“Perfect Little Children” by Sophie Hannah – Book Review

Beth and Dominic Leeson were once friends with Flora and Lewis Braid. Such good friends that they even took their holidays together. Twelve years ago something happened which severed their friendship ties completely.

Then, in Cambridgeshire, Beth catches a glimpse of her former friend, looking twelve years older, yet with children of the same names as her children – ONLY THEY HAVEN’T AGED!  They should be teenagers now, but instead they are still three and five years old.  And where is the baby?  There was a third child back then named Georgina – where is she?

Dominic thinks Beth is imagining things. Beth is sure of what she’s seen, though she concedes that her work as a busy massage therapist and being mother to two teenage children of her own have left her stressed and over-tired…

She frantically searches on social media to find the Braid family. When she does, she finds that they are living in Florida. And that Thomas and Emily Braid are teenagers… as they should be…. Is she losing her mind altogether?

Rarely has a book’s blurb grabbed me so strongly as with this novel. As soon as I read it, I just KNEW I HAD TO READ THIS BOOK!  I’ve read other books by this author, all sound thrillers, but something about this one sounded like it might have paranormal elements…. Surely not!

My intense curiosity spurred me on to read at a feverish pace. What could possibly be going on here? Because I was so invested, I could easily understand why Beth was so invested in solving the mystery for herself.  Yes, there was a certain amount of repetition, but isn’t there always when important decisions are being made? You have to go over and over things in your head in order to make a decision that you can live with.

And no, it was not science fiction, nor was it paranormal, but it was rather ‘over the top’. I was absolutely riveted for the first 80% of the novel, then it just seemed to get rather implausible after that. Mind you, I did read right to the end, and enjoyed it. A little implausibility never hurt anyone – but it did bring my 5 star review down to a 4 star.

This is a story about emotional manipulation, deception, and psychological abuse – wrapped up nicely in a thriller. In three words, twisty, clever, and original.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from William Morrow (an imprint of Harper Collins) via Edelweiss.

ISBN: 9780062978202   ASIN: B07RSRL6WW     336 pagesDifferent title in the UK “Haven’t They Grown

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 32 languages and 51 territories.  In 2014, with the blessing of Agatha Christie’s family and estate, Sophie published a new Hercule Poirot novel, The Monogram Murders, which was a bestseller in more than fifteen countries.  In September 2016, her second Poirot novel, Closed Casket, will be published.

In 2013, Sophie’s novel The Carrier won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards.  Two of her crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012.

Sophie has recently helped to create a Master’s Degree in Crime and Thriller Writing at the University of Cambridge, for which she is the main teacher and Course Director. She is also the founder of the DREAM AUTHOR coaching program for writers. She lives with her husband, children and dog in Cambridge, where she is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College.

Follow Sophie Hannah on Twitter and/or Instagram.


About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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8 Responses to “Perfect Little Children” by Sophie Hannah – Book Review

  1. I really enjoyed this novel and was constantly trying to find the answer to that question Why haven’t they grown. A bit over the top yes but still enjoyable enough ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE her books, and I can’t wait to read this one. She is the queen of manipulation!


  3. Kelly says:

    I’m even more curious about this one now, you’ve convinced me to bump it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jules_Writes says:

    The blurb does sound great! I’m glad it turned out to be a good read even if it was a bit ‘over the top’. Great review.


    • Thanks Jules. I read this book faster than I’ve been reading lately as it really captured my curiosity. The motivations behind the plot just seemed unrealistic, but then hey… it is fiction. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

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