Seeking love or friendship, people are drawn by the attractive power of the human face. Almost 50,000,000 people have reportedly used online dating services, which typically involve facial images. Facebook and other outlets can feature sound videos, enabling participants to check out each other’s looks and personality. Some people seek their own level and comfort zone, but with others, opposites attract, for example: more reserved types attracted to “live wires” and their usually expressive but not necessarily better-looking faces. Regardless, the animated, expressive face gives more clues to the personality and character traits underneath. So rely more on videos or better yet, Skype or similar “live” conversations and trust your “gut”. (See below.)

Darwinians say we prefer healthy, potent, propagators of the species (presumably good providers and caretakers). Faces can convey the presence of that healthy glow the Chinese call “Qi”. They can also reflect emotional and psychological fitness, read like a road map, with smile lines and well developed smile muscles indicating humor, optimism and serenity, while frowns, scowls, sneering and worry leave their own indelible marks.

The “attractiveness halo” supposedly confers favorable bias from observers, but may not be most influential when voters are choosing politicians rather than mates or employees. (Actually, “Power”, “Competent” and “Trustworthy” faces usually get the nod over “handsome” or “beautiful” candidates.)

Headhunters and police have different training, but as experienced interviewers, both can credibly spot slackers, liars, and the fearful. (Habitual tension and stress leave telltale facial traces of possible mental deterioration or emotional instability.)

Your own instinct is the best judge of character. Many observers say we are hard-wired to detect danger, but through cultural conditioning and wishful thinking, we may override or overlook what our “gut” is telling us. Some may adore or be in awe of certain faces, at first blush but, over time, reality and truth can rearrange those attractive features in the eye of the beholder—into something decidedly less so.

Faces Tell All presents realistic, everyday encounters where people act in a range of behaviors, open and natural, guarded or tense—played through their faces. Whatever the agenda: romance, business, entertainment or even national security, the reader will recognize common human ploys and responses—games people play—and yet enjoy the guessing game of who is what. Faces Tell All is, above all, a mind-bending, psychological thriller, a tangle of ulterior motives that leaves you guessing not whodunit so much as why. Mysterious characters such as Ma, the Chinese Hollywood techie who may be a double agent; Professor Wu, with one foot in the Chinese Classics, the other in the CIA; Hoda, the beautiful Egyptian museum curator whose Nefertiti-looks project the vaunted power of the Pharaohs. A world-encompassing gallery of human archetypes come to life.