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Perfect Little Children

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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  2,908 ratings  ·  623 reviews
All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.

Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn't mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn't seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn't
...more
Hardcover, 329 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by William Morrow (first published January 23rd 2020)
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Average rating 3.49  · 
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 ·  2,908 ratings  ·  623 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is So Wild!😨😱

THIS IS SOOOO CRAZY! IF YOU LOVE YOUR BRAIN AND NOT TO GET EXPLODED SO EASILY BE CAUTIOUS AS YOU READ THIS BOOK! This is nassstyyy and I enjoy it wholeheartedly!

I found my fictional soul mate: obsessive character reader, has no limits and never cares when somebody warns her to stop, a quiet young version Of Miss Marple and a little mature version of Nancy Drew, keeps digging and digging till she finds the truth!

Yes! Im talking about DEAR BETH (our absolutely nuts, extremely
...more
Yun
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Perfect Little Children starts out with Beth driving by the home of her best friend, Flora, who she lost touch with 12 years ago. She knows she shouldn't be there, but she's so curious about her friend. She sees Flora call out to her children Thomas and Emily to get out of the car, but the children who appear look exactly the same as the children Beth remembers, aged five and three, from 12 years ago. They should be teenagers now, but the children Beth sees haven't aged a bit, as if they've been ...more
Ceecee
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4-5 stars

Well, if you like twisty and twistier then this is your book! Beth and Dom have grown apart from Flora and Lewis Brain and havent seen them for 12 years. On a whim, Beth decided to go to Newnham House, the last address she has for them. She parks up, sees Flora drive up to the secure gates of the large house, she gets out of the car with two children who she calls Thomas and Emily. What? The Thomas and Emily Beth knew should now be 17 and 15, so what on earth is going on? To describe
...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is So Wild!😨😱

THIS IS SOOOO CRAZY! IF YOU LOVE YOUR BRAIN AND NOT TO GET EXPLODED SO EASILY BE CAUTIOUS AS YOU READ THIS BOOK! This is nassstyyy and I enjoy it wholeheartedly!

I found my fictional soul mate: obsessive character reader, has no limits and never cares when somebody warns her to stop, a quiet young version Of Miss Marple and a little mature version of Nancy Drew, keeps digging and digging till she finds the truth!

Yes! Im talking about DEAR BETH (our absolutely nuts, extremely
...more
Mandy White
Havent They Grown is one crazy story! And I really enjoyed it. I read this in a day whilst on holidays, struggling to put it down. I just needed to know what was going to happen next and how it was all going to play out. Every time you think you know what is the outcome will be it throws you another curve ball. Keeps life interesting! Yes the story is out there and at times a little unrealistic but that is why we read sometimes, for an escape from reality.

I have enjoyed quite a few Sophie
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Jayme
3.5 rounded up for originality!

Perhaps you have wondered about a friend you have lost touch with?

Facebook doesnt have the answers you are seeking..

Would you drive by their house for a glimpse of what has become of them, if given the chance?

When Beth has that opportunity, she takes it, but she cannot believe what she sees...Her former best friend, Flora, looks the same, but twelve years older..

But five year old Thomas, and three year old Emily, look EXACTLY as they did, the last time she saw
...more
Faith
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based upon a brief glimpse, Beth becomes convinced that her former friend Flora has somehow managed to have 2 children who have not aged during the past 12 years. They are even wearing the same clothes. This is the second psychological suspense novel that Ive read recently that managed to be very entertaining, while not being at all plausible. Really, no ones behavior in this book makes any sense at all. When I read the blurb I was actually hoping for a sci-fi element, so I was a little ...more
Miriam Smith
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Id yet to read a Sophie Hannah book, even after theyd come highly recommended by fellow readers. I was therefore very excited to be given the opportunity to read her latest novel Havent They Grown (also under the title Perfect Little Children).
All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home. Just because she knows her ex-best friend Flora, lives near the football ground, that doesn't mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a
...more
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com

Husband and wife Beth and Dom used to be best friends with couple Flora and Lewis. Their children were roughly the same age, apart from Floras youngest Georgina who was only a few months old when they all lost touch.

Lewis came into some money and the family moved away to St Ives in Cornwall. Twelve years had passed by and although Beth had tried to keep in contact nothing had come of it. She had also tried to see their new home on Google Maps but they
...more
Liz Barnsley
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh I ADORED this - twistier than you could hope for, a complex involving plot, a seemingly impossible mystery, with each passing page you get more and more addicted, whilst scratching your head in bemusement until Sophie Hannah unravels it all for you and it all makes sense.

Clever clever. Also one of my favourite teenage characters in Zannah- a breath of fresh air.

Full review to follow for the tour but definitely highly recommend.
Dennis
Jan 13, 2020 marked it as dnf
Sady, Im going to have to DNF this book. Im finding it rather unbelievable that someone would go this far to finding out a possible mishap with a former friend from a decade prior. ...more
Louise Wilson
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up to 4

Beth was out doing an errand when she comes across an old friend she hasn't seen for twelve years. Beth knew that Flora had two children before they stopped talking to each other. The children that are with Flora are the same age now as when Beth last seen them. Beth becomes obsessed in finding out the truth surrounding the Braids. Beth seeks help from her family and her daughter, Zannah is one than happy to help out.

This story starts off slow but the pace soon picks up.
...more
Beverley
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Gah, I was so disappointed by this book. I first heard about it at Theakstons Crime Writing Festival in 2018 and thought the premise sounded amazing. It is such a great hook and that was the only reason I kept reading, because I just had to know what happened next. The problem was the book was repetitive, overly complicated and dull and the actual 'reveal' was deeply unsatisfying and completely absurd. There was also a random side plot brought in three quarters of the way through which served no ...more
Lalitha
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Overwrought and completely implausible plot the twists felt anticlimactic. The only interesting, and frankly, believable character in the book was Zannah, the 17-year old daughter. I wish we had seen/heard more of her story, to be honest. ...more
Erin Clemence
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This review is for the audiobook version of Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah, narrated by Laura Kirman and published by Harper Audio.

Beth and her best friend, Flora, stopped speaking to each other twelve years ago, both having their own beliefs as to why the friendship fell apart. When driving her son to soccer practice one day, Beth has the oppourtunity to drive by her ex-best friendss house and out of curiousity, she gives in the to the urge. Beth witnesses Flora with her two
...more
Mean Drake
Can't understand the glowing 4 and 5 star reviews given by other readers. I have read and loved her books, specially the Spilling CID and Hercule Poirot series but this book was a let down. The story at best in my opinion deserve a novella.
Indieflower
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was quite the ride - intriguing premise, uber irritating characters, ridiculously convoluted plot - farfetched doesn't even begin to cover it, my eyes were crossed trying to keep up. Did I care about the characters? No. Was I moved or touched by the story in any way? No. Was I entertained? Hell yes, it was so mental I could hardly put it down, I guess sometimes a bit of literary fast food is just what the doctor ordered 😋.
Ingstje
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars!!
What the what the what the hellllll is going on? If I havent asked myself this question 30 times or more I havent asked it once as I just couldnt explain how the children didnt age at all in 12 years. Well I had my ideas right at the start but my train of thought just evaporated and I just let the story take me wherever it was going. Ah, this novel is one big brain twister with thankfully a really great answer waiting for me in the end.

I really liked Beth and her family, especially
...more
Sarah
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. From start to finish I was hooked on finding out what was really going on. The story was excellent and so well written. It was so gripping and I couldnt wait to find out what happened next. I thought the characters were really interesting and each of them were different in their own unique way. I didnt like Zannah though she came across really annoying and I didnt like when she was involved with the story. The ending was brilliant and explained everything which you dont ...more
Melissa
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Color me suitably impressed! I haven't been enamored with the psychological thrillers I've been reading lately because they all seem to be lacking in surprises. This one has them in spades. I came into the reading of this a bit reluctantly because Sophie Hannah is kind of hit or miss for me, and the premise of this book made it seem like it was going to have a supernatural element (thank goodness, it doesn't!) I read the book very quickly because I was so curious as to what was going on, and ...more
Tracy Fenton
Haven't They Grown by Sophie Hannah is a standalone mystery/thriller and from the blurb one I thought would keep me guessing throughout.

Beth is a happily married mother of two teenage children running her own successful massage business from home.

On a whim whilst taking her son to an away football match she decides to take a detour and check out her ex-best friend's house. However what she sees defies logic and is completely impossible. Flora Baird pulls up outside her house and gets out of her
...more
Salena Moffat
Feb 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
DNF. The book started off so well and drew me in. By midpoint, I no longer gave a darn about any of the characters (with the single exception of Zannah, the teenaged daughter of the protagonist) and I certainly didn't care about the solution to the weird mystery. Way too drawn-out and way too repetitive.
Roman Clodia
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a standalone and the Poirot novels it's nice to see Hannah going back to one of her 'impossible' mysteries though, sadly, she doesn't bring back her Culver Valley cops. She certainly hasn't lost her touch for wildly convoluted plots and actually delivers a denoument that is as twisted and cruel as we have hoped.

That said, Beth can be an irritating narrator with her repetitive inner dialogue (yes, we're keeping up with the story, thanks!), her endless domestic minutiae (ok, fine to tell us
...more
Terry
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The protagonist Beth, hasn't seen her ex best friend in quite a while, so out of curiosity she decides to drive by their house one day. She catches a peek of her ex friend and children getting into their car and at first glance things look normal. Beth does a hard double take though because the kids are the exact same age as they were when she saw them last, years earlier!

From here this book twists and turns, and messes with your mind until the very end. Never boring and great characterizations
...more
Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf
3.5 STARS.

Thank you so much to William Morrow Books for this gorgeous finished copy of PERFECT LITTLE CHILDREN! Ever since I read the synopsis of this book, I was dying to read it 🙌 The premise of this book is unlike anything Ive ever read before and I was so excited to finally read this one, but it definitely fell a little flat for me.

What I did really enjoy about this book was how easy and light of a read it was. I always love taking a break from my super heavy and gory reads, so this one was
...more
Joanne Robertson
I have a lot to thank Sophie Hannah for. Not only has she written another brilliantly complex and twisty plot that kept me guessing (wrongly!!!) throughout but she has introduced me to the pleasures of Rubis! At one point in the narrative one of the characters offers Beth and her daughter Zannah a glass of Rubis so, me being me, I had to check out what it was. And when I saw that it was a mix of the flavours of red wine and chocolate I just had to order some. So now Im not only a huge Sophie ...more
Alison Hardtmann
Sophie Hannah starts her thrillers with something so bizarre and inexplicable and works forward from there. When it works, the result is a novel that is a lot of fun, even if it might not hold up to a close examination. When it doesn't, the reader is left with an incoherent mess. Perfect Little Children is one with a particularly improbable beginning, and while it never really became believable, it was a novel that I was always eager to get back to.

Beth and her best friend parted under
...more
Sid Nuncius
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Havent They Grown. Its pretty far-fetched in places, but Sophie Hannah always writes very well and has produced another intriguing, readable mystery.

The story is told in the first person by Beth Leeson, a mother of two teenagers in Cambridgeshire. The set-up is excellent: she sees a friend from whom she has been estranged for 12 years with her two children who still look five and three years old as they did twelve years ago. We get Beths dogged attempts to solve the mystery,
...more
Rachel Hall
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ultimately entertaining but slow to start and a highly convoluted and very twisted tale!

Having previously only read a stand-alone by Sophie Hannah I didnt fully appreciate her reputation for convoluted plots and taking seemingly impossible scenarios and ironing the contradictions out. I was aware of the authors pedigree however and came to Havent They Grown with rather high expectations and therefore when the story was slow to expand on the initial premise of a contradictory sighting by
...more
Jodie (thathappyreader)
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
The publishers summary of this book enticed me to want to read this book - it isnt often that I venture into the thriller genre. I must say I wasnt disappointed. I loved the plot of the book. There were lots of twists and turns in the story which kept me interested throughout. At times I thought I could guess how the story would unfold, but then a new clue would be revealed and I realized I was off base. I loved the idea that the children did not age and the determination of Beth to learn the ...more
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2,547 followers
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 Sophies 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 ...more

Articles featuring this book

When it comes to mysteries and thrillers, we're all guilty of loving a good trope from time to time. From "The butler did it!" to "They all did...
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“Dom and I have often agreed that trees are like fish—we ought to know more than we do about the differences between the various types, but we’ve reached our forties and can still only identify weeping willows and salmon with any certainty.” 0 likes
“If we never make any changes that scare us at first, we end up missing out.” 0 likes
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