Little Face : Culver Valley Crime Book 1, Paperback Book

Little Face : Culver Valley Crime Book 1 Paperback

Part of the Culver Valley Crime series

3 out of 5 (11 ratings)


The first extraordinary psychological suspense thriller from internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah.

Not to be missed for readers of Clare Mackintosh and Paula Hawkins'Terrifying' Scotsman'Ingenious' Sunday TimesIt's every mother's nightmare . . .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?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages, n/a
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Thriller / suspense
  • ISBN: 9780340840320

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Showing 1 - 5 of 11 reviews.

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Review by

A woman who has recently become mother returns home to her baby and says that the baby is not hers, it is another baby, which she calls "Little Face". Her husband says the baby is theirs and that she must be mad or lying. Somebody is obviously lying. I really have to read on to find out.

Review by

I found it hard to connect with this book, mainly because I disliked both the main narrative voices. I found no empathy with Simon and thought that the conduct/dialogue of the police bordered on the ridiculous (too much swearing!). Alice came across as weak, insipid and feeble (needed a good slap!), with Vivienne and David acting as the archetypal villains. Altogether badly-written, with an unrealistic ending.

Review by

Fast paced thriller, a real page-turner. I was really disappointed by the ending all seemed like nonsense! I didn't particularly like any of the characters either.

Review by

I have been waiting to read this for almost a year since I first read the blurb, and I was certainly vindicated: it is superb.The story unfolds via two narratives set a week apart in which a race against time develops. In the first chapter, new mum Alice Fancourt describes the horror of arriving home to discover that the baby in the nursery is no longer her own. Within this chapter, the writer subtly positions Alice as a slightly on-edge character who seems frightened simply to be out of the house without her child, before the revelation of the strange baby. Already the reader is questioning Alice’s control, which helps to understand why the local detective is so dismissive of Alice’s ‘story’. In the second chapter, narrated by an omniscient third person narrator and set a week in the future, there is a further shocking development as the local police officers learn that Alice and the baby are missing, possibly abducted. Now, another police detective is convinced that Alice’s husband has hurt her somehow and is responsible for another, even more serious crime…It sounds like a complicated beginning, but the way it is narrated is immediately engaging as the reader struggles to work out what is really happening. The clues are there throughout, but it is testament to Hannah’s skill that the truth about Little Face is only revealed in the final chapter. The plot is intricately constructed without seeming to be because the reader is so focused so the psychological chill created by the dominating characters in Alice’s life. Apparently convinced that his wife is lying, David gradually develops into a much more threatening and psychologically convincing character than he initially appeared. The records of Alice’s informal talks with the sympathetic policeman make her sound thoroughly irrational, in sharp counterpoint to her own carefully narrated tale, and once again forces the reader to question her mental stability, raising the possibility of a thoroughly unreliable narrator. The police officers themselves are fully developed characters with large flaws, which is just as well since half the novel focuses on them. Detective Sergeant Charlie Zailer is adamant that Alice is mad, but this is largely influenced by her own feelings about Detective Constable Waterhouse, who seems to be falling in love with Alice. This leads to a complicated atmosphere as they try to work out who is hiding what, why, and how it might be linked to a supposedly-solved murder. These characters have survived to flourish in the next three books in this series (I'm now looking out for the fourth!).Hannah’s written style is fluent and convincing; her characters are flawed but intriguing; her plot is skillfully developed and believable. This is an enjoyable read for those who like their crime fiction to focus on the psychological aspects rather than the evidence. Apart from some predictable moments in the denouement – why do villains always feel the need to confess their crimes in full? – this is an enthralling read with characters that will haunt you and a twist that will compel you to immediately start leafing back through the pages to refine your understanding.

Review by

This is a chilling psychological thriller, great escapism.

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