A truly wretched piece of writing. Nothing here is believable (not the characters, not the dialogue, not the police procedural, not the reaction of neighbors, not the reaction of the press); everything is obvious (from the set-up: The Girl in the Park, Six Degrees of Separation, The Changeling... to the way Frayn delays the 'revelation' because, ultimately, she only has one note to play and she plays over and over again).
Both leads are insufferable -- not only does no one speak as unnaturally as they do, no one thinks as unnaturally as they do -- in mini-lectures. Frayn simply does not have the skills to write in the male identification so she hides her inability behind jargon: Julian is not a character, he's a brochure. On any scale, in any country, on any planet -- Annie is a terrible mother. Selfish before, during and after the event. Yes, that's her character -- but spending 260 pages with her monolithic nonsense (and her close-captioned boyfriend for the mentally impaired) is excruciating.
The deceptions are that Frayn got this drivel published and that she received positive reviews.