Posted 20 hours ago

Hope to Die

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Cara Hunter has found a way to present her work in a way that comes close to offering the best of both worlds. This was my first Cara Hunter novel and the way it's written is completely different to most of the other crime and police procedural novels I've read. I still have a few niggles - this is the 6th novel with the same format, I’d like to see the author do something new, I think the format is getting tired now.

The shooter and his wife claim self-defense, but when a connection is made to a decade's old case, DI Adam Fawley and his team are under immense pressure to discover the truth.The shooting incident in the present day and the entire background relating to Camilla Rowan is so clever and intricate, not to mention endlessly interesting, as every piece of evidence, every breakthrough and every witness testimony, added a new perspective on things. However, I can acknowledge it might be trickier for series newbies to get a grasp, which is why the "Fawley Files" within the cover are another great touch.

My favourite feedback is when readers tell me it's like getting the raw material of the case, so they can be detectives themselves.Although I enjoyed this, number six in the series, I did find myself tiring of what felt like an excessive use of artifacts.

But I gotta say, this book was quite a chunk with +900 pages, and then I was waiting for that punch in the jaw at the end of the story - Cara Hunter style, which was there but we've had stronger punches in the previous books. The only comment on this is that these inserts are in very tiny font and are a bit challenging on the Kindle – I couldn’t get them to enlarge. As we should all be aware by now, feeding ducks bread is bad because the food has little nutritional value and can harm ducklings' growth, pollute waterways and attract rodents and other pests.The Oxford setting of these novels always takes me back to reading the brilliant Inspector Morse stories by Colin Dexter. There are sections that are somewhat more considered, but only when it is appropriate for them to be so - and there are other times when events unfurl rapidly as the investigation builds up a head of steam. I have really enjoyed the DI Fawley series and have admired Hunter's writing style, her use of reproduced documents and evidence that take the idea of show not tell to a new level, making the reader a part of the investigating team.

However, this book featured more characters than narrators and at times, it was momentarily difficult to discern who was saying what. Cara Hunter is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling crime novels Close to Home, In the Dark, No Way Out, All the Rage and The Whole Truth all featuring DI Adam Fawley and his Oxford-based police team. Further inquiries then reveal that Swann is not their real surname and that the couple changed their name by deed poll after their daughter Camilla Rowan was convicted in 2003 of killing her newborn son six years earlier. I think the ending was supposed to be a shock so was a bit disappointed because it really wasn't at all. I defy any reader to not race through this fast paced crime read, the suspense and tension are sky high, and whenever you think you know what is happening, the ground shifts and the case heads in a completely different direction.Richard's wife backs up his story that an intruder had broken in downstairs and Richard shot him in self defence. It is an enthralling story told at a fast pace as the case unravels in tantalising style; addictive in the extreme. Close to Home was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and was shortlisted for Crime Book of the Year in the British Book Awards 2019. I buddy read this with Pat, and Ceecee (because they couldn’t wait to read it either 😊), and all three of us enjoyed it.

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