Book review: Close to Home by Cara Hunter

Book Cover

Title: Close to Home

Author: Cara Hunter

Genre: Mystery

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 14th December 2017

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

HOW CAN A CHILD GO MISSING WITHOUT A TRACE?
Last night, eight-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from a family party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.
DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows the nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew.
That means someone is lying…
And that Daisy’s time is running out.
Introducing DI Fawley and his team of Oxford detectives, and a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2018, Close to Home is the new crime thriller series to get addicted to.

My review:

What a thriller! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, desperate to find out who took Daisy Mason because I was honestly not convinced that any of the suspects were responsible. Well paced and stimulating, the story line had me engrossed until the end and despite paying close attention to the details that were gradually disclosed, I was still unable to guess who the abductor was. I found the manner in which the story line unfolded with the reveal of each element of the night Daisy went missing particularly commendable and the author admirably paces each reveal to build up the tension and simultaneously keep the reader guessing. Many authors lack this ability and yet it is a crucial technique in mystery novels, one which Cara Hunter handles with ease.

The character building in this book is excellent and the first person narrative from DI Adam Fawley adds to the charm. More often than not writers decide to develop an inexperienced or flawed detective which I find frustrating so I was pleased to discover that DI Fawley does not fall into this category. Even the parents, who are often mediocre characters in other books with missing children settings, were curious and added an extra dose of anticipation as the story unfolded. The most baffling character in this book is Daisy – we get a sense of her charm and intelligence in the beginning of the book but it is not until the final chapter where her brilliance shines.

I often find thrillers of this kind predictable so I was completely blown away by how original and unexpected this ending was. The author saved the best till last in a plot twist so astonishing that I was tempted to go back and find the hints leading to the big reveal. Needless to say, I picked up the second book in the DI Fawley series soon after (review to follow shortly) and it did not disappoint. I will be closely following this series and any other future books by this author.

10 thoughts on “Book review: Close to Home by Cara Hunter”

  1. Loved this book. It was gripping and full of twists and I really liked how every character was very well drawn. Also the different ways of storytelling with the interview transcripts, social media posts etc. Great review, Darina!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The writing was very strong and well paced in my opinion. Often authors decide to gradually build up suspense leading up to a big reveal but in this case, Cara Hunter dropped little hints throughout the book to finally drop the huge bombshell of a twist right at the very end – something that I really enjoyed and found unique and brave. Thank you for stopping by! Hope you enjoy the book!

      Like

  2. Darina, yet another fantastic book review, and one that makes me itching for reading the book myself. I truly enjoy your writing style and your skilful choice of words to deliver your message. It seems this book is a page turner and you masterfully gave us a taste for it, giving us just enough detail to whet our appetite but without revealing too much. Thank you, and a great review! Look forward to the next one!

    Liked by 1 person

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