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Tuesday 13 February 2018

‘Close to Home’ by Cara Hunter

Published by Penguin Books,
11 January 2018.
ISBN 978-0- 241-28309-7 (OPB)

When eight-year-old Daisy Mason goes missing from her parent’s home on the Canal Manor estate in Oxford all hell is let loose. Whilst the Police, volunteers and neighbours all do their utmost to find her, others in the media along with on-line observers are not slow in coming forwards with their comments on what they believe has happened to the little girl and whom they believe has taken her.

DI Adam Fawley, a very human chap who is still suffering from the tragic death of his own son, leads the Police investigation.  As the search continues we learn that Daisy disappeared from a fancy-dress barbeque party with fireworks that her mother had organized in her back garden.  But then we begin to wonder if Daisy was ever actually at the party?  Nobody remembers seeing her there, although some of the guests and her parents do remember seeing a child in Daisy’s fancy dress running around at the party.  Is it possible, one wonders, that a parent wouldn’t realize that the child in Daisy’s dress wasn’t Daisy?  Also interesting is the circumstance that Daisy hadn’t invited her two best friends to the party until she knew they couldn’t come.  Again, one wonders why.

Sharon and Barry Mason, Daisy’s parents, are not exactly ideal role models for parenthood.  In an extraordinary series of revelations more and more potentially incriminating information about their backgrounds, and present and previous behaviour, comes to light. You wouldn’t think it possible for two people to have either caused, or experienced, so many adverse circumstances in their comparatively short lives.  None of the additional intelligence puts either of them in a good light, particularly as each of them has now begun to blame the other for Daisy’s disappearance.

Cara Hunter is a masterful weaver of an extraordinarily complicated and ultimately deceitful network of threads. Close to Home is a book that you simply can’t put down, but nobody should be surprised that this tangled web of corrupted lives leads to a truly shocking ending.
Reviewer: Angela Crowther

Cara Hunter is the pen name of an established British novelist who lives and works in Oxford. She also studied for a degree and PhD in English literature at Oxford University. The second book in the DI Adam Fawley series will be published July 2018.

Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.

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