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Little Face

(Spilling CID #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  10,485 ratings  ·  985 reviews
It's every mother's nightmare ...

The first time Alice Fancourt goes out after their daughter is born, she leaves the two-week-old infant with her husband, David. When she returns only two hours later, she swears the baby in the crib is not her child. Despite her distress, David is adamant that she is wrong.

The police are called to the scene. Detective Constable Simon Water
Paperback, 357 pages
Published August 24th 2006 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 2006)
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Regan I thinks it's purely a matter of opinion. I am currently reading The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah and it has me pretty captivated. I didn't realize i…moreI thinks it's purely a matter of opinion. I am currently reading The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah and it has me pretty captivated. I didn't realize it was part of a "series" so I kind of look forward to reading more! (less)

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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,485 ratings  ·  985 reviews

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Aug 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
I bought this because a review quoted on the jacket of Lucie Whitehouse's superb The Bed I Made compared that book to Sophie Hannah's writing. First things first - the comparison is way off the mark. Hannah's writing is good, and I can see certain similarities in style, but she hasn't a fraction of Whitehouse's talent. While compelling and in parts intriguing, this was one of the strangest, most confusing and ultimately frustrating books I've ever read.

I don't normally describe plots in my revie
Holly  B

I really thought I would enjoy this one more. It started out with a lot of promise, but became much too claustrophobic for my taste!

While I do enjoy a frantic tone and intense scenario, this one turned out to be very monotonous and redundant. I enjoyed the setting of the massive estate, The Elms and the fact that the wife/mother Alice seemed to be "trapped" inside and controlled by her husband, Simon and her evil mother-in-law.

The story line and dialogue just went round and round too much for m
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: crime, sophie-hannah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mystery and psychological thriller fans
If you like crime drama and psychological suspsense, don't miss this book. This is a magical onion kind of book--the surface is nothing like the center and there are hundreds of layers making it up. The complexity of the plot will take awhile to hit you, but when it does, you won't be able to put the book down. I literally finished the last 20 pages walking around my apartment because I was too exhausted to stay awake if I sat down but I HAD to see how things wrapped up. The premise: new mother ...more
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012

This will probably include SPOILERS so stop reading now if that bothers you.

I'm torn about this book. I think my actual rating was about 3.5 stars. I couldn't put it down, which pleased me because I came across it by accident, and I'm often disappointed with kindle books I know nothing about. I found the author's narration style interesting: alternating first-person Alice narration with third-person police narration. At first, I was confused by this, but it grew on me.

Ok. Problems with the st
Mary JL
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Desperate and patient mystery fans only
Recommended to Mary JL by: Given as a gift
Shelves: mystery-horror
Well the premise sounded good--Alice Fancourt returns home after a few hours out of the house and claims the baby in the nursery is not hers. No one believes her, not even the police....

The book jacket was loaded with rave reviews..."international bestseller" and "translated into nine languages" so I started reading with high hopes.

Well, that will teach me to believe in publisher's hype. I should know better by now.

This book has too MUCH psycho-babble. Every character is overdrawn; and I found n
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audible, 2012
I was very disappointed with this book, and it was only sheer irritation that kept me going – I thought it MUST get better or reveal some amazing plot twist. I didn’t like the voice of Alice, she sounded needy and pathetic. I didn’t like the close, first person, present tense chapters with Alice as narrator, they just droned on with too much detail. None of the characters seemed believable, from the psycho mother in law to the stock sweary police officers. And all that terrible exposition in the ...more
Well, this was an experience. Disappointing, kind of bonkers, somehow still readable, lots of plot holes. It felt good to clean it off my TBR, and I'll probably continue the series just because I'm curious about the bizarre relationship between the two detectives, but boy was it not what I was expecting.

The premise of this book is a good one, one that I don't think it really delivers on: a woman leaves her house for the first time since her two week old baby was born, and when she comes back sh
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
I admit that I didn't have terrifically high hopes for this novel being phenomenal. The plot is like something out of a 1940s cheap pulp novel. It's definitely an airplane read, not anything aspiring to be great literature. But I was nonetheless taken aback by how repellent the novel is. What makes it so bad? Well, let's start with the characters. Put simply, they're awful. There is a strong undercurrent of male chauvinism and conservatism throughout the story that made me gag. And while I initi ...more
There are two reasons why I didn't like this book. One, within two chapters I was able to correctly guess one of the major plot points. Second, the resolution (really the entire final 100 pages) is full of implausibilities that could induce an eye-roll. There is even that clunky cliche of a scene in which someone in peril confesses their motivation to a crime, laying it out in such detail that no stone is unturned.

Worst of all, this book breaks one of the cardinal rules of the mystery genre. I
Jan 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Was a great letdown in comparison with other books by the same author. I respect Hannah as a proficient weaver of intricate webs of psychological mysteries, but this story was so haphazard, so incongruous, and consisted of a major hole or two. Completed it only to know the ending, which seemed bizarre and incomplete. The last quarter taxed my brains by flitting from one idea to another, and rapid change of scenes.
Gist of the book - a distraught mother who thinks her neonate daughter's been subs
Oct 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Sophie Hannah has a gift for making me very, very angry. Little Face is a psychological thriller about a new mother who returns home to a baby she claims isn't hers, and who subsequently disappears with the baby. Told in alternating points of view (which, based on the only other book of hers that I've read, seems to be her gimmick), we see through the mother's eyes the week leading up to her disappearance, and a 3rd-person account of the investigation by detectives.

Hannah's gift really shows dur
Apr 16, 2014 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars

After reading some great reviews of the series, I decided to give this series a try and picked up Little Face, the first book in the series. This book was a bit of a let down. After reading the synopsis on the back of this book, I was looking forward to a good read and the mystery it was going to tell. What a disappointment!

The book was just merely okay, but I had a lot of issues with this book. First off, it left lots of unanswered questions. What was up with Alice's husband's abusive
Fatima mehjabin
Jun 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnfs
I remember reading this back in 2012. I really didn't like the characters and the plot :( I think this was a DNF for me. ...more
Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
I really like Sophie Hannah's third book, The Wrong Mother, so I was looking forward to reading this one (her first) and was sorely disappointed. This book was so disappointing that it made me wonder if I should rethink how much I liked The Wrong Mother.

Hannah alternates chapters between first-person narrative of the protagonist and third-person narrative of the cops. In The Wrong Mother this works really well, but in this book it feels too much like a device (which, of course, it is in both boo
May 20, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book can be summed up as follows - a storyline that kept me thinking when I wasn't reading the novel (an abduction of a child to be replaced by another child from her cot - woozers!); short but boring chapters interspersed in the plot; and the most disappointing outcome since Gone Girl. ...more
Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*
Started well, heading for a 4 star rating, until the final 80 pages or so. The conclusion was unsatisfying for me. Far too many loose ends left dangling. 2.75 stars.
Jan 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is not how I wanted to start my reading year. I can't overstate how bad this book was. Well, maybe I can, but let's pretend I can't for the sake of argument/this review. There was literally nothing redeeming about this book because nothing made sense.

Let me explain by going through each of the characters, and please be warned that a) this is so spoiler heavy I'm not even going to use the handy < spoiler> tag and b) it shouldn't matter because if you love yourself you won't read this:

1) Sim
Green Gables
Mar 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a very suspenseful read and had me guessing until the very end. This was a four star for the first 90% of the book and turned into a three star for the less than satisfactory conclusion. My issues with the book :

spoilers ahead

1. If the entire kidnapping plot was planned by Alice, how can the author reconcile the first person narrative where the readers knew Alice's thoughts and utter despair over not knowing what has happened to her daughter? This isn't a movie where there may be clues
Polly Werran
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Little Face is a mind twisting psychological thriller that will keep you hooked from beginning to end.
When Alice Fancourt returns home after having been out for the first time without her two-week-old daughter Florence, she insists that the baby she finds at home, in the care of her husband David, is not their daughter but a child she has never seen before. David denies it, claiming that the baby is Florence and that Alice has gone mad.
The story that ensues involves murder, torture, manipulatio
lucky little cat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't usually write reviews but I felt I should do something to counteract some of the negative ones I have read - because most of them are inaccurate and show a poor grasp of the characters and their personalities.

The inaccurate reviewers all claim to understand the concept of an unreliable narrator then complain that the author cheated. They claim that the narrator didn't just obscure the truth but flat out lied because they don't think the story told holds up once the truth is known. This
Joanne Sheppard
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The premise of Little Face by Sophie Hannah is an intriguing one that can hardly fail to grip the reader from the start: Alice Fancourt returns from her first outing alone since the birth of her daughter Florence, now two weeks old, and returns to find that the baby in the nursery is not hers. But her husband David seems insistent that nothing is wrong, and the police, faced with no evidence whatsoever that any crime has been committed, are seemingly unable to help her.

Is Alice, trapped in a hug
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In a nightmarish scenario, new mother Alice Fancourt goes out after her daughter's birth, leaving her two-week-old infant with her husband, David. Returning two hours later, she swears that the baby in the crib is not her child. Despite how terrified and hysterical she is, her husband insists that she is wrong.

Thus begins a convoluted and complicated investigation, with two police detectives, Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer, finding themselves at odds with one another over what is true and w
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't know if I should give this book 5 stars or just 1. It is the kind of book that is brilliantly written, expertly woven, while conjurs awful feelings in the reader. I didn't like any of the characters, I could not sympathise with any of them, not even Alice, whose baby disappeared. Everyone seemed to be emotionally weak, with no balls to stand up for themselves - even Simon, the detective. Then, there was Vivianne, the overbearing grandmother, who controlled every aspect of her family's li ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a story about a bunch of people having serius issues with their state of mind. There are, a crazy grandmother, an insane mother, an imbecile father a sex phobic male cop, a sex maniac female cop, some drug addict criminals, and a plot full of holes. so why three stars? Because i couldn't put it down. i had to know what happened. And when i found out i couldn't go back and not read it. But i think i shouldn't have! ...more
Wendi Lee
*3.5 stars, rounded up*

I read a few of Sophie Hannah's stand-alone novels before picking up Little Face, the first book in the Zailer & Waterhouse series. The premise is a compelling one - a new mother comes home from her first solo outing since having her daughter, and is convinced that the infant she finds there isn't her own. The police investigate, and find no merit to Alice's claims. Her husband says this is their baby, and there are no other babies in the area reported missing. Two weeks l
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Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensiti ...more

Other books in the series

Spilling CID (10 books)
  • Hurting Distance (Spilling CID, #2)
  • The Wrong Mother (Spilling CID, #3)
  • The Other Half Lives (Spilling CID, #4)
  • A Room Swept White (Spilling CID, #5)
  • Lasting Damage (Spilling CID, #6)
  • Kind of Cruel (Spilling CID, #7)
  • The Carrier (Spilling CID, #8)
  • Woman with a Secret (Spilling CID, #9)
  • The Next to Die (Spilling CID, #10)

News & Interviews

Psychological thrillers that will leave your head spinning. Cold cases, detectives hot on a trail, unreliable narrators, and a dash of poison...
155 likes · 88 comments
“Lies were lethal, however honourable the intentions of the liar. They deprived people of the opportunity to know the basic facts of their own lives. ” 36 likes
“She was irritated, briefly, by the thought that she might be becoming more mature. Why should she become a better person when no one else did?” 5 likes
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