because I know there is some crucial background I'll learn if I do which will make the future reads more enjoyable.

Face Off

Evelyn Talbot, Book 3
By: Brenda Novak
Narrated by: Therese Plummer
Series: Evelyn Talbot, Book 3
Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 08-28-18
Language: English
Publisher: Macmillan Aud
Buy it on Audible



From New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak comes Face Off, the next installment of Dr. Evelyn Talbot and her murderous home for psychopaths.


Tortured and left for dead at sixteen, Evelyn Talbot turned her personal nightmare into her life’s work—studying the disturbing psychopathy of some of the world’s most vicious serial killers. Now a leading psychiatrist at Hanover House in a small Alaskan town, she tries to believe the past will never come back to haunt her—until a woman goes missing from a cabin nearby, and every clue points to the man who once brutalized her…
As her boyfriend, who is the area’s only police, begins to investigate—and finds not one but two bodies—Evelyn can’t forget that her would-be killer, Jasper Moore, was never caught. But there are no new faces in tiny Hilltop, no one who seems suspicious or potentially violent. In this twisted game of cat and mouse, Evelyn is certain of only one thing—Jasper must be hiding in plain sight. And if she can’t find him before he comes for her, she won’t be lucky enough to survive twice…


My Review:

Face Off
Brenda Novak
Series Recap:
At sixteen two of Evelyn Talbot’s friends were brutally murdered and she was tortured and left for dead by her then high school boyfriend Jasper Moore and even with multiple agencies looking for him has been killing ever since.
Because of what she survived Evelyn became a psychiatrist and has devoted her life to the study of the psychopathic mind. She also knew she needed a facility to exclusively study these conscienceless killers and thanks to her fierce determination Hanover House Prison in Hilltop Alaska became a reality and she agreed to be in charge for at least five years. She’s also found a home and thanks to his tenderness finally against all odds, love with Alaska State Trooper Amarok. But not everything is perfect because he wants a commitment and she’s not sure she can until Jasper is once and for all put behind bars.

Story 5:
Novak’s latest, Face Off,  #3 in her Evelyn Talbot Chronicles is and unforgettable chilling tale about madness, murder and resolution. A non-stop, emotional rollercoaster ride giving readers goose bumps and not just from the cold Alaska weather.
The storyline is fantastic, the landscapes lush, unforgiving and the perfect place for a serial killer to hide and to thrive. The content is horrifyingly provocative and the characters both the good and evil costars and the fantastic main stars of Evelyn and Amarok are unforgettable.
It’s the extremes that make this installation in the series so memorable, the internal battle Evelyn is constantly going through, Amarok’s futile feelings of being able to protect Evelyn and also the battle of the prison vs the townspeople who want it and it’s dangerous inmates gone. And Novak, the master of romantic suspense puts together all the puzzle pieces perfectly right up to the “OH MY GOD” ending.

This is one of those series that will leave lasting impressions long after “the end”, and is a must read for romantic-suspense and thriller fans. This, soon to be a bestseller, story stands well on its own but as in all great series, is best read in order.

Narration 5:
The narration by Therese Plummer is absolutely marvelous and will leave listeners biting their nails waiting for the next terrifying happening. The emotion she puts into the story at the exact right times is exceptional and gives the audience more of a 360º enjoyment of the novel. She’s got all characters (especially female) down pat, but it’s definitely her depiction of Evelyn that is flawless.

When a woman visiting from Louisiana goes missing from a hunting cabin in Hilltop Sergeant Amaraok from the state police is on the case. When two bodies are found and evidence points to Jasper, Amarok is both elated to be this close to being able to catch the man who once almost murdered the woman he loves and terrified that he could once again get his hands on her. And now he’ll also have to be extra vigilant to protect not only the woman but the town an people that he loves.
Evelyn is also hopeful that Jasper can be caught because she doesn’t know how much longer she can take the stress of not knowing when or if he’ll get her again. And she’s not sure even as much as she loves Amarok if she can stay in Alaska.
While Amarok and Evelyn search for clues a sadistic killer ups the body counts and is convinced that he’ll not only never be caught but that he’ll be able to at long last torture and kill the only victim who got away.
 The Series

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Meet Brenda:
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.



  1. I've read a couple of her books a while back and liked them. I do love a good killer on the loose type story though. Especially when someone survives an attack and is then stalked again.

  2. I'll have to give this a try. Brenda Novak has been on my radar for a while, but I've yet to try her. I do love Therese Plummer though.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

  3. Sounds excellent and I like Therese Plummer as a narrator. She did a lot of Robyn Carr books from memory.

  4. I read a review for this yesterday and went and bought book one. It's on sale for something like .99. I think. I have a horrible memory.