Like most people I like to pack a few paperbacks to take on holiday. Often I don't have time to open them but this last break was all about R&R so I took 4 with me. One of these was borrowed from my daughter, Amy. She'd purchased 3 by Sophie Hannah from her work's book club. I'll be honest, I'd never heard of SH but the blurb of Little Face really intrigued me so it was the one I delved into on my first day by the pool.
When Alice Fancourt returns home after having been out for the first time without her two-week-old daughter Florence, she insists that the baby she finds at home, in the care of her husband David, is not their daughter but a child she has never seen before. David denies it, claiming that the baby is Florence and that Alice has gone mad. Is she crazy, or is David lying, and if so, why would he do such a thing? And where is the real Florence? Alice has no proof, but she needs the police to believe her, and quickly. While they wait for the DNA test that will settle the matter, valuable time is being lost, and David’s behaviour towards Alice becomes increasingly threatening and sinister. Can Alice make the police listen to her before it's too late?
There aren't many books I can't put down (and I read an awful lot!) but this one had me hooked from the beginning. What I liked the most was that Sophie kept the tension going throughout. There weren't any 'dips' where I felt I had to speed read chunks to get through any boring bits.
It wasn't until I checked on Amazon today that I see this novel has very mixed reviews (don't they all!?)ranging from 'Enthralling' and 'Gifted' to 'Abysmal writing' and 'Disappointing ending'. Had I read the reviews beforehand it wouldn't have put me off. Each to their own etc., but how anyone can call the writing abysmal is beyond me. I thought it flowed wonderfully.
Alice's husband's horrid behaviour - especially the bathroom and food scenes were very well done.
Okay, the ending was a teensy bit weird. I suppose I was expecting something spectacular as the explanation to the baby's disappearance (won't give too much away here or it'll spoil it for you if you wish to read it and I hope you will) and maybe what I got was rather mundane but in retrospect it made it all the more believable.
I'll def be reading more of Sophie's books.