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Little Face by Sophie Hannah

Little Face (2006)

by Sophie Hannah

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8274416,716 (3.26)62
  1. 00
    Woman's World by Graham Rawle (GirlMisanthrope)
    GirlMisanthrope: Also has a great twist and an unreliable narrator. Brilliant!
  2. 00
    Can't Let Go by Jane Hill (QueenOfDenmark)
    QueenOfDenmark: Fans of Sophie Hannah would be well recommended to try Can't Let Go by Jane Hill and I am sure most would compare Hill's book favourably and in many cases think it the better book even. Similar styles of writing but Hill has mastered in one book what sometimes eludes Hannah.… (more)
  3. 00
    Frozen Summer by Crysse Morrison (Soupdragon)

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English (42)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Fino quasi alla fine gli avrei dato quattro stelle: tiene col fiato sospeso, partecipando dell'orrore della protagonista nello scoprire che la figlia neonata è stata rapita.
La narrazione viaggia su due binari, in due tempi diversi. Da un lato, Alice in prima persona racconta al tempo presente la sua prima uscita dopo il parto, la scoperta che la bimba che trova nella culla al ritorno non è sua figlia, le reazioni di marito e suocera: da brivido. E se mai avessi voluto ammazzare qualcuno, quella persona sarebbe Vivienne, la suocera mostro - altro che Jane Fonda con Jennifer Lopez!
Dall'altra parte scopriamo che la settimana successiva al rapimento, Alice e la bimba scompaiono nel nulla: il narratore esterno alla vicenda descrive prima di tutto il rapporto che ha l'agente di polizia Simon nei confronti della donna, e poi le reazioni dei colleghi alle sue teorie, spesso dovute all'intuito e sempre azzeccate.
Il finale in sé non sarebbe male, anzi: peccato che sia poco approfondito e che lasci qualche domanda senza risposta. Voltata l'ultima pagina mi sono chiesta "è tutto qui???"! ( )
  LaPizia | Aug 3, 2017 |
I am aware that Sophie Hannah is a prolific and popular writer of psychological thrillers, and I have three or four of her books on my shelf. However, Little Face is the first one I've actually picked up to read, and I still have mixed feelings about it.

The story gets going immediately when new mother Alice Fancourt goes out for the afternoon for the first time since the birth of her two week old daughter Florence. When she gets home, she is convinced that the baby in Florence's cot is a stranger, and that someone must have come in and exchanged Florence for another baby - it is this baby that Alice comes to call 'Little Face'.

Alice's husband David is initially confused and horrified by his wife's assertion that their baby has been adducted - he is certain that the baby in their house is indeed their daughter. As Alicen's conviction grows and the police become involved, David becomes more hostile and increasingly abusive towards Alice.

Completing the Fancourt family is Vivienne, David's mother, in whose house David and Alice live. It is clear from very early on in the narrative that David is completely dominated by his mother, and that Alice appears to be too. David's first wife Laura was murdered years earlier, and as a result, Felix - his son from that marriage - also lives with them, though he does not feature heavily in this book.

The chapters alternate between Alice's point of view, and a third person point of view describing the police investigation. The two main police officers are Simon Waterhouse, a diligent man who has trouble connecting with others; and his boss Charlie Zailer, who has a troubled relationship with Simon.

I am in two minds about this book. On the one hand, I thought the premise was interesting and while I was able to guess part of the ending, I genuinely had no idea about what had happened to Florence. Was Alice losing her mind as David's abuse was designed to make it appear? Or was she correct that her daughter had been taken and replaced with another unknown baby? And here lies the problem for me - while the ending certainly took me by surprise, it was also a major let-down. Without giving away any details, I will only say that when the truth behind the this is revealed, it makes a lot of what has been said beforehand make a lot less sense. And the reasoning behind what happened is so convoluted as to seem ridiculous. However, the journey to get to the disappointing ending was really enjoyable - it was one of those books that when I put it down, I was eager to get back to it and read more. I do think Hannah made a good job of ratcheting up the suspense and keeping the reader guessing.

I have read other reviews of this book, and it seems that it is generally regarded as inferior to this author's subsequent work. I'm glad about that because I would like to try more by Sophie Hannah, but I would have been put off doing so by the disappointing ending of this story, had the other reviews not convinced me that her later work is much better.

So would I recommend it? Not sure. I'd recommending giving Sophie Hannah a try I think, but I'm not sure if I would suggest this specific one to start with. ( )
1 vote Ruth72 | Sep 4, 2016 |

After an evening out Alice returns to her house, but things take a turn for the worse very fast. As she comes back, she insist that the baby isn't hers and someone must have switched them. Her husband believes she must be either mad or lying...

A very interesting story. I wanted to find out how everything fitted, but this book wasn't so easy for me (back in 2009). I liked it, and it was very hard to put down. I've ever since planned on reading more of her books, I've actually one very high on my TBR now, but I haven't found the time yet. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
Seemed interesting when I requested it and was interesting enough to keep me reading. I just think the conclusion ruined the book for me. It was one of the worst endings to a book I have read and made feel like I wasted my time with this one. The plot and character development was there and the characters were believable that why I gave it 2 stars. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Seemed interesting when I requested it and was interesting enough to keep me reading. I just think the conclusion ruined the book for me. It was one of the worst endings to a book I have read and made feel like I wasted my time with this one. The plot and character development was there and the characters were believable that why I gave it 2 stars. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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I am ouside. Not far from the front door, not yet, but I am out and I am alone.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143114085, Paperback)

A creepy, fast-paced psychological thriller from the author of The Wrong Mother and The Other Woman’s House

It’s every mother’s worst nightmare. When Alice Fancourt leaves her newborn daughter at home with her husband for the first time, she comes home to a horrifying discovery: her child has been swapped with another baby. In near hysterics, Alice rushes to call the police, but soon discovers that no one, not even her husband David, believes her. When the police arrive, Detective Simon Waterhouse is drawn to the lovely Alice but doubts her story and suspects that she is suffering from postpartum depression. Meanwhile, David is growing increasingly hostile and Alice begins to fear that her baby’s disappearance may be linked to his first wife’s untimely death. Can Alice convince the police before it’s too late?
The first book in Sophie Hannah’s acclaimed Zailer and Waterhouse series established her as a new master of psychological suspense. For fans of Tana French and Tess Gerritsen, Little Face is a chilling look at the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her child.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:00 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When Alice leaves her infant daughter at home with her husband David for the first time since becoming a new mother, she returns to a horrifying sight: her daughter, Florence, has been swapped with another baby. No one... not even David... believes her.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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