Book Review

In the Dark by Cara Hunter

in the dark

I loved the first novel in the DI Adam Fawley series, Close to Home, and couldn’t wait to get stuck into the sequel.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THEY’RE HIDING IN THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR?

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…

As with Close to Home, the reader is presented not only with the narrative prose, but with various documents that augment the story brilliantly.  These include transcripts of interviews with witnesses and potential suspects, but also news reports and, my personal favourite, excerpts from social media.  These all serve to bring the story to life brilliantly, and I think that the social media element in particular is extremely apt.  So many people like to have their say and share their opinion, irrespective of their knowledge of the facts, and it’s so very easy to voice controversial or deliberately incendiary opinions from behind a keyboard.  Of course, a case like this is bound to cause speculation, and I thought that Hunter captured the views of the court of public opinion brilliantly.

In the Dark reunites the reader with DI Adam Fawley and his team.  I love the members Fawley’s team, or most of them, at least – Quinn can take a running jump for all I care.  I enjoyed seeing more of Fawley’s personal life in this novel, and particularly getting to see more of his wife, Alex.  She was mentioned in the first novel, but I felt that the reader got to see more of her personality in this follow up, as I didn’t really get a sense of what she was like in the first novel.  Adam and Alex have suffered a great tragedy, and it’s clear that they’re still working things out, but I do get the sense that they’re a great couple, and it had me hoping that things would work out for them.  It’s quite something to make you care about a fictional couple in this way, and shows what great characterisation is in play here.

I thought that the plot of In the Dark was fantastic.  It seems like an open and shut case when a young woman and a child are discovered locked in a cellar with no food and water, even as the owner of the house denies all knowledge of their incarceration.  While it seems straightforward initially, it’s a case that proves to be particularly complex, and it went in a direction that I wasn’t expecting.  Like Close to Home, this is a fantastically plotted novel, and the twists are genuinely surprising without being over the top.  In the Dark is an excellent police procedural, and I can’t recommend this series enough.

Published by Penguin, Close to Home, In the Dark, and No Way Out are available to purchase now, and the fourth instalment, All the Rage, is scheduled for release in December.

3 comments

    1. Good to know! I’m always a bit worried with a series that I’ll fall out of love with it, but this one’s going strong!

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