This was an interesting book - in all facets, really - a neat structure, fascinating premise, surprising twists and turns to the plot... the only thing really lacking were the characters. Not anything terribly specific, but... I guess they seemed more like characters from a film than from a book. They were a bit two-dimensional, which is odd considering the book is labeled as "psychological thriller." Some actions were rather unbelievable. I do think it would make a good movie, though - perhaps even better than the book. There was just something film-like about reading the book. Maybe because some actors jumped to mind as being perfect to play parts (e.g., Judi Dench as Vivienne). It was a solid story and quite entertaining and if only the characters had that certain je ne sais quoi, I would have truly loved it.
I purchased this book at Target today, came home and looked up reviews and was sorry I bought the book since the reviews are not great. However, I decided to start reading it last night, I'm over half way thru the book and i like it. Maybe folks on amazon gave it bad reviews because they are mystery readers and expected more of a mystery. I'm looking fowarded to finishing the book and I recommend the book!
Leaving your baby for the first time after giving birth you are filled with all kinds of emotions. You shorten that errand because your mind races every minute you are away from your baby. Then you return home and find all your fears have come true and nobody believes you. Alice learns that everything is not what it seems to be.
This book drew me in. It reminded me of the families V.C. Andrews created. I could not put the book down and read it every chance I got. I was a little disappointed in the end, I was waiting for a bigger climax.
This book is the first in the Culver Valley Crime series.
Culver Valley Crime
1. Little Face (2006)
2. Hurting Distance (2007) aka The Truth-Teller's Lie
3. The Point of Rescue (2008) aka The Wrong Mother
4. The Other Half Lives (2009) aka The Dead Lie Down
5. A Room Swept White (2010) aka The Cradle in the Grave
6. Lasting Damage (2011) aka The Other Woman's House
7. Kind of Cruel (2012)
8. The Carrier (2013)
9. The Telling Error (2014) aka Woman with a Secret
10. The Narrow Bed (2016)
I was expecting a lot more out of this one considering the teasing and tantalizing blurbs on the back of the book.
The story is told via the use of different narratives, one of them being from the point of view of Alice Fancourt, who has just come home with her new baby Florence. Alice and her husband David, Florence and David's young son from a previous marriage all live at the home of David's mother, Vivienne Fancourt, where Vivienne rules the roost in her lavish house called The Elms. As the story opens, Alice has left the house for a while for the first time since she delivered Florence via C-section. When she returns, she checks in on the baby and lo and behold, it's not Florence. Her husband, David, thinks that Alice is a bit disturbed and probably suffering from a case of postpartum depression, and swears that the baby is definitely Florence. But Alice thinks that a mother definitely knows her own baby -- and calls in the police. Enter Simon Waterhouse and his DS Charlie Zailer. There's absolutely no proof that Florence isn't Florence, so there's really no case, but things change when just a week later the baby and Alice go missing...and Waterhouse begins to take a second and more serious look at what's really going on here.
I was definitely quite hooked on the story up until the end when I thought it all fell apart. However, I can't explain without giving away the show so I'll let it go. Let's just say that I wasn't disappointed in the ending, as were many people for reasons I won't get into here, but the way it was just sort of thrust at me made it feel rushed and contrived. I think more of that particular plotline needed to be developed up to that point to have it all make more sense. It's also definitely a book demanding reader participation.
Overall, it's a decent read, and I would recommend it for people who like suspense novels.
Karen M. (G1A) reviewed Little Face (Culver Valley Crime, Bk 1) on
Sophie Hannah is a good writer and I have enjoyed some of her books. This one was good to a point but the ending does not do it justice and leads to a betrayal of the readers trust.
It was worth reading anyway so I give it a lukewarm endorsement.
For me, this was one of those "I'm not going to bed until I finish it" books!!! Not sure why, but I got totally hooked on it. The detectives were a bit weird, and didn't seem to play a major role...but didn't irritate me all that much. Read the second one and basically had to "plod" through it...again, not sure why...in the wrong mood, maybe. Still thinking about reading the 3rd one!!!
This book is actually quite intriguing and (for me, at least) kept me reading right up until the end. But the end... that's where everything fell apart.
I won't spoil the ending, but suffice it to say, the person behind the swapping of the babies and their explanation made zero sense to me. The more I thought about it, the less sense it made. And when I thought back on the earlier parts of the book, things that were said and done -- in the light of the ending, they became truly ridiculous. I feel as if the author wrote herself into a corner, and then couldn't come up with a good reason for the primary conflict of the book. It just felt sloppy and illogical.
Not sure if I'll bother reading any more books by the author or not. Her style is good, but if this ending is indicative of her other work, I'd just as soon pass.