Thursday, 23 January 2014

Sister Reads | Review: Little Face by Sophie Hannah


Book: Little Face

Author: Sophie Hannah

Pages: 368

Time it took me to read: 7-8 hours across 2 days

Plot Summary: The first time Alice Fancourt goes out after their daughter is born, she leaves the two-week-old infant with her husband, David. When she returns only two hours later, she swears the baby in the crib is not her child. Despite her 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 that Alice must be suffering from some sort of delusion brought on by postpartum depressions.

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?

Thoughts and Review: I enjoyed the core premise of this book and the way the narrative built up. A new mother steps out, albeit rather reluctantly, for the first time after having her baby and returns home to find that the infant sleeping in the nursery is not her baby but someone else. Of course, no one believes her and as things intensify, the reader is drawn into the intrigue and the book is fairly gripping. So, the premise is quite interesting. 

Of the characters, those who are recurring (this book is first in the series of what is called the 'Spilling CID' cases) are Simon Waterhouse- a loner of a cop, who'd rather work alone than with a team; his boss Charlotte (Charlie) Zailer- who sort of has a crush on Simon (which is not reciprocated by him) and the other two cops of their team- who don't really have a significant presence, so their names completely escape me now. 

Then we have the Fancourt family- Alice Fancourt- the new mother who is convinced that her daughter has been switched and who completely seems neurotic and hysterical but is actually quite sane. She totally falls apart when no one really believes her about the baby switcheroo and one feels quite awful for her. Then we have her husband- David Fancourt- who goes from normal to a total psycho as the story unfolds. He is a spoilt mama's boy who starts torturing Alice and refuses to believe her about the baby being switched. David's mother Vivienne is a total matriarch and control-freak bully who runs her household with a tight fist. She is the only one who is willing to believe Alice about the baby switcheroo. 

As the story unfolds, we learn that David's first wife was murdered right at the end of their driveway and there were certain loopholes in the case. Simon pretty much single-handedly leads the investigation and figures out what really happened. 

So, the book has all the right ingredients. There is a mystery, which seems quite interesting and makes you wonder what the motive for the baby switcheroo is. The book is quite the page turner too.. which is why I found the ending very disappointing. 

What I Didn't Like: For a book that starts off well, has an interesting set of characters and a good central mystery, Little Face really disappoints! The whole big mystery was just so disappointing! There was an obvious aspect to the mystery, which is very guessable (I am sorry I am being vague but I don't want to spoil the book for those who are either mid-read or want to read) and which is not as much of a big reveal as it is made out to be. So, the book is sort of a let down. You speed through it thinking it will be something awesome but it ends up being something totally lame! 

Will You Like It?: You will enjoy the journey rather than the destination when it comes to this book. But given how weird the ending is, I don't think you will. 

Rating: 2/5 

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