His face badly burned in a motor accident, young Robert Struve is horribly disfigured.
Unable to afford corrective surgery, and denied lawful redress against the rich man whose daughter was responsible, Struve wears his scars as a badge of honor, excelling at school and sports. The social pressure is intense however, and he is treated harshly by his peers—young men and women alike. When his frustration boils over, he assaults a girl.
In a correctional institution, as a ward of the state, he undergoes reconstructive surgery.
Years go by. Then one of the girls involved in the incident is murdered, her face mutilated. A second and third are killed in similar fashion; is Robert Struve involved? No one has seen him, since his incarceration…
Written in the late 1940s, The Flesh Mask was Jack Vance’s first success as a mystery writer, launching his Edgar-winning career. The story was first published in 1957, as Take My Face, under the pseudonym “Peter Held”.
The Flesh Mask is Volume 14 of the Spatterlight Press Signature Series. Released in the centenary of the author's birth, this handsome new collection is based upon the prestigious Vance Integral Edition. Select volumes enjoy up-to-date maps, and many are graced with freshly-written forewords contributed by a distinguished group of authors. Each book bears a facsimile of the author's signature and a previously-unpublished photograph, chosen from family archives for the period the book was written. These unique features will be appreciated by all, from seasoned Vance collector to new reader sampling the spectrum of this author's influential work for the first time. – John Vance II
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