This British novel is the first in a series, and the author´s crime fiction debut.
Young Alice Fancourt marries David, the single father of Felix, and move into his rich, generous mother´s large and stately home. When the novel begins, Alice has just given birth to Florence. She leaves her home for the first time after the birth, visits a health club and returns home after two hours to find a baby she does not recognize in the cot. Her husband claims she is having a mental break-down after a difficult caesarian, and the police do not know what to think. A week later, David Fancourt report his wife and the baby missing.
The leader of the police team is Sergeant Charlie Zailer, a single woman, and a modern, efficient police officer. Usually she and DC Simon Waterhouse respect each other and enjoy working together, united against their unlikeable superior, Inspector Proust, the man behind this intelligent observation: “Women talk drivel because it entertains them. They fill the air with random words, and they don´t much care whether what they´re saying has any basis in fact.”
Charlie wants more than friendship from Simon, however, which has made things difficult between them. The plot is good and absorbing, and on the whole this is a very promising debut, but neither Charlie nor Simon is able to tackle the embarrassment between them in a mature way, on the contrary they let misunderstandings cloud their judgments now and then.
My overall impression: A well-written, capturing psychological thriller about living with fear and cruel manipulation, a book which is very difficult to put down (actually I didn´t – I finished it some time after midnight).
Competition coming up
As I am the lucky owner of two identical copies of this book, I will give any reader of English fiction the chance to win a twice-read paperback of “Little Face” next week.
Keep an eye on my 10th Bait of the Box post.