Newly married Jana has doubts about her husband, Michael, when he starts disturbing her at night with increasingly sinister behavior. However, Michael denies all of the nocturnal misdeeds.
With a history of mental illness in the family, Jana begins to unravel as she tries to discover whether ‘scary’ Michael is all in her head, her husband is lying to her, or if some horrific third option is at play.
This is psychological horror, so be prepared for Jana to spend most of the book doubting herself. Pierce handles her fears well, and it’s hard to know how reliable Jana is as a narrator.
As a fellow sufferer from anxiety, I thought the author portrayed Jana excellently. She’s controlled, wound tight and intensely private. Given her upbringing, it’s clear to see why Jana tries to keep things so neatly ordered.
I enjoyed watching the development of Michael from laid back and outgoing, to possibly calculated and malevolent. As Jana feels more isolated, unable to communicate with those closest to her for fear of judgement, the qualities that drew her to Michael in the first place suddenly make him a target of suspicion.
My only nitpick is I longed for a more dramatic progression of the story, especially in the third act. The characters seem to reach a certain point in their development and stay there. While I liked Jana and Michael and wished the best for them, it would have been nice to see them go through some higher stakes conflict before the denouement.
As for the ending, it would have been perfect for a short story, but I longed for a little more drama or explanation to resolve a novel of this length.
Altogether, an enjoyable, well written psychological thriller with some elements of quiet horror.
I award The Face You Wear…
Thank you to the author and Crystal Lake Publishing for providing me with an ARC. I’m voluntarily leaving an honest review.