The Face Thief

A Novel by Eli Gottlieb
On Sale: January 17, 2012

The real reason we have faces, she thought,
is to hold back what we’re thinking from the world.

Eli Gottlieb’s previous novel, Now You See Him, was acclaimed by reviewers as “irresistible…moving” (New York Times Book Review), “a triumph…of literary suspense” (Los Angeles Times), and “gorgeous” (USA Today). With THE FACE THIEF (William Morrow; January 17, 2012; $24.99), Gottlieb returns with a driving, compulsively readable novel that probes the wellsprings of human greed and of loyalty beset by temptation.

Gottlieb introduces us to the mystery of the charismatic Margot, a promising journalist who morphs—with stunning panache—from a high-achieving affluent twenty-something into a grifter making her living by preying on the weaknesses of men. Gifted with an unerring ability to “read” people due to her studies of the ancient Chinese art of face reading, and able to rearrange her look and persona with uncanny skill to fit the social situation, she is an avenging angel, shattering marriages and draining bank accounts.

What drives her in her quest to deceive and disarm? In exploring this question, THE FACE THIEF toggles fluidly forward and back in time, drawing vivid portraits of Margot’s rocky childhood and her adult victims: an amiable, newly married man enticed into a catastrophic fraud; an esteemed teacher outwitted by his most dangerous student; and a well-meaning New York City cop tripped up by his belief in redemption.

Ingeniously constructed and exquisitely written, THE FACE THIEF swirls a hypnotic dance of predator and prey, creating a contemporary landscape where the educated are violent, the beautiful ugly, and the well-intentioned hapless. And yet we never give way to despair because the protagonists of the book push back against the maelstrom and attempt tirelessly to right their toppled lives. Rich in suspense, psychological depth and nuance, THE FACE THIEF confirms Gottlieb’s standing as “a master” (Denver Post) and, in the words of essayist Philip Lopate, “an enthralling stylist who[se] … characters are shockingly, electrically alive.”

About the Author:

Eli Gottlieb’s New York Times Notable Book, The Boy Who Went Away, won the Rome Prize and the 1998 McKitterick Prize from the British Society of Authors. His second novel, Now You See Him, has been translated into eleven languages. He lives in New York City.

About the Book:

By Eli Gottlieb
William Morrow Hardcover
Publication Date: 1/17/12
ISBN: 9780061735059
Price: $24.99; 256 Pages
*Will also be available as an e-book

For more information on THE FACE THIEF and other William Morrow titles, please visit