Book Jacket

 

rank 1198
word count 11693
date submitted 25.02.2010
date updated 08.11.2010
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Crime
classification: moderate
incomplete

Other Face

John O'Brien

How does Mark know if Stacey's the one? Simple: she's worth killing for.

 

Mark Craven barely knows Stacey but he's been obsessed with her for years. When his friend Basil urgently needs to find a friend of Stacey's after a disastrous one night stand, Mark has the opportunity he craves: a reason to speak with Stacey.

Things go better than expected and Mark goes from being Stacey's distant admirer, and sometime stalker, to the dreamed of status of actual boyfriend. But then some competition shows up, disrupting his happiness. And Mark has a way of dealing with rivals.

He shows them his other face

 
rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login

 

tags

abduction, drug dealing, galway, gangland limerick, irish, murder, obsession, prostitution, revenge, stalking, torture, urban thriller

on 36 watchlists

173 comments

 

To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
jamesmac wrote 1452 days ago

This is a gem of a book John.

The pitch and the premiss hit you between the eyes immediately.

The dream - aches and pains of the night before - shouting - the mat on the floor - no laces - the shite-hole in the corner.

You toy with the reader from the beginning, and they'll love every second of it.

The language is fearless and true - Cravo's pals are as believable as they are funny - and their world is the same one we walk out the door to every day ourselves.

Cravo's obsession is a dark, heart-ripping affair - as beautiful, as it is chilling - and you play very skillfully with this fact. His poetic thoughts, and flashbacks are sensational in their detail and feeling. Plunges the reader right inside the dark unreachable places of Mark's head - forces them to look - maybe forces them to look in the fucking mirror.

We all have some of Mark inside us - whether we choose to admit it or not - and you expose this right down to the bone.
You've created something special with OTHER FACE,John - and I expect to see this in book form - sooner than later.
All the best,
James.

ajmigdal wrote 1176 days ago

My part of Scotland has a dialect that is almost impossible for those outside the area to understand ... I would only ever write in that dialect for the amusement of people from this area. I'll be honest, I struggled with the cumulative expletives, labels, expressions and phonetics -- it disappointed me as I felt I had to look between the lines to keep the story.

The talent for writing with your emotive descriptions and clear perspectives was undeniable. It's a shame that after the first paragraphs of chapter four I felt that I was having to wade through the dialogue. I've never been so frustrated about having to move on!

I'm sorry if this sounds critical ... it's not meant to be critical of your writing. I'm critical of the fact I feel excluded from enjoying your writing if that makes sense?

A J

Charles Thompson wrote 1188 days ago

When are you going to upload more of OTHER FACE?

Best,

Rob
(Aralen Dreams)

Kaimaparamban wrote 1200 days ago

The inclination of mind towards offences is a reflection of mind in which filled with desires. A writer like you can take out the outputs from this type of mind through a closed observation and analysis. Your work is a best example for it.

Joy J. Kaimaparamban
The Wildfire

Blackheart wrote 1246 days ago

Hi John
Only had chance to read a little of Other Face but I think you write really nicely. I liked the opening section and the way the scene is slowly revealed through Cravo's experience. I thought your stoccato style worked well but maybe it was a bit much at times, the first paragraph being a good example. You describe the dream in something like nine different ways. Each description is nice and slightly different but maybe you could trim out a couple of the weaker ones.

I wasn't sure about the change of style half way through the first chapter, the dialogue with his fixation. As a device for conveying information it seemed a little contrived, although the way it contiributed to the final question worked really well.

I felt more comfortable in chapter two once the dialogue began to unfold, which I think you write really well. Like I said I've only read a small amount but I find myself wondering about my sympathies for the main character. To begin with he is just there, there is no motivation to lead incline the reader one way or another. IN the exopsé we begin to think that he is an obsessive tosser but then in the prison scene he comes across as reasonable when compared to his mate Basil. I'm afraid I don't have the time to read much more but if anything was going to disuade me from continuing it would probably be a lack of empathy for Cravo. I don't know how I should feel about him and therefore I have no anticipation for what is to come....

Is there some tragedy that might endear me to him, some wrong for which he might be redeemed, some evil that will slowly make its presence known. There seem to be small hints but they I found them to be a little too ambiguous.

In any case I think this is well written with a nice premise so I have popped it one my shelf and I wish you all the best with it.

Cheers
Peter

Blackheart wrote 1246 days ago

Hi John
Only had chance to read a little of Other Face but I think you write really nicely. I liked the opening section and the way the scene is slowly revealed through Cravo's experience. I thought your stoccato style worked well but maybe it was a bit much at times, the first paragraph being a good example. You describe the dream in something like nine different ways. Each description is nice and slightly different but maybe you could trim out a couple of the weaker ones.

I wasn't sure about the change of style half way through the first chapter, the dialogue with his fixation. As a device for conveying information it seemed a little contrived, although the way it contiributed to the final question worked really well.

I felt more comfortable in chapter two once the dialogue began to unfold, which I think you write really well. Like I said I've only read a small amount but I find myself wondering about my sympathies for the main character. To begin with he is just there, there is no motivation to lead incline the reader one way or another. IN the exopsé we begin to think that he is an obsessive tosser but then in the prison scene he comes across as reasonable when compared to his mate Basil. I'm afraid I don't have the time to read much more but if anything was going to disuade me from continuing it would probably be a lack of empathy for Cravo. I don't know how I should feel about him and therefore I have no anticipation for what is to come....

Is there some tragedy that might endear me to him, some wrong for which he might be redeemed, some evil that will slowly make its presence known. There seem to be small hints but they I found them to be a little too ambiguous.

In any case I think this is well written with a nice premise so I have popped it one my shelf and I wish you all the best with it.

Cheers
Peter

Carol Browne wrote 1250 days ago

A great pitch, full of menace, and as soon as you start reading Chapter One, the narrative runs away with you and takes you into the world of the characters, so you want to know more. Dialogue is so well handled. On my watchlist and starred, until there is space on my shelf.

Charles Thompson wrote 1254 days ago

I'm thoroughly enjoying OTHER FACE. The pitch is excellent and the writing is crisp.

"A moment of dangerous madness that prevailed upon me." I love these turns of phrase. Your writing has an immediacy about it that draws your readers in and takes us on a journey, as though we're along for a ride. The dialogue is excellent too. Indeed, your ability to write convincing dialogue, complete with dialect and slang, is largely unparalleled on Authonomy. I can only imagine what dark s$*& these characters are going to get up to. I look forward to finding out.

There is one thing though. The fifth chapter is well written, but the shift from first person to third person is a bit awkward. I realize it's a tricky play since Mark isn't there to relate the fifth chapter, but off the top of my head, I can't think of any books that shift perspective like that from one chapter to the next. It may be a little risky. I think it might be particularly jarring because you give us three chapters in first person, then one in third, then back to first. Perhaps if you alternate chapters it would flow more naturally. Or perhaps the story could be told all in first person, but alternating between Mark and Basil. Just food for thought.

Also, consider starting the first chapter with the line "Someone's shouting down the hall." I don't think you'll lose much if you start there (except maybe the detail about the E). It's my understanding that editors disfavor books that begin with dreams or the narrator waking up because the technique is overdone and, therefore, cliche. Personally, I think you handle it well and the writing is solid, but it'd be a shame to have some readers shut the cover down on you before they realize what you're capable of.

I look forward to reading more. Backed and starred.

Kind regards,

Rob
(Aralen Dreams)

P.S. In Chapter 2, you write "To sick to eat anything." The first "To" should be "Too." And in Chap. 3, "Take off them yokes till I see" is missing a period.

JOE ADU-GYAMFI wrote 1260 days ago

Wow! this is a great piece by every standard.Excellent story with suspenseful plots.Surely one of the best here.Backed with pleasure!
joe(HERBIVORE CITY)

lolliemay wrote 1261 days ago

Other Face.
Terrific! The dialogue is brilliant, sharp as a tack and zips along at a great pace. It is so true-to-life that, not only do I HEAR and SEE these guys without your having to describe them, but I can SMELL them too. That's some writing-talent! Your powers of observation, characterisation and sensory recall are impressive, e.g. scene in Basil's ghastly apartment; and Mark's being to pissed and shy to be able to say what he wants to say to Stacey is very funny and tender. I knew that the Polish girl would steal Basil's stash and he's such an obvious loser that I wanted and to warn him. I hope he gets it back. It's smart, cool writing and I really enjoyed it. 5 stars.
Ena May.
A Small Town by the Sea.

brinskie1 wrote 1274 days ago

If the pitch and first chapter are any indication at all, this is one of the top two or three of its genre I've seen. Actually, it is the best. I'm not here to blow smoke, so I'll say no more - at least not until I've read more. I'll return with comments if I find anything I feel might be constructive to mention. In the mean time, Other Face is on my shelf.
G.
Einstein's Road Trip [ I would like to see your take on Einstein if your time allows. Thanks.]

JM Miller wrote 1276 days ago

Your pitch line caught me, and I had to check it out.

It's bold, and the dialog rings true. I could visualize the setting as I read it.

jactar wrote 1277 days ago

The writing is wonderful, and the dialogue as well. Trust yourself more, is my tip (for what it's worth--probably not much). What I mean is, 'You had me at hello', to quote one of my favorite movie lines. In the first 2 paras I get the character, scene, mood...it's great. Cut and cut more--to the chase, so to speak, so the reader doesn't risk drowning. But the hook is great (the blurb? whatever), led me willingly right to the story. Lots and lots of talent here. You Irish, what gifts you have. Backed, of course.

Patrick Fox wrote 1280 days ago

I found this through Trainspotter's recommendation in the forum, and I'm glad I did. The effective opening chapter draws you in and then ends in a way that makes you want to read the next chapter.

Sorry, if this reads like gushing praise. I couldn't find anything to fault in what I've read so far. I wish you luck with your book.

Bill Carrigan wrote 1283 days ago

Hi John O'Brien, I like the way this sails along, with lots of dialogue and realistic attitudes toward the girls, the law, the life. I don't know where it's going, but I'll gladly back it for the sharp character drawing, hip style, and general readability. Then I'll read more this evening. Would you take a look at "The Doctor of Summitville." Over 500 authors have back it, so it must be worth reading, though it's climbing much too slowing in the ranks. Best of luck with "Other Faces," Bill

Eunice Attwood wrote 1287 days ago

This is an enticing tale, written in an easy, flowing style. It is well structured, and you use words effectively. Happy to back. Eunice - The Temple Dancer.

JupiterGirl wrote 1287 days ago

Hi John, Having read some of your book and, comparing it to many of the others here, I can comment on the effective first-person narrative and crisp sentence structure. It masterfully compliments your cutting-edge storyline brilliantly. Shelved and I hope to read more. JupiterGirl (Twins of the Astral Plane)

Kami K wrote 1290 days ago

Just read all you posted. Loved it! This is authentic stuff and you write without fear or self-consciousness. A dry sense of humour balances the sinister undertones and kept me flipping the pages. Poor Basil! This is a real winner.
Backed x

Bocri wrote 1292 days ago

Before I comment on Other Face I must mention that the pitch for this book is one of the best I have read on this site. It is succinct, to the point and provides a serviceable hook -- Nice!
The ensuing prose, alive and vibrant, does not disappoint. The opening is descriptive with a surprise revelation of why the dream is so kinetic. The pace is vigorous, having rhythm and movement, though certainly not hurried. The dialogue is crisp and direct adding to the credibility of the characters.

BACKED. Robert Davidson. The Tuzla Run

Kittenkel wrote 1293 days ago

This is a very effective, fast-paced thriller and I've enjoyed what I've read so far. Your short sentences have great impact, really building the tension. I was a bit dubious with the dream-based opening, but you handled it well and developed the story quickly and you made the first-person present tense work for you. Backed!

jossiemarie wrote 1298 days ago

Well first off, I loved your pitch really made me want to read more. I also really liked how your book starts, there are lots of question from the off, that made me want to know more. Why’s the woman making such a racket? Where is he? Why?
Your writing flows nicely too, and I like how you use short punchy sentences, that helped me to connect even more with the story.
Your dialogue is great too, easy to read and doesn’t at all feel forced. Lol I hope I’m making sense its very early here lol.
Wow, the ending on chapter one is so intense, lol I have to go get some household chores done now but I will def be back for more, and you are definitely going on my bookshelf.
Love and hugs joss. xx

CharlieChuck wrote 1298 days ago

John
Read the first chapter. A very good start, has all the pace, action and hookability that a thriller should. You've created a very dark world and mind that's easy to absorb yourself in. Good luck with this. I like thrillers, but I don't normally like first person present, but this is definately the exeption, it works well.
Charlie

RonParker wrote 1305 days ago

Hi John,

I've only had time to read the first two chapters of this. It's a good start and an intriguing story but in the whole of the two chapters I read, we are not given the narrator's name, except for a very brief rference to his nickname from his friend. You need to get this in earlier. There are some typos. Not many but enough to deter a publisher. For instance in chapter two you have 'to' which should be 'too'.

The story is interesting and it's worth spending some time on clearing up these minor issues. Good luck with it.

Ron

Kevin Alex Baker wrote 1307 days ago

John,

I love the prescise and almost stacatto rhythm to your prose. Your text flows on like poetry, and you've got a gripping read on your hands.

Nice work! Backed!

Kevin Alex Baker
Head Games

hikey wrote 1309 days ago


This is very dark and gritty. You have a knack of putting a vivid imagination into words and a good eye for detail.

Jane.

Pia wrote 1309 days ago

John -

Other Face - Much goes on behind the warrior scars ... every time you get up close and personal you back off ... Mark observes himself, tongue-tied - it's torture to witness his arguing voices inside, somewhere deep down is also a terrified child. The banter between him and Basil and among friends forms a holding background, totally authentic, but compared to what happens inside Mark's mind, it has a white noise quality. This is done so well, it reconciles me to the genre. It's a long time since I actually enjoyed a thriller.

Backed with admiration, Pia (Course of Mirrors)

briantodd wrote 1309 days ago

Dear John

Very clear why this has had so many good comments. The pitch is good and the story quickly unfolds in an entertaining way. The dialogue is authentic but I personally think you should use artistic license and reduce the swearing as you go on with this; not because I am a prude (I hope) but because you could convey more subtlety in the characters ( even those with little conversational skill beyond a barrage of swear words ) by concentrating on their body language and basic inarticulacy.Some clumsy dialogue and the characters failing to make themselves understood might work better occasionally.

regards

Brian

Sarah King wrote 1312 days ago

This is a powerful story and is just my type of thing. It is very well written with excellent imagery and the dialogue (whiich is perhaps your main strength) is natural and unstilted. I think the story would work better in the past tense, but this is just a personal preference. I would probably start off in the present tense in the first chapter/prologue and revert to past in the rest of the book. But as I say, that is purely my subjective opinion. Already backed with pleasure. Sarah

Paul Freeman wrote 1315 days ago

Hi, John. Very nicely done, this is right up my street. Exploring the dark side.

Paul.

Romilla wrote 1317 days ago

JOHN O'BRIEN: OTHER FACE
A gripping well crafted read that exposes the obsessive rancour of the "defective" human brain, every word promising the troubling destiny that awaits Mary. I shudder to think about it! Well done John! - Mark sounds like a man I would do anything to keep away from!

Well done!

Romilla
Forgetting Sally

Peter Wild wrote 1334 days ago

When I buy a book, I look at the first chapter. The end of the first chapter in Other Face means I'd have bought it by now. Sound story, good writing, So - obviously backed. Good stuff.
Peter Wild
Double Action

Summer D'Vine wrote 1338 days ago

Other Face - This is a compelling read. Great dialogue in chapter one and intriguing foreshadowing with the last lines. Gladly already backed.

All the best,
Summer D'Vine, Women of the Trees

Frank James wrote 1339 days ago

To John O'Brien (Other Face)

Good storyline, good characters and a good read. I'm looking forward to reading the remainder. BACKED.

Frank James (The Contractor)

Frank James wrote 1339 days ago

To John O'Brien, (Other Face)

Good storyline, good characters and a good read. I'm looking forward to reading the remainder. BACKED.

Frank James (The Contractor)

Daniel Manning wrote 1346 days ago

Other Face has all the jingoism of a good night out for a group of interconnected revellers, in great form, in the pubs and disco's of an Irish city. Construction workers to beauty parlour specialists, but one of them can't let his obsession falter, because through the cloud of drinks and cigarette smoke, he has a fixation.
Great story exploring decadence and surrealism amongst the immoral as their mannerisms and behaviour go from white, to shades of grey because of the drunken stupors, fights and one night stands.
Backed with pleasure.
Daniel Manning
No Compatibility.

nsllee wrote 1346 days ago

Hi John

Powerful opening chapter. I wasn't too sure about the opening couple of paras, but once you started depicting his gradual return to consciousness of his surroundings, the yells of the other prisoners etc, it became much realer and I was more open to engaging with his meanderings about Stacey. The sinister hint that all is not well in the psyche of our unreliable hero is done well. Backed.

Nicole
Chosen

Niobrara Kardnova wrote 1348 days ago

You portray the logical insanity of a stalker very well. Don't know how one could deal with a guy like Mark, and from the inference at the end of the first chapter, apparently no one else has yet solved the problem either--he's gone serial. Yikes! Very well written and scary. Liked the title and the MC's name as well. Backed.
Niobrara Kardnova (Family Irregulars)

name falied moderation wrote 1355 days ago

Dear John
this book had me on the edge , yes it did. even the long pitch got me. but it was the book cover that grabbed me the
first time around and then the second as well. Yes i have commented and backed your book, however cannot find the backing so will do it again, because it is WORTH IT
the VERY best of luck
If you have not already , please comment on my book and BACK it if not that is OK also
Denise
The Letter

Geveret wrote 1361 days ago

OHmygoodness! The voice is so natural, the telling so spontaneous, the mental wanderings so creepy and compelling, that I didn't realize you were using present tense until Chapter 5. Well done, John! Shelved.

max power wrote 1361 days ago

backed with pleasure, the power

max power wrote 1361 days ago

backed with pleasure, the power

Idea Girl Consulting wrote 1362 days ago

thanks 4 backing mine ive backed yours

andrew skaife wrote 1362 days ago

That's a nicely charged first paragraph; fat with description and then followed zippily along by that lone;

"I should never have popped that E." just thrown in there to imbalance (in my case quite effectively) the reader and to start the book off with a bang.

There is humour in the language and the structure smacks of the hard hitting novels of the late sixties and seventies that tried to uncover the grime which you so effectively manage.

There is a heavy creep factor that is bubbling behind your prose and a certain wild ride to come. Excellent stuff.

BACKED

Linda Lou wrote 1362 days ago

hullo John. What a mess but that's what you get for closing your eyes on a stranger. can't trust anyone can, ya? Very good and look forward to more. Already shelved and backed.
Please take a look at my book if you have not and thanks for that.
Linda Lou Long
Southern dis-Comfort
http://www.authonomy.com/ViewBook.aspx?bookid=11421

Eveleen wrote 1362 days ago

Backed with pleasure
Eveleen
(Turning a new leaf)

William Roberts wrote 1365 days ago

John
Your book is a well-written and interesting exploration of obsession, developed around two rough-and-ready characters and with very realistic dialogue. Backed.
Regards
William (The Caves of Caerdraig)

mvw888 wrote 1367 days ago

Creepy, creepy, creepy. And I'm just talking about your pitch! So intrigued with the almost mundane plot turning nasty--what's up with the other face? And then you do in your first chapter what many lesser writers try to do, which is set up a feel for what's going on in Mark's mind , but you do it without the usual cliche descriptions. This actually feels like a real person and he's complicated and interesting and yes, creepy. Excellent start. I don't typically read this type of book but I would read this.

---Mary
The Qualities of Wood

Owen Quinn wrote 1367 days ago

A thriller in the same league as fatal attraction and Single White Female. very well done.

dave_ancon wrote 1368 days ago

Wow, John, you have a great imagination. I believe you'll be called upon to change some of your language, though. Like "have got" and the f- word. I know that is how some people talk, but most readers don't want to read it. Just a thought, cause I'll back this for you. Dave

Idea Girl Consulting wrote 1372 days ago

love the pitch.. haven't seen any like yours.. which is good :) backing your novel.. thanks 4 backing the lafleur mansion.. i have 6 other novels different genres.. hope you like ;)

Idea Girl Consulting wrote 1372 days ago

love the pitch.. haven't seen any like yours.. which is good :) backing your novel.. thanks 4 backing the lafleur mansion.. i have 6 other novels different genres.. hope you like ;)