SOURCE: A WORLD BOOK NIGHT 2013 read.
She's only been gone two hours.
Her husband David was meant to be looking after their two-week-old daughter. But when Alice Fancourt walks into the nursery, her terrifying ordeal begins, for Alice insists the baby in the cot is a stranger she's never seen before.
With an increasingly hostile and menacing David swearing she must either be mad or lying, how can Alice make the police believe her before it's too late?
...... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1: Friday September 26, 2003): I am outside.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 230): I see her white embroidered Chinese pump-style slippers under the bed, laid out neatly one beside the other, exactly as they would be if she were standing in them. I shudder, half expecting them to start moving towards me.
MY THOUGHTS: Though I wouldn't go as far as to describe this as a good psychological thriller in some ways it was an adequate psychological thriller, I even quite enjoyed how we were left hanging as to just who (mother-in-law, Vivienne, husband, David, or indeed Alice herself) was the true villain of the story. However, overall a disappointing read ruined by totally unconvincing characters and an increasingly implausible plot that is peppered with inconsistencies, Little Face could have been so, so much better.
The story of a family living in what sounds like the lap of luxury. Living in a huge house and with the money to enrol the as yet unborn Florence/Little Face in an exclusive (and presumably expensive) public school we are then expected to believe that instead of a private room Alice spends the post-delivery period of her baby in a multi-bedded ward.
And it doesn't end there.
From the totally unprofessional police, to the health care professionals who seem to totally disregard the very idea of patient confidentiality to main character, David, who, a bit of a bully from the outset, seemingly turns into a sadistic monster overnight.
Great premise, its just a shame that the writing was quite amateurish, the redeeming twist that would have made it all worthwhile never delivered.
As a said a World Book Night read, here is what another participant of the event thought of Little Face.
Little Face is about a woman who leaves her young baby, for a short period of time, then when she returns home she finds the baby has been swapped with another.
I found Little Face to be a well written and sinister story that drew you in to the mystery very early on. That said, I found Alice’s astonishing acceptance of her husband’s demands and her controlling mother-in-law hard to believe and the ending a little flat. Overall it was a good story, although I’m not sure if I would be rushing to read it again. PS
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