Little Face: A Novel

Little Face  - Sophie Hannah Sophie Hannah's "Little Face" is her debut psychological mystery/crime novel that actually presents itself as one story, and comes across completely as another in some veins. There will be people who love this story when it all comes down to the wire, and some who will hate it. The introductory premise revolves around a woman named Alice Fancourt who returns home from the first outing she's had since having her baby, only to come home, start screaming that the baby in the crib is not hers, and that someone swapped her baby for another. Of course, no one believes her, and Alice is completely distraught, especially since people either believe she's suffering from depression or outright lying. It seems everyone has a reason to doubt her except for Detective Simon Waterhouse, who goes by his gut instinct while being drawn to Alice. It's only after her disappearance a week later after that he realizes that something else might be horribly awry.I think those who are expecting it to be one type of story will be the ones most disappointed. I would recommend turning off any sense of expectation as to how the story will go, and then read it to see how it works its way to the end. If you do, the ending will make a heck of a lot of sense as to why it ended that way. If you take it anything like I do, on one point you'll want to throw the book against the wall and realize "There was a totally and completely unreliable narrator in this book, and I was duped the whole time to end up with this." On another, you'll say "Oh, THAT'S why and how some of the details worked out the way they did. At least some part of that is brilliant, but it had to go a long way from the original to get to the true one." This book is chock full of references to things being not all what they seem, and you have to follow that theme in order to be sold on it. Whether it's the fact that Alice realizes that her husband and mother in law are definitely not the people she thought they were, or that Charlie and Simon don't interpret each other quite as well as they think despite the fact they've worked together for some time, or simply the fact that "Little Face" is this tiny baby that has a mass of confusion surrounding her - there's the part of this book that I got and what made it very good to me in terms of keeping a consistency.Then again, there are caveats. There are certain events in this book that you have to suspend disbelief for, and character flaws that don't really measure up to anything but to drudge up a surface level of insecurity and tension. This makes for some parts of the book where it feels like it drags its feet too much. I'm glad that I just swallowed those points where it felt like it was unraveling and moved forward, because the payoff for me was worth it.I'd probably read "Little Face" again, but I find it a difficult book to recommend. It's a decent mystery, but it's one of those books that tend to divide its audience unless you see the ultimate picture of what it's trying to do.Overall score: 3/5