Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Cyber Monday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars237
3.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio DownloadChange
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2011
I read Sophie's 'A room swept white' and was hugely dissapointed. But I bought both books at the same time so I thought I'll give her another try. Well...I'm done with her books for good.
The novel is definetely a page-tuner, I read it in one day. So was 'a room swept white'. But the ending here is just a huge dissapointment, characters are extreme and all of them could use a good psychiatrist! And don't get me even started about the husband!Why, on Earth would he suddenly turn into such a saddist after never showing any signs of that? His behavior does not add anything to the book at all ...well it shocks so if that was Sophie's goal - achieved! SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS The initial investigation about Laura's murder was obviosuly done by incompetent detectives, and knowing it was Charlie I am not surprised at all as she seems to think very highly of herself without a proper foundation for that. Why would Vivianne not shred the bag into tiny,little pieces; burn it; take it with her to Africa and leave it in the middle of a tropical rainforest...well that I just don't know! Instead she chose to keep it in her locker as a souvenir? Ridiculous and unrealistic! This is not a good psychological thriller but a decent ending could have reedemed it a little...if only there was one!
I give it two starts as it was a page-turner, pointless one but still. I don't plan to read any more books of Sophie Hannah.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 21 October 2008
I couldn't wait to read this after Hurting Distance, but although it started off really well, I found myself enjoying it less and less as it progressed and by the end I felt completely let down and rather uncomfortable. The narrator seems convinced that her baby has been swapped with a different child. Her husband believes she's mistaken, and then turns out to be some kind of weird sadist which is really unpleasant to read, and the only other main character is his manipulative and controlling mother. So one of those two has to be the baddie and as they're both so vile there's not as much tension as there should be. The plot doesn't hang together, as other reviewers have said the vital revelations about the murderer are completely unfeasible SPOILER COMING - would a really intelligent person (as we're told a million times the murderer is) hide the one piece of evidence that could convict her in her own handbag? I think not. I've given it two stars because Sophie Hannah is a really good writer, but honestly I wouldn't bother.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2013
Though I wouldn't go as far as to describe this as a good psychological thriller in some ways it was an adequate psychological thriller, I even quite enjoyed how we were left hanging as to just who (mother-in-law, Vivienne, husband, David, or indeed Alice herself) was the true villain of the story. However, overall a disappointing read ruined by totally unconvincing characters and an increasingly implausible plot that is peppered with inconsistencies, Little Face could have been so, so much better.

The story of a family living in what sounds like the lap of luxury. Living in a huge house and with the money to enrol the as yet unborn Florence/Little Face in an exclusive (and presumably expensive) public school we are then expected to believe that instead of a private room Alice spends the post-delivery period of her baby in a multi-bedded ward.

And it doesn't end there.

From the totally unprofessional police, to the health care professionals who seem to totally disregard the very idea of patient confidentiality to main character, David, who, a bit of a bully from the outset, seemingly turns into a sadistic monster overnight.

Great premise, its just a shame that the writing was quite amateurish, the redeeming twist that would have made it all worthwhile never delivered.

Copyright: Petty Witter @ Pen and Paper.
Little Face
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2013
Lots of stereotypical characters with no depth and a really long drawn out plot line. I had to finish it, as the book had been bought for me and I'd been asked several times if it had been any good. Sorry to say, I've never read anything so bad in years.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
82 of 90 people found the following review helpful
It must be a nightmare to come home after leaving your baby for the first time, to find that the infant you return to is not the one you left. Even more so when you cannot convince those around you, who put your story down to post-natal depression. This is the starting point for this well-written psychological thriller. It is written in two voices, that of the mother, and of one of the detectives who is sent to investigate the mystery at "The Elms", (the home of Alice's mother-in-law, and devoted grandmother of 'little face'). This 'dual voice' actually works well and the pages turn swiftly. This is a gripping read.

The ultimate resolution is perhaps slightly predictable, although it is always easier to set up mysteries than to resolve them satisfactorily. However, the characters are sufficiently believable, and the steps towards reaching the conclusion are sufficiently intricate to make this an enjoyable, if slightly disturbing read. The scenes played out between Alice and her husband are particularly chilling. I will certainly look out for Sophie Hannah's next novel. I wonder, incidentally, if she will give the detectives in this novel a second outing, as there is certainly scope to develop their characters further!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2015
Where to begin...

I didn't like any of the characters. And I really do mean it. Alice was whiny, David weird, Vivienne creepy. I didn't care for any of the police officers, who all appeared clichéd and at times, entirely unbelievable.

Most of the story was dull and unnecessary. I really don't care about some old love attempt between the two police officers; in fact, in the end, I skimmed over most. The good bits? Alice's interactions with the baby, David and Vivienne together, and Alice's relationships with David. It is these elements alone that earn it the second star.

However, much of the story is either implausible or unresolved. David's abuse is an interesting element but remains entirely unresolved. The suspicion around Florence/Little Face is gripping in that I wanted to know which way it was going to go, but in the end it disappointed me- for me, it would have been far better to have Alice know, but to have her convince herself through a single lie and the paranoia that PND can bring to some mothers.

Overall, a disappointing story that I only completed because I wanted to know who Little Face was and I wanted to see David get his 'just desserts' - the latter was never satisfied!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2015
This book is a cheat. I'm sure we could all write or construct a tense, thrilling domestic crime scenario if we felt no need
to provide a plausible explanation at the end.

Reading the book, it's pacy, plot driven and pretty compelling. But in the final act you feel so thoroughly cheated it erases all that went before.

I agree with the other reviews on this and would add that the elephant in the room (as with so many books of this genre) is so immense it ruins any tension or credibility the author worked hard to create. In this case, it's 'why didn't they TELL THE POLICE'.

There's some tedious psychobabble tacked on to explain why somebody who could solve a murder chose not to but it us laughably flimsy.

This book was hard work in a lot of ways, with no payoff. Disappointed reader here.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2007
I bought this on the strength of its reviews but was somewhat disappointed. It's undoubtedly a personal thing but I just couldn't make the parts of the characters fit together: the hard-as-nails, chain-smoking female sergeant who then turns out to be a Cambridge arts graduate; the tightly-wound, neurotic detective constable - a Woody Allen-type if ever there was - who then turns out physically to be something of a lumbering giant; the different personae of the husband, David. As for the main character, I kept willing someone to give her the big slap she so richly deserved. Added to the plotline, this all gave a sense of a just bit too much unreality. So . . . I read it, it passed the time, but it will now be passed along to the Oxfam shop rather than recommended to a friend.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2012
I absolutely loved it - couldn't put it down UNTIL got to about forty pages from the end and it all turned into nonsense. I agree with an earlier reviewer - the fact that whole swathes of the book were told in the first person just made a complete nonsense of the denouement, if you could call it that. There really wasn't a twist at the end. It was always going to be one of two outcomes and it was just one of them. No surprise at all.

I will probably try another one of Sophie Hannah's books. But I won't be rushing to it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 November 2009
I recently read Hannah's The Other Half Lives and found it literally unputdownable and was a little surprised at some of the less positive reviews. Having now read Little Face, her first book, I wonder if that's less to do with the books themselves and more about the way each of her books seems to duplicate itself in terms of story, structure and writing style. So maybe the first of her books you read is great, and then there are diminishing returns with the second, third etc?

Little Face has an intriguing beginning: Alice has just had a traumatic birth and she comes home from her first outing to claim that the baby in her house is not hers, that Florence has been swapped for a strange child while her husband has been asleep. No-one believes her: not her husband or his controlling mother with whom they live, or the police. Then, a week later, Alice and the baby go missing and the police are forced to confront her story, uncovering an earlier crime associated with the same family.

Hannah makes good use of elements from classic gothic: what goes on in the privacy of houses (e.g. Wuthering Heights, Thornfield Grange), the difference between the public and private faces of people (e.g.The Tenant of Wildfell Hall), and twists ideas of motherhood and the bonds of love. However her style is a little pedestrian, and the structure of both books I've read very similar: a first-person narrative interspersed with a third-person narrative from the police persepective. This does serve to increase the tension as bits of the story are with-held from us, but becomes quite contrived.

I also found the relationship between the police officers and the character of especially Charlie to be unnecessary and distracting. I was unconvinced that Charlie, who came over as petty, spiteful and vindictive, could also be as brilliant at her job as we're told she is. Perhaps this relationship was spoilt by the fact I'd read a later book and knew where it was heading.

So, in summary, this is an intriguing book which doesn't quite deliver: the dénouement, especially, was pretty limp, and lots of issues were started and never really followed up (e.g. Alice's husband's behaviour). A good read but not brilliant and, if you've read any other Hannah, fairly predictable.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.