cover image Perfect Little Children

Perfect Little Children

Sophie Hannah. Morrow, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-297820-2

Chance takes Cambridge, England, massage therapist Beth Leeson, the narrator of this wildly off-target domestic thriller from bestseller Hannah (The Next to Die), to the posh community where Flora Braid, her former bestie, and family relocated 12 years earlier after the abrupt end of their friendship. When Beth gets a peek at the Braids’ new place, she’s unsettled, to say the least, to spot her onetime friend and two youngsters, Thomas and Emily, looking as if they had not aged since the last time she saw them 12 years ago. Beth really becomes alarmed when her husband tells her that, based on social media posts, the Braids appear to have been living in Florida for over a decade, after Flora’s entertaining but erratic husband launched a successful tech company there. Determined to find out what happened to Flora and whether she and the children are all right, Beth travels to Florida, where she barrels down an ever-darker road to a jaw-dropping denouement—but given the flimsy characters and incredible plot, readers may have bailed well before then. Hopefully, Hannah will return to form next time. (Feb.)