Review: “Close to Home” by Cara Hunter

How can an eight-year-old girl go missing, and nobody remember the last time they saw her? Not even her parents?

About the Book

Book Review: "Close to Home" by Cara Hunter

They know who did it. Perhaps not consciously. Perhaps not yet. But they know.

When eight-year-old Daisy Mason vanishes from her family’s Oxford home during a costume party, Detective Inspector Adam Fawley knows that nine times out of ten, the offender is someone close to home. And Daisy’s family is certainly strange—her mother is obsessed with keeping up appearances, while her father is cold and defensive under questioning. And then there’s Daisy’s little brother, so withdrawn and uncommunicative . . . 

DI Fawley works against the clock to find any trace of the little girl, but it’s as if she disappeared into thin air—no one saw anything; no one knows anything. But everyone has an opinion, and everyone, it seems, has a secret to conceal.” — Amazon

My Review

How can an eight-year-old girl go missing, and nobody remember the last time they saw her? Not even her parents?

That’s the case when Daisy Mason disappears from her parents’ garden party. The guests don’t remember the last time they saw her. Neither do the neighbors. And her parents are strange (to say the least) when questioned by the cops.

Her mum and dad think they saw her that night. They know for certain she came home after school that day. But they didn’t see her then. Maybe they didn’t see her at the party. Daisy’s ten-year-old brother seems like he knows something, but he’s just as secretive and odd as the parents.

The police and DI Fawley are left to dig for answers. When was the last time anyone actually saw Daisy? Where is she now? And who took her?

“Close to Home” by Cara Hunter is all it claims to be, then more. Trust me when I say I read a lot. A lot more than I review. There are a lot of good books out there, but few that make me want to stand up and applaud the author. This is one of the few.

Part of the reason is how it’s written.

Cara Hunter takes a different approach in crafting this engrossing psychological thriller. As the investigation moves forward in “Close to Home,” Daisy’s story moves backward.

Naturally, any clues as to what happened to Daisy are probably hidden in the days and weeks before her disappearance. But the way Cara Hunter tells the story in both chronological and reverse chronological order is brilliant — and makes it even more intriguing right up until the satisfactory ending.

You’ll see the end coming from chapters away.

Or so you think.

There’s what you think is the ending, and then there is the huge, final twist that will leave you flabbergasted (and very pleased you chose to read the book.)

Hunter’s “Close to Home” is why I love British psychological thrillers and police procedurals. What else is there to say, but…

Well done, Cara Hunter, well done.

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