Published by Giramondo (2005)
Published in Spanish as Rostro Original, translated by Mόnica Jawerbaum and Julieta Lorena Barba, UNSAM EDITA Buenos Aires. Buy the ebook.
‘Un thriller elegante, rapido e intelligente que permite echar un vistazo a la vida, subterráneana y multiétnica de la Australia actual.’ – J. M. Coetzee
Sydney Morning Herald Best Books of 2005
‘Original Face is a delicious read, with a fragrance of contemplation that follows the reader around after the book has been closed’ – Luke Beesley, Australian Book Review
‘A great crime story told with a craftsman’s precision’ – Venero Armanno, Weekend Australian
‘A page-turner that you can read again with undiminished pleasure’ – Andrew Riemer, Sydney Morning Herald
The drama begins with a body dumped in south-western Sydney – skinned, with no face. Lewis Lin, taxi driver, photographer, recent arrival from Beijing, happens to be at the scene. With detectives Ginger Rogers and Shelley Swert in pursuit, Lin finds himself drawn into a deadly immigration racket, with a cast which includes a film-maker just in from LA, a Buddhist monk, a millionaire bachelor artist, a masseuse, a maniacal violinist, and a refugee assassin.
Part thriller, part ethnic noir, dark and comic by turns, Original Face offers a sensuous and highly coloured portrait of the jostling energies that make up life in the contemporary Australian city.
Drawing its title from an ancient Zen koan, the novel traces the complicated manoeuvres by which people mask their identities, and the accidental pathways by which these hidden selves come to light.