Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a let-down to be honest..., 7 July 2011
This review is from: Little Face: Culver Valley Crime Book 1 (Paperback)
I'm not going to summarise the plot of this book as that has been done a lot on here already, but I would like to add my two pence worth after finishing this book earlier today and being a bit irritated by it! To be honest, the more and more I think about it, the more faults I start to find with it- and I'd expected it to be such a cracking read from all the accolades sent its way and it being (very highly) billed as a `psychological thriller.'

I suppose it's a good thing that the book did make me think when I'd finished it and I did like the premise of the novel very much when I picked it up- it's just that after a really promising (but very slow) start I felt that this book just grew a bit odd and fell a bit flat somewhere towards the middle. Also, after creating her characters and making them behave a certain way, Sophie Hannah seemed to turn them completely on their heads with no rhyme or reason- David (the husband) for example, suddenly became unquestionably evil and resorted to deplorable mind games to punish his wife and police Detective Charlie became a spiteful b*tch! I get what Hannah was trying to achieve, really I do, it's just that it wasn't tied in to the story particularly well and I was left gritting my teeth in frustration. Also, I didn't particularly like Alice, the main protagonist very much either- particularly towards the end of the novel. You feel like after you have invested time in getting to know her, everything is switched around- and whilst I like the unreliable narrator as much as the next person, in this book it just wasn't tied together very neatly.

The ending was a bit rushed and disconnected and whilst Sophie Hannah can admittedly write rather sinister characters and create sinister sounding situations, I just found myself getting a bit frustrated by events and the continuous jumps forwards and backwards in time. Some of the characters actions as well, became a bit questionable and some things were never fully resolved- in particular David's (the husband's) absolutely evil behaviour. The reader is just left hanging in the final chapter- shouldn't he be punished in some way for his actions?! Argh! What an anti-climax.

As I've said, it's a shame that the ending to this book was so poor- after the build up and twists and turns it just fell short at the final hurdle. If you like stories told by unreliable narrators then I'd possibly recommend this book to you as you genuinely don't know who to believe or what is going on. The book wasn't bad exactly, for me it was just nowhere near as good as I'd hoped- hence the two stars. I probably won't be rushing to read another one of Sophie Hannah's books in future however- I'd been told they were rather formulaic and unfortunately the other reviews on here seem to confirm that notion.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Nov 2013 16:22:17 GMT
I haven't quite finished this book and am enjoying it a lot. I think your review has confirmed my suspicion about who is the real villain of the piece! One negative point is the double narrative, which doesn't really work for me. I don't care what the police get up to in their personal lives (unless this is somehow directly relevant at the end). I want to know about the missing baby, cruel mother-in-law and evil husband.
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