cover image Little Face

Little Face

Sophie Hannah, . . Soho, $25 (320pp) ISBN 978-1-56947-468-6

British author Hannah (Hurting Distance ) weaves together two narrative voices to create this complex and occasionally forced thriller set in rural England. Excitable new mother Alice Fancourt calls the police, claiming her baby girl has been replaced by a nearly identical infant. Alice believes her husband, David, is responsible, but it soon appears that David's mother, the rich and formidable Vivienne, is up to no good. Det. Simon Waterhouse has a soft spot for the possibly delusional Alice, with whom he alternates narration, but his undeveloped character renders their relationship, or lack thereof, of little interest. More engrossing is Waterhouse's complicated friendship with his boss, Sgt. “Charlie” Zailer, a feisty, appealing woman with a major crush on her subordinate. When Alice and the baby disappear and the police reopen the murder investigation of David's first wife, some interesting discoveries are made, but readers enticed by the intriguing opening will find the payoff ultimately unsatisfying. (Oct.)