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Thursday 30 November 2017

Close to Home by Cara Hunter

Set in the lovely university town of Oxford, I was expecting this to be, from current reviews, a gripping thriller about the hunt, led by DI Adam Fawley, for eight-year-old Daisy Mason, who goes missing from a family party. The title suggests the obvious: were the parents responsible, a neighbour perhaps, a sibling? Your expectation is of a suspenseful, edge-of-your seat thriller to find out not only the culprit, but of course, is she dead or alive. It certainly lived up to all of that, but my guessing journey was completely thrown off course with a surprise twist at the end. I really wasn’t expecting a good way! (Sorry, no spoilers.)

A very skilfully written and devised plot with a full cast of well-portrayed characters…those you’re meant to hate (oh heck, you really hate them) and those who are meant to garner your sympathy, empathy even, did just that.

However, just a couple of issues needled me a little throughout. Firstly, various fonts and typefaces were used to isolate 'public' tweets (the public invariably become judge and jury in these cases)…but some were extremely difficult to read as they were very feint grey which does not work in Kindleland. Not a deal-breaker, but I just didn’t see the value of it as well as struggling to read them.

Secondly, whilst the book was written from both first POV and third-person POV in the present tense (not my favourite, I'm afraid), the present tense didn’t work for me with the flashbacks. They were in the past, so for me, they should have been in the past tense. And a message to the author, editor and copy-editor: ‘there’s (there is)’ is followed by a single noun, not a plural one. This is elementary grammar, so I was a tad disappointed to see the error in one of the slightly better-edited books I’ve read. 

For all that, this previously unknown-to-me author is a new, exciting find for me. Not only that, I gather this is the first in the D. I. Adam Fawley series, so I’m really looking forward to getting to know more about him.

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