Source: Review copy
Publication: 12 July 2017 from Viking Press
A woman and child are found locked in a basement room, barely alive.
No one knows who they are – the woman can’t speak, and there are no missing persons reports that match their profile. The elderly man who owns the house claims he has never seen them before.
The inhabitants of the quiet Oxford street are in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? But DI Adam Fawley knows that nothing is impossible.
And that no one is as innocent as they seem . . .
I reviewed Close to Home, the first book in the D.I. Adam Fawley series by Cara Hunter in January this year. I was intrigued by the character of Adam Fawley and eager to catch up with him in the second book in the series. In the Dark works fine as a stand-alone, and if anything it is even stronger than its predecessor.
Hunter’s trade mark style of using newspaper articles, interviews, forensic reports and social media commentary alongside the police procedural narrative really brings this story alive and adds to the feeling of authenticity in the plot.
In the Dark is a well structured, complex police procedural which involves a plethora of crimes from murder to kidnapping and false imprisonment.
An emaciated woman and a child are found in the basement of an old house belonging to William Harper, a retired academic in his seventies. Fawley and his team; DS Gareth Quinn, DC Chris Gislingham and PC Erica Somer investigate, but the information they have is woefully incomplete. The emaciated woman is completely traumatised and unable to speak; the child is far too young and William Harper, as prime suspect, seems to have a convenient case of Alzheimers.
As the story develops, we learn that nothing is quite what it seems. Hunter leads us up and down a twisted path and just when you think you are getting somewhere, introduces a dead body into the equation, turning the reader’s expectations on their head and ensuring that a full scale murder enquiry is launched.
In this book we learn a little more about Adam Fawley’s backstory and are introduced to his team who are all convincing characters. Fawley himself is a clever and methodical policeman but struggles in his personal life and a devastating incident which has left him and his wife with a bleak hole in their relationship.
Beautifully plotted, cleverly structured and with a twisting, tense and propulsive action, this is a book that keeps you guessing to the very end.
Verdict: Suspenseful, thrilling, clever and utterly riveting.
About Cara Hunter
Cara Hunter lives and works in Oxford in a street not unlike those featured in her series of crime books. Her first book, Close to Home, was picked for the Richard and Judy Book Club and this is her second featuring DI Adam Fawley and his team of detectives. She studied for a degree and PhD in English literature at Oxford University.
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