Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Whatever Happened To Baby Florence?

Little Face by Sophie Hannah (Hodder) 2006
After 110 rather tiresome pages I have decided to abandon Sophie Hannah's "psychological crime thriller", Little Face. According to the reviews it was supposed to be "high-quality stuff" (Literary Review) which was "fascinating and original" and "beautifully written" (Spectator). I found it as pedestrian as a walk through an Arndale Centre. The plot was one-dimensional and the characters were as complex as tissue paper. But, for me, the biggest failure was that there was no sense of place. It was set in the fictional town of Spilling and you were left with the impression that the place was about as realistic as the foul-mouthed police Sargent who had a degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic languages, the computer game programmer who lives in a technology-free world and the police constable who writes his reports like a Mills and Boon novelist. By abandoning the book after 110 pages I recognise that I will never discover what happened to baby Florence. So what?

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