Little Face – Sophie Hannah

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Little Face is the best thriller I have read in a very long time. It begins with Alice returning from her first anxious trip away from her newborn baby. She returns home to discover the front door of her house open, and her husband asleep. When she rushes to greet her baby in the nursery, she is shocked to discover that it doesn’t look like the one she left just a short time ago. No-one believes that her baby has disappeared, assuming she is just a paranoid new mother. It is only when further unexplained events start to occur, that they wonder what the truth really is….

The writing was incredibly easy to read. I flew through the pages, as I was so keen to discover what was really happening. There were many points when I thought I’d worked in out, but as with all great thrillers I didn’t get close!

This is more than just a straight crime novel, there are many elements of psychology in here. The almost obsessive behaviour of a new mother is well observed, and I empathized immensely with the central character, Alice, as she struggles with the thought that her husband may have swapped her baby. The relationships between the members of the dysfunctional family were very credible, and the interfering mother-in-law reminded me of many stories I have heard from new mothers recently.

Unlike much of the crime fiction I have read recently this contained no unlikely coincidences. The plot was as realistic as it is possible to get, while retaining many clever twists.

Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys well written thrillers, or has an interest in the psychology of new mothers.

I’d like to thank Simon for recommending Sophie Hannah to me. I will be reading all her books as soon as I get my hands on them!

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  1. CBJames says:

    Sounds like a fun read. I just may add it to my summer reading list.

  2. Molly says:

    Oh my….this does sound a good one!

  3. Jackie says:

    CBJames/Molly – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it if you decide to give it a try.

  4. Sandy says:

    The premise sounds gut-wrenching (what mom wouldn’t squirm at the thought of a baby swap?). I will put this on my list…must read it!

  5. Jackie says:

    Sandy – I was worried that I might struggle with the main topic for this book, and get all worked up about child snatching, but it doesn’t really come across in that way, so I can still sleep peacefully at night! I hope you find the time to read this one, as it is excellent.

  6. Beth F says:

    Wow sounds like a page turner. I’ll have to add this to the wish list. Great review.

  7. Dorte H says:

    I remember that you were looking for this when I reviewed it exactly one month ago :)
    I am glad that you found it and enjoyed it as much as I did.

  8. Jackie says:

    Beth – I haven’t read a book this quickly in ages – it’s the sort of thing that makes even me want to stay up until 3am!!

    Dorte H – Yes, I remember your review! I managed to find a copy in a charity shop, so I’m quite glad someone else won your competition – as I’d have felt very guilty otherwise!

  9. Carrie K. says:

    This sounds incredible and intriguing – I’m going to add it to my wish list.

  10. Simon S says:

    Oh I am so so so so so glad that you have enjoyed this book! I am gonna start The Point of Rescue quite soon, Hurting Distance didnt disappoint at all. Thanks for the mention and the link too.

  11. Jackie says:

    Carrie – I hope you manage to get a copy – I look forward to reading your review if you do!

    Simon – I hope all of her books as as good as this one – thank you for introducing her to me!

  12. Joy says:

    Hmmm . . . I think this is one for the TBR List! Thanks!

  13. This does sound like an excellent read!

  14. Karen says:

    I came to this with high expectations after hearing so many excellent reviews for Sophie Hannah’s work and I’m afraid I was very disappointed with it. I struggled with all the main characters – nothing nice or creditworthy about any of them, they were all cruel and unpleasant. The plot I thought did not hang together and was not realistic, no surprises, the twists were predictable and it was just disappointing. Sorry to disagree so much with everyone elses take on it, but I found it average at best I’m afraid and would not recommend it on.

    1. Jackie says:

      Karen, Thank you for commenting on my blog for the first time!

      It is a shame that you didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did. I normally struggle to find thrillers that I enjoy, but I loved this one.

      The plot wasn’t that realistic, but I didn’t think it was predictable at all. I thought the ending was a fantastic twist.

      I didn’t have a problem with the cruel characters – most thrillers involve nasty people!

      1. Karen says:

        Jackie, perhaps I’ve read too many, but I had the twist sussed out quite early on! I agree that there has to be a “bad guy” contingent but in Little Face there is no “good guy” to get behind. The good guys don’t have to be wonderful and saintly, they can be flawed and often are, but for me there has to be something likeable about them. I did not like Alice at all and thought ultimately she was more cruel and calculating than the supposed “bad guys”.

        I found your blog via BookRabbit and I’m so glad I did. I like your reviews very much. I am working my way through when I have my tea breaks and comparing where we have read the same books. I’ll move on to books I intend to read after that!

        1. Jackie says:

          Karen, I actually thought that Alice was a likeable character and felt a real empathy for her. It is interesting that we can have so different reactions to her!

          I’m really pleased that you like my blog and look forward to lots of book related discussion in the future!

  15. rachel says:

    hi there, i chanced upon this lovely website as i googled ‘authors similar to sophie hannah’. I agree with your review on her book. Little Face is also the first book I read of hers and I went on to read all her books! Although two of her books are re-publish in diff titles such as the point of rescue is the same as The Wrong mother and The Dead lie down is the same as The other half lives (my fav book of hers), I do love her style and her genre.
    Just wondering if you do know of similar psychological thrillers like hers and that of Lisa Gardner?

    1. Jackie says:

      Rachel, Thank you for commenting on my blog for the first time. I haven’t read them, but I’ve heard that Tana French is very similar to Sophie Hannah. I’m going to try one soon so I’ll have a better idea then. Other than that I haven’t come across any similar authors yet – all suggestions from others haven’t lived up to Sophie Hannah’s standards :-)


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