Published by Penguin
ebook and paperback (18 April 2019)
Source: Copy provided by publisher for review
About the Book
It’s one of the most disturbing cases DI Fawley has ever worked.
The Christmas holidays, and two children have just been pulled from the wreckage of their burning home in North Oxford. The toddler is dead, and his brother is soon fighting for his life.
Why were they left in the house alone? Where is their mother, and why is their father not answering his phone?
Then new evidence is discovered, and DI Fawley’s worst nightmare comes true.
Because this fire wasn’t an accident. It was murder.
And the killer is still out there…
I’m rather out of sync with this series. I’ve read and enjoyed the first book Close to Home (reviewed here), I bought the second In the Dark, which is hiding somewhere in the book mountain and here we are now on book 3. I can say though that No Way Out can be read on its own, without a new reader feeling lost.
Michael and Samantha Esmond live with their two children in a large property in an expensive part of Oxford. The New Year gets off to a tragic start when late one night the property is engulfed by flames. With a large part of the house totally destroyed by fire and having collapsed, the police and fire investigation team have their work cut out trying to ascertain who was actually in the property at the time. Both parents are missing and the initial focus is on finding them.
As usual with this author’s books, the story comprises the character narrative (told in both third tense and first person present), together with police telephone transcripts, news reports, and various others including the post mortem and fire investigation report. As there are no defined chapters, these do break the story up and give that little extra detail which I love, particularly the public comments below the online news items. My only minor niggle about this is the change of font used for some of the reports, I was reading from an uncorrected proof copy so a finished copy may be different, but the font is quite faint and small and I found it quite difficult to read, even with reading glasses.
Because of events from book 2, there have been some changes in the police team which causes some friction; Adam Hawley is still the DI in charge although often preoccupied with his own personal troubles he takes more of a back seat here, handing much of the routine case work to Acting DS Chris Gislingham.
Intertwined with the current police investigation is a timeline of a few months preceding the fire and giving a clearer picture of the Esmond family dynamics leading up to that fatal night. Their family is not a happy one and with each disclosure, my suspicions about who could be responsible and why kept changing.
I was completely hooked from the first page and found this a dark and absorbing fast paced read. The touches of light hearted banter from Adam’s team bring relief to the overall sadness and darkness of the plot. There are of course some surprises in amongst the twists and turns and although I had a good stab at it, I didn’t correctly guess the entire outcome.
I now have to find book 2 as I want to know what happened previously. With the fourth book in the series All the Rage being released at the end of this year, I want to be up to date.
My thanks to Ellie of Penguin for the tour invitation and for providing the review copy.
About the Author
Cara Hunter is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling crime novels Close to Home and In the Dark, featuring DI Adam Fawley and his Oxford-based police team. Close to Home was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, and Cara’s novels have sold more than half a million copies worldwide. Cara’s third novel, No Way Out, is out soon. Cara Hunter lives in Oxford, on a street not unlike those featured in her books.