Sophie Hannah is I believe the only author who’s received the official permission to write new episodes with the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (who by the way, celebrates this year the 100 anniversary of his creation!). I have read two of these, and her fourth is coming up in August 2020: The Killings at Kingfisher Hill. She has been writing many other mysteries, independently from this series. Perfect Little Children is her latest, and a new chance for us to enjoy Hannah’s writing skills.
The book is set in our current world, it opens in April 2019. I liked the way many elements of our modern lives were used in the book: family life, with kids to drive to soccer games or other, daily teen life, text messages, Instagram and other social media platforms, etc.
As for teens, what was really neat, was to see both how teens can live in their own world, but also how a partnership can be developed with them, here between Zannah and her mom Beth to investigate into a weird mystery: by curiosity, one day Beth drives past Flora’s former house. Twelve years ago, Flora was her best friend, but she moved to Florida. Beth is surprised to see Flora there. Did she move back to England? But even stranger is that Flora’s children Thomas and Emily still look to be five and three, although they should be twelve years older! Why haven’t they grown? And didn’t’ Flora and Lewis have a third child, Georgina? Why isn’t she here? What’s going on?
I won’t reveal any spoiler, but just know this is indeed a mystery, not a fantasy with supernatural elements, as you might be tempted to think when you read my little summary here.
One thing I thought totally unnecessary was chapter 16, with Murad and his teacher. When you read the book, tell me what you think about this here. If it’s just to show better the bond between Beth and her daughter, I think we could have done without it. What did I miss with this?
Otherwise the suspense was great and growing (especially chapter 19 and after), and it did get my little gray cells working: along Beth and her family, I tried to imagine all kinds of possible scenarios, especially as I kept wondering how reliable the first person narrator, Beth, was. Of course, I didn’t manage to guess it all, and the explanation is a sad illustration of how craziness can affect some families and the life of women.
I also loved the whole thing about Chimpy, so smart!
VERDICT: Sophie Hannah proves once again she’s worthy of the place she occupies in Agatha Christie’s footsteps. Thrillers can be a good tool to present problems in our society.
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
Any other good book on Clementine Churchill?
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In full compliance with FTC Guidelines, I received this ebook free of charge from the publisher through Edelweiss. I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.