David said:
"Actually, if you substitute Lens Larque as the protagonist of The Face, this is a typical Vancean ending, in which the hero succeeds but doesn't quite get what he set out to achieve."
I think I'm reading this right: the typical Vancean hero succeeds but doesn't quite get what he set out to achieve.
I don't think that's typical of Vance, in fact. But no hero in fiction, or few, at any rate, gets exactly what they expected, even if they achieve what they set out to do. None of us do, even we non-heroes.
In The Face, Lens Larque is completely thwarted, but his enemies get the "benefit" of his efforts, as he hoped. This would not be a typical ending for a Vancean protagonist, I shouldn't think.