Blog Tour – March 2022 – Faceless – Vanda Symon

So, Vanda Symon – a name crimeworm has been hearing about a lot for the last wee while…

Yes, she’s definitely been cited as one to watch for a while. Like the fabulous Paul Cleave, of The Quiet People fame, she’s a New Zealand-based writer – and she’s on a par with him, quality-wise. She’s definitely a writer whose backlist I will be investigating!

So tell us a bit about Faceless…

Bradley is an a put-upon office worker – he’s being harangued by a demanding boss, a wife who thinks they should be living the life of Riley, and, frankly, he’s had enough. On the way home after one particularly horrendous day at the office, he does something utterly and completely out of character – he approaches a teenage prostitute. However, it doesn’t just stop at the usual type of transaction – soon he has Billy tied up in an old warehouse. Just for once in his life, Bradley’s going to be the one calling the shots. And no-one’s going to miss a teenage street worker, are they…?

Tell us a little bit about Billy…

Well, she isn’t your typical sex worker – she doesn’t do it to support an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Billy does it to finance her art projects – amazing-sounding graffiti projects she peppers around the area where she works, beautifying the run-down city streets. She – unlike Bradley – is no bullied, put-upon mug – she’s clever, feisty, and one day wants to make a living out of art. And, contrary to what Bradley thinks, there’s someone out there who will miss her…

So who’s this friend of Billy’s then? And are they in a position to help?

Max is homeless and loved on the streets, scavenging meals where and when he can. He and Billy look out for each other; they each have no-one else and so a solid friendship has evolved. When he hasn’t seen Billy for a few days, he knows something is very wrong – she wouldn’t abandon him by choice. But the problem is getting the police to pay attention to a homeless man who most people walk by without a second glance, and his story of a teenager who may, in their opinion, just have given up and started anew elsewhere.

Sounds like a great premise! How did you like the book?

I absolutely loved it! From the off, when you meet Bradley and understand his frustrations, to moving onto Billy and Max through the use of short, sharp chapters that keep the story moving rapidly onwards, you’re pulled right into the story, and kept there. With a shocking, fast-paced ending, this is one book which will keep you reading. Not only that, some of the social issues raised will keep the book lingering in your mind. I totally understand why Vanda Symon is one of these names I’m hearing more and more!

Not to be missed!

With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in this blog tour, and Orenda Books for the ARC. This is an unbiased review.

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