Book Review: Faces, by Diane Winger
I enjoyed this story about Jessica, a computer programmer and rock climber. She has a climbing accident and due to mild brain damage loses her ability to recognize faces — face blindness, or prosopagnosia. The bad guys are able to take advantage of her new disability by roping her into a money skimming scheme by getting her to think she’s working on a secret project, but who has been hoodwinked into programming a client hoax. But Jessica is diligent and follows up her work, discovering that the secret project could be illegal.
Yes, it’s illegal. The police are soon involved, and these “anonymous” bad guys are threatening Jessica to recant her testimony and confess that it was all her plan from the beginning. The police aren’t stupid, and figure out quickly that Jessica’s testimony is the truth and what they’re getting from other interested parties are obviously involved, and lying about her part in this mess.
As a programmer, Jessica explains many programming issues that I admit to having skimmed over. As a climber, Jessica explains the specifics of rock climbing. What I got was the differences in tension, from casual climbing with friends versus other times when the climbs are more dangerous. As a sufferer of face blindness, jessica explains by words and by example how difficult life becomes when no one looks familiar.
While I enjoyed this book very much, the story was a good one, it has one of my fiction pet peeves. Jessica is the only important character, and all of the peripheral characters are mere window dressing. This book is the first in a series about Jessica, and I am hoping that the author makes her characters more rounded out.
Amazon US link