This is the only novel written under the pseudonym Peter Held by Jack Vance (John Holbrook Vance) - an author more noted for his science-fiction and fantasy stories. In spite of the brutal but effective cover art by John Floherty and the front and back cover text, this is a murder mystery rather than an early serial-killer thriller, as much of the narrative focus placed on the character and motivations of the young women seemingly being lined up for the kill by a vengeful murderer as well as on the
AFTERWORD: And if you're fortunate enough to find an affordable copy of either the Pyramid paperback edition above or the original and extremely scarce 1957 Mystery House hardback you will be fortunate indeed. However, the book has since been republished under Jack Vance's name in a limited edition by Underwood-Miller in 1988 - which means copies seem to fetch extremely high prices - and also as The Flesh Mask (which is apparently Vance's preferred title) in a 2002 Vance Integral edition. My copy was more affordable as it was purchased as part of a job lot of Pyramid titles, and which at least made it relatively inexpensive compared to buying a single copy.