In Sophie Hannah’s complex thriller Little Face, Alice Fancourt leaves her infant daughter with her husband for a few hours and returns to find, she says, another baby in her place. Her husband David tells Detective Simon Waterhouse that the baby is theirs and insists his wife is crazy. David’s overbearing mother Vivienne is not so sure, but she treats Alice like she is the infant. The cops, for the most part, agree with David.
But Waterhouse is inclined to believe Alice and finds what he thinks is a very good reason to look into it further. David’s first wife was murdered. He thinks the key to the possible kidnapping may be in the first wife’s death.
Simon’s boss Detective Sergeant Charlie Zailer thinks Alice is losing her mind and refuses to let Simon investigate. She also thinks Simon is too protective of Alice and may also be inappropriately attracted to her. To add to the confusion, Simon and Charlie are navigating their own minefield of Charlie’s infatuation with Simon. But suddenly, both Alice and the baby disappear.
Sophie Hannah is a master of the psychological thriller, and Little Face is no exception. Her plots are carefully constructed, and Hannah employs her usual technique of alternating the point of view between characters. Sometimes I think that all the characters in Hannah’s books, including the detectives, are insane, but somehow this just adds to the atmosphere and the fun. You can bet with Hannah that the ending will be thrilling.