Thursday, 14 December 2017

Book Review: Close to Home by Cara Hunter

Title: Close to Home (DI Adam Fawley #1)

Author: Cara Hunter

Pages: 400

Publication: 14th December 2017

TW: self-harm, child abuse

1 line synopsis: 8-year-old Daisy Mason disappears - who took her?




Review:

I’ll be honest, this took me quite a long time to get into, and when I finally did get into it, it was for closure rather than enjoyment. Once I was into it though, the revelations and twists were coming thick and fast, and I struggled to put the book down, so if you’re looking for a police procedural that is very twisty, this is definitely the book for you.

Our main character is DI Adam Fawley, who is a very competent but troubled police officer. We know that he’s struggling with losing his son, but we don’t know for the majority of the book what happened to his son until quite near the end where everything is revealed. This is one of the main problems: a large amount of the book feels useless. All of the juicy information is packed into the end of the book to keep you deliberately hanging.

Something that makes this book stand out, and indeed was pitched as its unique selling point at JobHack, was the frequent use of tweets throughout. In the end the tweets revealed nothing that the reader didn’t already know - they were quite realistic though, they just didn’t add anything to the narrative aside from being something I had never seen done before. They felt very forced, much like the general writing style which tried to be conversational but came across as trying too hard.

The story is an interesting look at family dynamics, which I enjoyed. None of the characters, including the girl who goes missing, are particularly likeable but their relationships with each other are interesting/quite distressing. Towards the centre of the book, it does feel like the many threads are getting out of hand and are being explored for the sake of drawing out the book, and combined with the information-packed ending, it didn’t make for too much of a pleasant read.

This was a case where I don’t think the classic epilogue twist was pulled off very well. Granted, I didn’t see that particular twist coming, but the narrative before the epilogue was definitely lacking something which made it obvious all was not to be left alone. The epilogue required a huge suspension of belief (and highlight for potential spoiler: rather than wowing me just reminded me of Matilda - anyone else?).

Overall, I wasn’t much of a fan of this one and gave it 2 out of 5 stars. I liked the dysfunctional family aspect, and it was certainly faster-paced towards the end, however the writing didn’t click with me and I wasn’t really into the tweets, which seemed to be only thing that made it stand out from every other police procedural.

Close To Home is released today, the 14th December 2017, from Viking. For more of my reviews you can go to my reviews page here and should you like to get in touch you can email readabilitea@gmail.com