I’m a big fan of this series set in Oxford so I’m thrilled to be sharing my review today as part of the blog tour.
About this book…
It’s one of the most disturbing cases DI Fawley has ever worked.
The Christmas holidays, and two children have just been pulled from the wreckage of their burning home in North Oxford. The toddler is dead, and his brother is soon fighting for his life.
Why were they left in the house alone? Where is their mother, and why is their father not answering his phone?
Then new evidence is discovered, and DI Fawley’s worst nightmare comes true.
Because this fire wasn’t an accident. It was murder.
And the killer is still out there…
What did I think…
This is another series where I will preorder the next in the series as soon as I am able to. But it is also my annual Theakstons Crime Writing Festival proof! I was lucky enough to pick up a proof copy of No Way Out last July and managed to read the whole book on the journey home (as most of you know I had yet another long nightmare of a train journey home which was only made bearable by my advance copy of this book!!) So when I had the blog tour invite, it was the perfect excuse to reacquaint myself with Adam Fawley and “enjoy” this crime thriller all over again. I say “enjoy” because Adam is called in to investigate a heartbreaking crime that really tugged at my heartstrings. It’s a tough case for Adam especially due to the tough personal problems he is struggling with at the moment.
Before Christmas is a time for children. Their excitement is pretty much what Christmas is all about for families so it’s hard for everyone to cope when firefighters attend a house fire where one child is brought out only just alive but the other is pronounced dead at the scene. But when the crew are unable to find other bodies, it begs the question (and it certainly does here in Cara Hunters excellent use of social media in her narrative) where are the children’s parents? I found these scenes very moving and difficult to read especially after knowing of recent cases of children dying in house fires. That awful moment of identification when there isn’t a mark on the dead child because cause of death has been smoke inhalation is one I hope no parent ever has to go through and which the author has conveyed with an horrific accuracy here. But the story isn’t as clearcut as we would like to think and as we follow the family in flashbacks in the lead up to the fire there are secrets uncovered that COULD provide clues to what actually happened the night of the fire. I say “could” because even though there are plot twists gradually uncovered, I was still shocked by what had actually occurred to the family and why. There was one tough to read scene towards the end that made me feel a mixture of horror, helplessness and anger. This book will certainly played with my emotions in a way I hadn’t been expecting from previous books in the series. And don’t even get me started on Adams private life!!
This Oxford based crime thriller once again used its setting to get effect and there’s a definite sense of time and place throughout the narrative. Adam Fawley is a likeable protagonist even if I still find him a bit of a closed book at times. He’s been through a lot though and I’m convinced that he has tried to protect himself from more hurt by trying to turn off his emotions as otherwise he would probably not be able to do the job he does so well.
Another brilliant DCI Adam Fawley book from Cara Hunter and hopefully more to come soon.
Meet the author…
Cara Hunter is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling crime novels Close to Home and In the Dark, featuring DI Adam Fawley and his Oxford-based police team. Close to Home was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, and Cara’s novels have sold more than half a million copies worldwide. Cara’s third novel, No Way Out, is out soon. Cara Hunter lives in Oxford, on a street not unlike those featured in her books.
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