Friday Face-Off: Hair’s Gotta Be There

Friday Face-Off is a weekly meme that compares book covers to decide which is best. It was created by Books by Proxy and is now continued by Lynn’s Book Blog.

This week’s theme:

“Your hair is winter fire, January embers.”

A cover featuring hair

It was easier to think of a cover for this week’s prompt, but still I ran into a problem — I couldn’t remember the title of the book or the author or what it’s about. I only knew that it’s sci-fi and that I like the cover because of the hair on it. Luckily, I recalled that I first saw it reviewed on the Bibliosanctum. So with that clue, I was able to find Andrew Mayne’s The Naturalist.

Turns out that I was wrong about it being sci-fi (oh, memory). It’s actually a thriller about a computational biologist named Theo who gets caught up in an investigation of a bloody killing of one of his students. I’m not big on thrillers and mysteries, but the cover makes me willing to try it.

US | Brazil
Latvia | Czech

The covers are almost all the same except for the Latvian one that looks out of place with the metal and the green cover. I’m familiar with the US cover, which attracted me to the book and made me want to read it. I love the rich, warm brown on it and the Brazilian and Czech covers, but it’s the thickness of the fur that draws me to it and gives me the impression that if I touch the cover, my fingers would sink into soft fur.

The Czech cover, which also has fur, gives me that impression too. The fur there seems darker and silky, or maybe it’s just my imagination playing with me to make me think so. The Brazilian cover is interesting and makes me wonder what it and the fur ones allude to about the book. They make me think the student was probably mauled by a bear. But after quickly checking a few reviews while being careful not to spoil myself, I wonder too if maybe it was actually a bear-man or a creature similar to Big Foot or…something? I don’t know.

I don’t like the Latvian cover at all. I don’t like the shade of green or the metallic bear claw just lying there. But I do wonder if the student was attacked by a guy acting like a bear-man while wearing a bear costume and carrying metallic bear claws, or something.


I prefer the Czech cover because the fur here looks thicker and silkier. I feel like petting it. 😀 Lol!

Let me know which is your favorite below.


26 thoughts on “Friday Face-Off: Hair’s Gotta Be There

      1. šelma means predominantly a predator, or a rascal when applied to a person. So it is not entirely unrelated to the content of the book, but it definitely doesn’t mean Naturalist 😉


        1. Oh. Hmm… maybe it gives away the story more than “the Naturalist” does, which seems very vague to me.
          ….the more I discuss this book, the more I want to read it.
          Now I want to know what these cover clues — naturalist, predator/rascal, fur, bear claw, claw marks on trees — all add up to.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow, I didn’t know this book had more than one cover! I’m glad it’s getting more attention with additional language editions. And thanks for linking to my review! I loved this book. I think my favorite is the fur cover too, because it doesn’t give away too much about the story. Before I knew anything about it, the cover had me wondering if it had some sci-fi or paranormal element to it. So I think maybe that’s why you thought it was sci-fi, since the book kinda teased the possibility before the story reveals later on that it’s a straight up mystery thriller. The Latvian cover totally gives it away right off the bat though, imo!


    1. Aha! That must be the murder weapon and the killer was acting like a Big-Foot-bear-man hybrid hence the fur on the other covers! 🤔 I’m gonna read it to find out.

      You’re welcome! 🙂 I always get good recs from your blog.


  2. Great choice! I didn’t even realize this book had additional covers. I love the original one with the fur, as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to read this book:-)


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