Read Little Face by Sophie Hannah Online

little-face

“Little Face is a wonderful work, a brilliant use of mirrors and the writer's magic.  Chilling, tantalizing, and ultimately fair and deeply satisfying.”—Barbara D’Amato, author of Death of a Thousand Cuts “Hannah adapts to crime fiction with arresting aplomb: Her characters are vivid, the novel’s challenging double narrative is handled with flair, and its denouement is ing“Little Face is a wonderful work, a brilliant use of mirrors and the writer's magic.  Chilling, tantalizing, and ultimately fair and deeply satisfying.”—Barbara D’Amato, author of Death of a Thousand Cuts “Hannah adapts to crime fiction with arresting aplomb: Her characters are vivid, the novel’s challenging double narrative is handled with flair, and its denouement is ingenious.”—The Sunday Times (London) “Outstandingly chilling.”—The Spectator “Superb . . . good, old-fashioned spine-tingling stuff, but also a fine modern thriller.”—The Times (London) “A terrifying mystery of manipulation, counter-manipulation and, finally, astounding revelation. It’s a haunting story told with bewitching skill.”—The Scotsman “Impressive.”—The Mail on Sunday The first time she goes out after their daughter is born, Alice leaves the two-week-old infant at home with her husband, David. When she returns two hours later, she insists that the baby in the crib is not her child. Despite her apparent distress, David is adamant that she is wrong. The police are called to the scene. Detective Constable Simon Waterhouse is sympathetic, but he doubts Alice’s story. His superior, Sergeant Charlie Zailer, thinks Alice must be suffering from some sort of delusion brought on by postpartum depression. With an increasingly hostile and menacing David swearing she must either be mad or lying, how can Alice make the police believe her before it’s too late? Sophie Hannah is an award-winning and best-selling poet in the United Kingdom. She has also previously published fiction. This is her first psychological crime novel. She lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and two children.From the Hardcover edition....

Title : Little Face
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 11749071
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 321 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Little Face Reviews

  • Blair
    2018-11-20 06:47

    I bought this because a review quoted on the jacket of Lucie Whitehouse's superb The Bed I Made compared that book to Sophie Hannah's writing. First things first - the comparison is way off the mark. Hannah's writing is good, and I can see certain similarities in style, but she hasn't a fraction of Whitehouse's talent. While compelling and in parts intriguing, this was one of the strangest, most confusing and ultimately frustrating books I've ever read.I don't normally describe plots in my reviews, but to explain my feelings about this particular book I will have to, so stop reading now if you don't want spoilers. The story centres around Alice, who believes her newborn daughter Florence has been abducted and replaced with another child, dubbed Little Face. Her husband, David, whose first wife Laura was murdered some years earlier, accuses her of lying, and later in the book proceeds to subject her to quite horrific emotional - and to some extent physical - abuse, apparently with the aim of convincing others Alice is losing her mind. It later transpires that Vivienne, David's mother, killed Laura - a fact Alice had discovered during her pregnancy, making her determined to escape from the family. This is where it gets very confusing. We're asked to believe that Alice was intending to run away with Florence, but for spurious reasons decided to invent the abduction story instead. It is revealed at the very end of the book that there has only ever been one baby, and that Alice has always been aware of this.All very well and good; the problem is that Alice's part of the story is told in first person, present tense, and right up until the last few chapters she maintains that Little Face is not her child. I get that she is supposed to be an unreliable narrator, but her narrative is not presented as a story being told, rather as her thoughts and feelings as they happen. For example, we observe her horror upon discovering that all her photos of Florence have been destroyed, only to later learn that she did this herself, which simply doesn't seem plausible at all. I think you should be able to re-read a story with a significant final twist again from the beginning and find that it all still makes sense, albeit cast in a different light; this one doesn't. There is also the question of why Alice tolerates David's abuse. She doesn't seem to believe herself to be in danger of physical harm, yet she goes along with his disgusting, humiliating requests almost without question or any attempt to stand up to him. Is this supposed to be part of Alice's 'plan'? Or are we meant to assume the episodes are entirely fabricated? When we discover that Vivienne is the villain of the piece, does this mean she is complicit in David's behaviour, or are the two completely separate? It's never made clear whether David was involved in Laura's murder or not, and he receives no comeuppance for his treatment of Alice. This is particularly disturbing since the abuse scenes are so chilling they made me feel physically sick. The best thing about the book was that I did find it very readable and constantly wanted to find out what would happen next; this was helped by the narrative structure, with every other chapter from Alice's point of view, and the rest written in third person, observing the police officers investigating Alice's case. I loved the character of Simon, until the end when he too inexplicably changed dramatically and suddenly. There is some proof here that Hannah has promise as a writer, but there were so many holes in the plot and characterisation, so many questions left unanswered, and on the evidence of this book there is no way she merits any sort of comparison to Whitehouse.

  • HollyB
    2018-12-08 07:34

    I really thought I would enjoy this one more. It started out with a lot of promise, but became much too claustrophobic for my taste! While I do enjoy a frantic tone and intense scenario, this one turned out to be very monotonous and redundant. I enjoyed the setting of the massive estate, The Elms and the fact that the wife/mother Alice seemed to be "trapped" inside and controlled by her husband, Simon and her evil mother-in-law.The story line and dialogue just went round and round too much for me and I lost interest quickly. I finished the book because I really wanted to see what happened to their child, Florence/Little Face! I can't say the ending was satisfying to me. Sadly it just didn't work for me.I really did like Sophie Hannah's writing style as far as descriptions and character development. This is a book from 2006, so I am looking forward to reading her newest novel, Did You See Melody? So the jury is still out on this author for me :)

  • Tea Jovanović
    2018-11-12 00:48

    psihološki triler... guta se u dahu... nažalost samo je jedna njena knjiga prevedena na srpski...

  • Maria Bikaki
    2018-11-25 06:45

    Είναι κάποιοι συγγραφείς αλλά είμαστε και κάποιοι αναγνώστες που πάμε και κάνουμε πρώτες μούρες στο Καβούρι την κάθε τυχάρπαστη που πιστεύει ότι είναι η νέα Αγκαθα Κρίστι. Πιο προβλέψιμο πεθαίνεις. Παίζει να είχα καταλάβει τι θα γίνει και από την πρώτη κιόλας σελίδα. Δεν είναι το πρωτο βιβλίο της που διαβάζω και τελικά αυτό που διαπιστώνω είναι ότι η Αγκάθα των φτωχών έχει μεν συμπαθητικές ιδέες που θα μπορούσαν να γίνουν ωραία βιβλία αλλά μάλλον βάζει όλη της την ενέργεια να σκεφτεί το σκηνικό και μένει από μπαταρία στην εκτέλεση. Δεν εξηγείται αλλιως. ΖΖΖΖΖΖΖΖΖΖΖΖΖ

  • Shawn
    2018-12-02 05:49

    I feel bad giving this book only two stars, because the writing was actually good enough to deserve more than that. By the end, however, it started feeling like a bad made-for-TV movie. I could picture Melissa Gilbert tearing up and trying to conjure a quivering lip in the lead role!What was the point with the husband, by the way? Mild-mannered, "love-of-my-life"...? Is it just Me? Or, how do you turn him into this horrible, sadistic villain, replete with evil cackle and murderous stare, and then in the end he turns out to be merely suffering from the stress and anxiety of the situation foisted upon him? Really? You thought that was a good idea? And, no one..., not a single friend or relative proofreader, or editor read this and said, "Sweetie, you know we love you. You know that. But, if you publish this book with that ending we have little recourse but to disown you. It's out of our hands" -- no one thought to render that kindness?That a book could start out so extremely well and end up as badly as it did is a talent in and of itself, I suppose.

  • Jackie
    2018-11-14 02:31

    If you like crime drama and psychological suspsense, don't miss this book. This is a magical onion kind of book--the surface is nothing like the center and there are hundreds of layers making it up. The complexity of the plot will take awhile to hit you, but when it does, you won't be able to put the book down. I literally finished the last 20 pages walking around my apartment because I was too exhausted to stay awake if I sat down but I HAD to see how things wrapped up. The premise: new mother Alice Fancourt leaves her two week old daughter for the first time for a quick outing, only to discover, when she gets home, that the baby in the crib is not hers. But she can't convince anyone else of that. Very British, very dark, very much full of surprises and very very much recommended by me!

  • Batsap
    2018-12-06 02:52

    Creepy and disturbing, and not even in an interesting way.The characters were either annoying or downright unpleasant. I resented having to spend my time with them. No one had any redeeming features. The ending was a huge rip-off. I've noticed with Sophie Hannah that even though she sets up amazing mysteries that keep my turning the pages, she ruins them with the last chapter in which everything is explained in an implausible and awkward way. I felt cheated by the ending of this book. All the way through, in chapters that were written in first person, the main character claimed her baby was missing and swapped with someone else's. There were whole paragraphs in which she agonised over what was happening to her missing child. Then in the last chapter it turned out that she had been pretending all along. There was absolutely no indication that this might be the case. It was blatant deception of the reader. Badly handled.

  • Katharina
    2018-12-11 05:41

    This will probably include SPOILERS so stop reading now if that bothers you. I'm torn about this book. I think my actual rating was about 3.5 stars. I couldn't put it down, which pleased me because I came across it by accident, and I'm often disappointed with kindle books I know nothing about. I found the author's narration style interesting: alternating first-person Alice narration with third-person police narration. At first, I was confused by this, but it grew on me. Ok. Problems with the story. 1. Alice is an idiot. This is where those SPOILERS come in.Okay, so you're Alice Fancourt, and you've just figured out that you're loving and supportive mother-in-law is a murderous psychopath. Do you...(a) ...run away while she is on vacation for two weeks on the other side of the Atlantic?(b) ...go to the police, tell them what you know, and ask them to keep you in custody so she can't harm you during the investigation?(c) ...stage a kidnapping of your own daughter, get the police involved and lie to them every step of the way (thereby losing their trust), succumb to the abuse of your apparently unstable husband without even trying to resist, and run away on foot in your nightgown in the middle of the night? And then, hypothetically, if you chose this as your response, would you hide at your friend's house until the cop finally believed you and then...run away from him?!?!?!Seriously, Sophie Hannah, she runs away from Simon after she knows he believes her and is on her side? (Ps. The answer is clearly c.) and where does Alice go? Oh yes, to the club, frequented by Vivienne, to find evidence for a murder for which she had motive. Naturally, she got her FINGERPRINTS all over the evidence before dropping it in a pool. Go, Alice!Speaking of the pool scene, this was a crappy wrap-up. Reminiscent of Rowling and Collins, our protagonist finds herself in a life-threatening situation and rather than facing the situation, the author has Alice lose consciousness and awake in a safe location. Bleh. Get your hands messy, people! Clearly, Hannah is not afraid to do this (think: bathroom scene). Anyway, Alice should have died at this point. She was in a secluded (and probably soundproofed) room, being held underwater by someone who wanted her dead...there is no way the police would have actually gotten there on time. I think I would have liked this book more (and would have respected SH more) if Alice had died during this scene.Additionally, I spent half the book thinking Alice was crazy. This was underdeveloped. Was she a pathological liar? Maybe that's it... Laura warned Alice. Maybe Alice interpreted it as jealousy and was blinded by love. But everything needs to be taken with a grain of salt. 2. Whatever happened to David?There are many allusions to David having multiple personalities, and, in the end, everything is laid out for us so clearly that I found myself yearning for some explanation of David's behavior. Alas, there is none. Ok, so Alice thought more highly of David than her only friend, who seemed to find him about as interesting as a brick wall, though not threatening. David was loyal (to a fault) to his mother, still in love with his first wife, and did not doubt that the child in question was Florence. He was abnormally modest, so when did the shift to sadistic torturer happen? What prompted him to smirk at Alice behind his mother's back as she stood there, covered in food, and then stripping in the kitchen? Maybe David's motivation was truly to push Alice to admit that she was lying, or to make her seem crazy or sick. Perhaps Alice is the sickest one of them all. That, in conjunction with a mental illness brought on by a period of high stress (like having a baby), might cause someone to lash out in a new way. It still seemed a little suspect to me. 3. The wrap-up sucked. See comment on protagonist waking up and finding him/herself completely safe. I'll probably read more by Sophie Hannah. I feel like she copped out a little, but she had me hooked, and I do love those psychological murder mysteries!

  • Mary JL
    2018-12-12 04:43

    Well the premise sounded good--Alice Fancourt returns home after a few hours out of the house and claims the baby in the nursery is not hers. No one believes her, not even the police....The book jacket was loaded with rave reviews..."international bestseller" and "translated into nine languages" so I started reading with high hopes.Well, that will teach me to believe in publisher's hype. I should know better by now.This book has too MUCH psycho-babble. Every character is overdrawn; and I found none of the characters likeable. Every single character--including the two police leads--Simon and Charlie--are loaded with thier own pyschlogical problems. And the ending was a big disappointment.I nearly gave one star but I gave two because of 1)an interesting premise and 2) there are a few really good flashes of writing here and there--but few and far between.I would recommend this author try a novel and use much less psychlogical jargon and tighter plotting. I am in no hurry to read any of her other books.Recommended for the truly desperate mystery reader with nothing else to read.

  • Chrissa Vasileiou
    2018-12-10 23:26

    Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο είναι αρκετά ιδιαίτερο. Διαπραγματεύεται ένα θέμα που είναι ο εφιάλτης για όλες τις μητέρες -και για όσες δεν είμαστε, μπορώ να πω. Η εξαφάνιση ενός παιδιού αποτελεί την πιο φρικτή σκέψη του καθενός από εμάς και νομίζω πως άπαντες νιώθουμε ένα σφίξιμο όταν ακούμε για τέτοια περιστατικά. Από την άλλη, μπορεί να αποτελέσει μια θαυμάσια λογοτεχνική αφορμή για τη δημιουργία μιας συναρπαστικής ιστορίας. Αυτό είναι το καλό με τα βιβλία, ότι τα δεινά παραμένουν στις σελίδες τους και συνήθως τελειώνουν μαζί με αυτές. Η Sophie Hannah προσπάθησε να δημιουργήσει μια συναρπαστική ιστορία, όμως μάλλον δεν της βγήκε. Το βιβλίο είναι τρομερά καλογραμμένο, η χρήση της γλώσσας είναι πλούσια και περιγραφική, η πλοκή 'χορταστική' από αυτή την άποψη. Από άποψη περιεχομένου, όμως, ψιλοπάσχει. Το οπισθόφυλλο υπόσχεται "ανατριχιαστική αγωνία", "τρομακτικό μυστήριο" και έντονα συναισθήματα. Πράγματι, σ' αυτό το μοτίβο ξεκινάει, αλλά όσο προχωράει η ανάγνωση -και όσο πλησιάζουμε προς το τέλος- όλο αυτό μοιάζει να ξεφουσκώνει. Τα επιχειρήματα μοιάζουν απλοϊκά, οι εντυπώσεις δεν κερδίζονται πια, η κατάληξη φαντάζει η αναμενόμενη - οπότε χάνεται και το όποιο σασπένς. Αρκετές σελίδες πριν το τέλος έχεις ήδη καταλάβει όχι μόνο τι έχει παίξει στην υπόθεση, αλλά και το τι πρόκειται να συμβεί στον καθένα από τους ήρωες.Οι οποίοι ήρωες είναι στην πλειοψηφία τους προβληματικοί και ασυμπάθιστοι. Οι χαρακτήρες τους δείχνουν από την αρχή και τον ρόλο τους στην υπόθεση. Σε ένα αστυνομικό θρίλερ όμως υποτίθεται πως αυτό δεν πρέπει να συμβαίνει, γιατί δεν είναι πολύ δύσκολο πια να μαντέψεις τις εξελίξεις. Η νευρωτική και ελεγχομανής πεθερά, ο άβουλος γιος, η απελπισμένη και 'χαμένη' νύφη, η στερημένη αρχιφύλακας, ο διστακτικός αστυνομικός... Όλοι τους έχουν εξ' αρχής μια διαμορφωμένη περσόνα που δεν εκπλήσσει καθόλου και ποτέ τον αναγνώστη. Προσωπικά, δεν συμπάθησα πολύ κανέναν τους και οπωσδήποτε δεν δικαιολόγησα τις πράξεις τους. Από την απαράδεκτη συμπεριφορά της αρχιφύλακα επειδή δεν της έκατσε ο γκόμενος, μέχρι την αλλοπρόσαλλη συμπεριφορά της μητέρας του μωρού, δεν μπόρεσα να βρω κανένα ελαφρυντικό. Ούτε το τέλος κατάφερε να με πείσει. Ίσως υπήρχαν τα κίνητρα για όσα έγιναν και οπωσδήποτε ο καθένας πράττει κατά βούληση. Όμως, μετά από 400 σελίδες, περιμένεις κάτι διαφορετικό. Κάτι που θα σε σοκάρει, θα ανατρέψει τα όσα είχες σχηματίσει στο μυαλό σου ως τώρα. Εδώ το τέλος ήταν ό,τι πιο αναμενόμενο μπορούσε να υποθέσει κανείς - και να επαναλάβω πως ούτε τότε μπόρεσα να δικαιολογήσω την ηρωίδα για τις πράξεις της.Απόλαυσα πραγματικά την ανάγνωση από άποψη γραφής, αλλά από άποψη πλοκής ήταν από τα πιο προβλέψιμα βιβλία που έχω διαβάσει. Καλούτσικο σε γενικές γραμμές, οπωσδήποτε όμως δεν δικαιώνει τον τίτλο του ως 'αστυνομικό ψυχολογικό θρίλερ'.

  • Yellowoasis
    2018-12-01 06:37

    I was very disappointed with this book, and it was only sheer irritation that kept me going – I thought it MUST get better or reveal some amazing plot twist. I didn’t like the voice of Alice, she sounded needy and pathetic. I didn’t like the close, first person, present tense chapters with Alice as narrator, they just droned on with too much detail. None of the characters seemed believable, from the psycho mother in law to the stock sweary police officers. And all that terrible exposition in the final chapter. There must have been a more skilful way to tell the reader all that. Oh dear.

  • Alex
    2018-12-03 07:49

    There are two reasons why I didn't like this book. One, within two chapters I was able to correctly guess one of the major plot points. Second, the resolution (really the entire final 100 pages) is full of implausibilities that could induce an eye-roll. There is even that clunky cliche of a scene in which someone in peril confesses their motivation to a crime, laying it out in such detail that no stone is unturned. Worst of all, this book breaks one of the cardinal rules of the mystery genre. I won't say what it is, but if you're familiar with what you're not supposed to do, this book doesn't live by the internal logic.All of this I say with a slightly heavy heart, because "Little Face" is well written, with some gripping scenes of suspense, and some insight into human motivation. For prose, characterization, and scene construction, I'd give it four stars. The problem is the plot, which is a zero. Hence my two star review.

  • Emir Ibañez
    2018-12-12 04:42

    Un thriller psicológico... más psicológico que thriller.Esta historia se caracteriza por su prosa y sus personajes. El argumento es poco relevante aquí.No me encontraba con personajes tan bien caracterizados psicológicamente desde Gillian Flynn. Sobretodo cuando estoy hablando de personajes bastante perturbados o con un alguna patología tóxica.Este libro abarca temas como la depresión post-parto, la depresión, la manipulación y las relaciones tóxicas. Es un libro bastante denso de leer porque, si bien su prosa es hermosa, es bastante descriptiva y ahonda mucho en reflexiones y monólogos interiores. Las partes de Alice están narradas en primera persona y la partes de los investigadores de la policía están narradas en tercera persona.A pesar de que, como dije anteriormente, la stotyline no es la protagonista aquí, tenemos dos líneas argumentales diferentes.La principal, la de la sinopsis del libro. Es asfixiante y desesperante, porque durante todo el libro no sabemos a quien creer: a Alice que dice que ese bebé que está en su casa no es suyo, o a David, su marido, que dice que Alice se ha vuelto loca y no reconoce a su propia hija. Poco a poco se irán desvelando detalles del pasado de Alice y de la relación de David con su madre; historias que harán poner en duda a todos los personajes hasta llegar a la resolución final, que me pareció muy bien narrada - aunque debo admitir que tuve que leer ese capítulo un par de veces para entenderlo bien. Después está la línea de los investigadores. La historia de trasfondo que hay entre los investigadores, la sargento, el comisario, toda una trama aparte que gira en torno a experiencias y anécdotas fuera del caso de turno que va armando una base sobre cada uno de los personajes pero que al final queda sin cerrar DEL TODO, con un par de cuestiones flotando en el aire. Me resultó curioso, así que investigué y descubrí que este libro es el primero de una serie con estos investigadores a cargo de casos similares a este, que, por supuesto, ya los estoy agregando a mi TBR list.En fin, una historia interesante, Una autora interesante. Una serie interesante. Definitivamente recomendada.Seguime en:InstagramTwitterMi blog

  • Katy
    2018-11-28 03:33

    I admit that I didn't have terrifically high hopes for this novel being phenomenal. The plot is like something out of a 1940s cheap pulp novel. It's definitely an airplane read, not anything aspiring to be great literature. But I was nonetheless taken aback by how repellent the novel is. What makes it so bad? Well, let's start with the characters. Put simply, they're awful. There is a strong undercurrent of male chauvinism and conservatism throughout the story that made me gag. And while I initially harbored great sympathy for Alice, the main character, somewhere around the halfway mark it became clear that she was intended to be little more than a damsel in distress stock character with almost no dimensionality or depth to her character. She is painted as a helpless child of a woman, made worse by scenes of sadism that serve no true purpose, needing the rescue of her knight in shining armor, Simon. And while we're on that note, I simply did not buy that Simon became so attached to Alice after meeting her once, and that at one point it's strongly implied that he's actually in love with her. I suppose that sort of thing does happen occasionally on Planet Earth, but it's an awful lot to swallow for the purposes of this story.The book has a strange quality of belonging to an entirely different era than the one it was set in. The characters are very old-fashioned and say and do things that don't come off as "modern." I don't know if this was a deliberate flourish on the part of the author, but it did seem a bit strange, seeing how relatively young the author is. At times it's distinctly unpleasant, especially given how weak and helpless Alice is sometimes portrayed as, and the cartoonish way in which certain characters seem to magically, suddenly become the embodiment of evil in ways that are just inorganic. A better writer or a more competent story might leave clues or hints that such characterization swings are imminent or possible; Hannah does nothing of the sort.And then there's the ending. When skillfully done, an unreliable narrator can be a brilliant device, a fearsome prospect. Here…not so much. Hannah is simply not skilled enough to pull it off in a way that's remotely convincing, interesting, or clever. I could not understand Simon's anger and sense of betrayal in the end (Alice had supposedly done what she'd done to protect her child; isn't that understandable?), nor could I understand the bait-and-switch pulled with the character of David. He goes from a meek, mild-mannered mama's boy to a sadistic monster, and then back to a weak, ineffectual person. No character was remotely believable or consistent. Very weak effort.

  • Laura
    2018-12-03 01:47

    After a very promising plot and some interesting opening chapters, I thought I was in for a truly chilling psychological thriller with a shock ending.What I ended up with was a very melodramatic and unsatisfying ending.I didn't feel there was any point to the side storyline of Charlie and Simon, and his rejection of her.There was no comeuppance for David Fancourt, though he was not the main villain, his psychological abuse of Alice was repellent - in a way this was the best written part of the book.What happened to Felix? All we hear is that he is now living with his mother's parents, what of the effect on him?And, while obviously it is a relief that the baby of the story was unharmed, I still feel it was a bit of a cheap ending for the baby in the house to have been Florence the whole time.Overall, a promising read turned sour in the last third or so, but it did keep me gripped to the very end so I could find out what happened -however I can't help but be disappointed with the finale.

  • Syl
    2018-11-21 02:48

    Was a great letdown in comparison with other books by the same author. I respect Hannah as a proficient weaver of intricate webs of psychological mysteries, but this story was so haphazard, so incongruous, and consisted of a major hole or two. Completed it only to know the ending, which seemed bizarre and incomplete. The last quarter taxed my brains by flitting from one idea to another, and rapid change of scenes. Gist of the book - a distraught mother who thinks her neonate daughter's been substituted, whereas the father doesn't think so and the paternal grandmother is not sure. The Spilling CID takes over the case and skeletons tumble down.

  • Veiledhorizon
    2018-12-11 01:46

    I remember reading this back in 2012. I really didn't like the characters and the plot :( I think this was a DNF for me.

  • Jennie
    2018-11-25 07:48

    Sophie Hannah has a gift for making me very, very angry. Little Face is a psychological thriller about a new mother who returns home to a baby she claims isn't hers, and who subsequently disappears with the baby. Told in alternating points of view (which, based on the only other book of hers that I've read, seems to be her gimmick), we see through the mother's eyes the week leading up to her disappearance, and a 3rd-person account of the investigation by detectives.Hannah's gift really shows during those 1st-person accounts, which are by turns pitiful (pitiable? I felt sorry for the character?), harrowing and infuriating. I kept having to unclench my fists during some scenes because I wanted to punch several of the characters, victims and tormentors equally. I also wasn't really sure whether I should believe the narrator, and didn't figure it out until nearly the end, though I had suspicions.As with the only other of Hannah's books that I've read (The Wrong Mother), the spell started to unravel for me a little during the 3rd-person episodes with the detectives. I found I really didn't like any of the detectives, and couldn't understand the tension between the two main characters. I mean, I understood what had happened, but couldn't understand why either one of them really continued to care about it after so long. They both need a good slap in the face, and I wish I could be the one to administer it. Also agree with one of the detectives that her partner is kind of an egotistical blowhard who thinks he's the only one who's ever right. That got old. I will definitely continue to read more of her books, if only because they genuinely kind of freak me out. Could do without the cops' interpersonal drama, though.

  • Aoibhínn
    2018-12-09 04:43

    2.5 StarsAfter reading some great reviews of the series, I decided to give this series a try and picked up Little Face, the first book in the series. This book was a bit of a let down. After reading the synopsis on the back of this book, I was looking forward to a good read and the mystery it was going to tell. What a disappointment! The book was just merely okay, but I had a lot of issues with this book. First off, it left lots of unanswered questions. What was up with Alice's husband's abusive behaviour? I didn't like either of the two detectives, Simon & Charlie and found their backstory to be unnecessary and distracting. I found the switching narrative and dates extremely confusing: alternate chapters are set in different months. It starts off in September, the next chapter is in October and then the third chapter switches back to September, etc. The plot of the murder mystery was too predictable. I figured that out more or less after the first few chapters. The ending was disapointing as well. There was no surprising twist, just an anti-climax. I was expecting something far more exciting and gripping. I'm not sure whether I should give this series another chance or not.

  • Maria Stefanou
    2018-11-28 04:25

    Έχουν περάσει μόνο λίγες ώρες από την ολοκλήρωση της ανάγνωσης του συγκεκριμένου μυθιστορήματος και είναι αλήθεια ότι μου προκάλεσε πολλά και έντονα συναισθήματα μ’ εκείνα του θυμού να επικρατούν και να ξεπερνούν με διαφορά τα υπόλοιπα. Και μάλιστα θα έλεγα ότι είμαι θυμωμένη επειδή νιώθω ότι εξαπατήθηκα στον ίστατο βαθμό!Διαβάζοντας το οπισθόφυλλο, θα περίμενε κανείς να υπάρχει σασπένς, αγωνία, ίσως και λίγος τρόμος αλλά προσωπικά, δεν συνάντησα κανένα από αυτά τα χαρακτηριστικά στο συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο.Η ιστορία ξεκινάει μ’ ένα «δόλωμα», με στόχο να κερδίσει τον αναγνώστη στην πορεία όμως, η ιστορία εξελίσσεται διαφορετικά απ’ ότι θα περίμενε κανείς και ειδικότερα στο τέλος, η μεγάλη «αποκάλυψη» ήταν κατά την προσωπική μου άποψη μια μεγάλη, ανόητη μπλόφα!Η γραφή της συγγραφέως είναι αρκετά καλή και σίγουρα έχει διδαχθεί αφηγηματικές τεχνικές ώστε να δημιουργεί μια κάποια ατμόσφαιρα όμως αυτό δεν φτάνει κατά την ταπεινή μου άποψη. Αν οι βάσεις είναι σαθρές, αν όλο σου το οικοδόμημα είναι χάρτινο αυτό θα έχει ως αποτέλεσμα να καταρρεύσει αργά ή γρήγορα.Επίσης, οι ήρωες του βιβλίου, ένας προς έναν, είναι στην κυριολεξία ένα μάτσο προβληματικοί όπου δεν δίνεται η δυνατότητα στον αναγνώστη να γνωρίσει πραγματικά κανέναν ώστε να δικαιολογήσει τις αντιδράσεις και τις συμπεριφορές τους. Λυπάμαι που θα το πω, αλλά πρόκειται για ένα ακόμα μυθιστόρημα που θέλει να δημιουργήσει εντυπώσεις και δεν φτάνει η καλή και «πιασάρικη» ιδέα. Αντίθετα, είναι μεγάλη η απογοήτευση όταν σταδιακά ανακαλύπτει ο αναγνώστης ότι το θύμα σε αυτή την ιστορία είναι ο ίδιος!Θα μπορούσα να βάλω τέσσερα αστέρια για τη γραφή και την αφήγηση, στη συνέχεια σκέφτηκα να βάλω τρία επειδή από θέμα πλοκής ήταν αρκετά προβλέψιμο, όταν όμως έφτασα και στην τελευταία σελίδα, τα δύο αστέρια ήταν μονόδρομος για μένα!

  • Caitlin
    2018-12-11 00:42

    I really like Sophie Hannah's third book, The Wrong Mother, so I was looking forward to reading this one (her first) and was sorely disappointed. This book was so disappointing that it made me wonder if I should rethink how much I liked The Wrong Mother.Hannah alternates chapters between first-person narrative of the protagonist and third-person narrative of the cops. In The Wrong Mother this works really well, but in this book it feels too much like a device (which, of course, it is in both books). In thinking through this I believe the heart of the problem here is in the rather poorly cobbled together characterizations; they just don't seem substantial or even internally consistent and this makes their actions ultimately unbelievable and mildly bland and predictable in a Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip kind of way. There is a terrible waste of a really interesting premise here and an even more terrible waste of some good writing that's buried in here along with all the clumsiness.I'm reading Hannah's second book and will decide how I feel about her then, but at this point I'm feeling dubious and sort of jipped.

  • SpookySoto
    2018-11-23 03:39

    Este libro me mantuvo en suspenso todo el tiempo, es un verdadero "page turner". Nos cuenta una historia donde no sabemos que es verdad y que es mentira. Habia leido anteriormente la nueva versión de Poirot escrita por Sophie (que me encantó), pero nunca había leido otro libro de ella, con su propia voz y estilo. Me gustó mucho. Es bien entretenido e interesante, con un ritmo fluido y que te mantiente deseando saber en qué terminará la historia.Lo recomiendo mucho, y definitivamente leeré otros más de ella.

  • Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*
    2018-11-28 07:40

    Started well, heading for a 4 star rating, until the final 80 pages or so. The conclusion was unsatisfying for me. Far too many loose ends left dangling. 2.75 stars.

  • Green Gables
    2018-11-24 04:25

    This was a very suspenseful read and had me guessing until the very end. This was a four star for the first 90% of the book and turned into a three star for the less than satisfactory conclusion. My issues with the book :spoilers ahead1. If the entire kidnapping plot was planned by Alice, how can the author reconcile the first person narrative where the readers knew Alice's thoughts and utter despair over not knowing what has happened to her daughter? This isn't a movie where there may be clues we didn't see before, the reader here only knows as much as the author feeds us line by line. This seemed like we were intentionally mislead. For example, when Alice goes to the closet to retrieve the film from the camera, "Thank God, I murmur to myself. Now, surely, I have a chance of being believed." The author does seem to try and explain away this obvious discrepancy during Alice's last conversation with Simon when he questions how she could have been so hysterical and obviously upset over a lie and she mentioned something like that, she really WAS grieving for Florence or for what could have been, or could have happened or whatever...mmmm...no2. David's storyline was never completely reconciled. He was evil, sadistic and calculating but suddenly gracious and contrite at the end. His sudden transformation made no sense. The theory that I had formed was that Vivienne and David planned the entire scenario. Taking advantage of her less than lucid state at the hospital they switched Florence with the other woman's (Mandy) baby so that they intentionally took the wrong baby home from the hospital. Alice would have just accepted it as her baby since she was the first one she saw when she came to after the delivery. Then, they switched the fake baby for the real Florence when they were home. Alice freaks out, causes this whole unnecessary investigation and they do DNA tests to prove the baby is Florence. Alice is declared insane for not being able to recognized her own baby and they successfully get her out of the picture.

  • Polly Werran
    2018-11-17 23:36

    It's been interesting to read other reviews of this title; I had wondered if I'd missed something. I tend to read gripping books as I'm falling asleep and sometimes miss key events!The book opens well; Alice is a new mother who, upon her return to her home, claims that the baby there is not hers.Gradually we learn more about the characters such as her mother-in-law Vivienne whom we know to be bossy and domineering from the start and also her husband David who develops into a sadistic, bullying monster (unrealistically so, in my opinion - but very menacing).Whist gripped throughout and enjoying the narrative technique of 2 strands of the story being told with a time lapse, I found the ending unsatisfactory and frustrating. Why did Alice effectively lie throughout her narrative (this is unfair on the reader!) and why is there no further discussion of David's behaviour?Overall it's a really entertaining read but would have been so much better with some tightening of the narrative, especially at the beginning, and a more satisfactory completion of David's story.

  • lucky little cat
    2018-11-11 07:32

    Arrrrrrrrgh! That last conversation is interminable. We already understand that the plot device that occupied fully two thirds of the novel was a big fat red herring perpetrated by the "victim" herself. In other words, we've been had. So please quit talking about it. We feel stupid enough. Enough already. Really. I mean it.

  • Miz
    2018-11-24 01:44

    This book can be summed up as follows - a storyline that kept me thinking when I wasn't reading the novel (an abduction of a child to be replaced by another child from her cot - woozers!); short but boring chapters interspersed in the plot; and the most disappointing outcome since Gone Girl.

  • Joanne Sheppard
    2018-11-26 06:51

    The premise of Little Face by Sophie Hannah is an intriguing one that can hardly fail to grip the reader from the start: Alice Fancourt returns from her first outing alone since the birth of her daughter Florence, now two weeks old, and returns to find that the baby in the nursery is not hers. But her husband David seems insistent that nothing is wrong, and the police, faced with no evidence whatsoever that any crime has been committed, are seemingly unable to help her.Is Alice, trapped in a huge house with an increasingly controlling David and his capable but domineering mother Vivienne, really the victim of a cruel plot to swap her baby for another, or is she in the grip of some sort of psychosis brought on by post-natal depression?Little Face is a chilling psychological thriller that brilliantly evokes the tense claustrophobia of Alice's situation. Despite its suburban setting of private health clubs, prep schools and alternative health clinics, there are distinctly gothic undertones to the parts of the story that are told from Alice's point of view: Alice is a young woman in obvious danger, trapped in a rambling yet somehow claustrophobic house with a male tormentor and an increasingly ambiguous matriarch, starting to doubt her own sanity at times. As we gradually learn more about David, who is quite clearly not the model husband most people believe him to be, there are moments of real, heart-thumping tension and skin-crawling creepiness that are doubly terrifying simply because they are so horribly believable.However, the narrative is also interwoven with elements of a police procedural crime novel, as well as the personal stories of Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse, the officers in charge of investigating Alice's case, whose complicated relationship is almost worthy of a whole novel in itself. The different gears mesh neatly together like intricately-designed clockwork, making Little Face a satisfying read. It's not easy to discuss the plot of any mystery without giving too much away, but it's sufficient to say that there are plenty of secrets to be uncovered, some harder to predict than others. Sophie Hannah's characters are well-developed and credible, particularly Waterhouse and Zailer, and help to set Little Face apart as something more than just a detective thriller. Some questions about them are left unanswered, but as Little Face is the first in a series of novels in which they feature, this is to be expected, and reading more about them will be far from a chore.

  • Cenhner Scott
    2018-11-20 06:40

    La novela parte de una premisa polémica: que todos los bebés NO son iguales. Para que la novela tenga sentido y sea llevadera uno tiene que abrazar la idea de que esas masas fofas, chillonas y babeantes llamadas bebés pueden identificarse uno del otro. Es difícil, pero es el disparador de la novela. Alice se va un día de la casa un rato y cuando vuelve ve que la beba que está en el moisés no es su beba porque, obvio, mírala, es distinta. Cuesta creer eso, pero sigamos leyendo y vamos a ver que una semana después desaparecen Alice y la beba que no es su hija. En el medio, hay dos policías con una relación erotica tirante (en un momento ella le pregunta a él "Simón, ¿eres virgen?", lo que convierte a una novela sobre un secuestro/desaparición en una cosa medio WTF); también está la suegra de Alice, una Jane Fonda cualquiera, y el mejor personaje de todos que es el marido de Alice. Uno sabe que, en los thrillers, los personajes que cambian/evolucionan lo hacen en función del desenvolvimiento de la trama. Sin embargo el marido de Alice se transforma por completo como si fuera parte de otra novela que no es la que estamos leyendo. Y ESTÁ BUENÍSIMO. Por lejos, la escena de cuando él le prepara el desayuno es la mejor.El final está al nivel del resto de la novela, cosa que me sorprendió, pero se hace largo de más sin sentido. Leés y decís "sí, ya entendí esta parte, no necesitas explicármela de nuevo". Por favor, hagan ya una película de este libro.Dos cosas: 1) sí, sí, Gone Girl, un capítulo para cada narrador, protagonista narrador poco confiable, ya lo sé. Este libro lo maneja bien eso.2) la edición de Duomo la corrigieron los monos del señor Burns, creo. A las palabras le faltan letras, a veces incluso faltan palabras en oraciones; los diálogos los tenés que releer porque no sabes quién dice qué (te separan un parlamento en tres partes, o ponen un parlamento en medio de un párrafo sin guión ni comillas).

  • Laurel-Rain
    2018-12-08 07:26

    In a nightmarish scenario, new mother Alice Fancourt goes out after her daughter's birth, leaving her two-week-old infant with her husband, David. Returning two hours later, she swears that the baby in the crib is not her child. Despite how terrified and hysterical she is, her husband insists that she is wrong.Thus begins a convoluted and complicated investigation, with two police detectives, Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer, finding themselves at odds with one another over what is true and what is not; as they travel their separate paths, following leads, Alice drops hints and clues along the way, leading them into still another case a few years before—the murder of David's first wife, Laura, which resulted in David and his mother Vivienne having sole custody of David and Laura's son Felix.Is there a connection between what happened to Laura and what has now happened to baby Florence? Who is the dark force behind these events, and what can Alice do to convince everyone that her child is missing?Little Face, by Sophie Hannah, is an exciting, thrilling, psychological suspense novel that compels the reader to keep rapidly turning pages until the questions are answered. Surprising twists and turns along the way had me shaking my head at each point. But what will we finally learn about each of these characters, and what motivations are driving them?If I could, I would give this book 5+ stars. I am not likely to ever forget this tale.