Weekends are for snuggling on the couch with a book and a pot of tea. Let me help you choose your next crime fiction gem!
I would like to thank Penguin Random House, and particularly Ellie, for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and for providing me with a copy of No Way Out.
Title: No Way Out
Author: Cara Hunter
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK
Date of publication: 2019
Number of pages: 360
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.
I will not forgive myself for waiting so long to discover Cara Hunter! I go through huge amounts of crime fiction every month, so it has become more arduous to find exhilarating books. I love murders and blood, yes, but I feel myself wanting more, becoming pickier, searching for an invigorating writing style, a different format, a thrilling voice… Basically, I’m a teen looking going through all the dresses in a store to find THE dress. Well, my dress is by Cara Hunter!
No Way Out caught me off guard. The DI Fawley series was new to me so I walked in blind and excited. Don’t we love this feeling? Usually, it fades away while I make my way through a plot and get accustomed to the characters. This time, I stayed transfixed during the entire investigation. This book is made of reports, phone calls, texts, newspaper articles. Simple trick to spice things up? Nope. There is nothing simple in the utterly detailed and skillfully planted forms of narration contained in this novel. I was in awe of all the extra work put on there to make this case as real as possible. Did those extras work? Yes. Oh, yes, they did. I was an inhabitant of Oxford, reading the papers in the kitchen with my tea. I was the little mouse going through phone logs, unsure of what to look for. I was the police officer stuck at her desk with gruesome reports. I was part of the book! I was in the middle of a complex network, engulfed by the horrors of the events and the thrill of running after answers.
One thing had me work twice as much, for at least for a third of the novel. Unfamiliar with the series, it took me a little bit of time to understand whose shoes I was in, whose voice I was listening to, as point of views changed several times in a chapter. However, as I sank deeper into the abyss, I gathered information, learned to recognize signs and manners of speech. Midway through, I was able to swim smoothly in all waters and strike reader/characters relationships with everyone. I think this choice from the author spurred me to give No Way Out a piece of myself, and I truly feel it made a huge difference in the way I enjoyed the novel. Something personal was created. Something both good and terrifying, but most of all absolutely satisfying for a reader like me!
You might wonder about my mental state if I enjoyed getting personal with a case involving the death of children in one of the most horrendous ways. Again, Cara Hunter pulled the right strings, never overplaying the drama, although still making sure the reader gets all the feels. I’m. not a crier. I cried. Then I go angry. Two kids discovered in their house on fire, parents missing. I was shocked, paralyzed, numb. Why wasn’t the father answering his freaking phone? Where was the mother? What on earth happened in this house? I did not have to imagine the nightmare, the author served it on a plate. It broke my heart and fueled my body with a burning desire for justice. Little did I know that on top of some stunning police work, I would get the craziest, most unfair, and tragic twist ever.
I love a good twist, but it has to come at the perfect time, after the perfect bumped road of false leads, interrogations, lies, and sweat. I have been lucky to read amazing reads this year, but Cara Hunter knocks it off the park with No Way Out. The fire of this novel burned in my eyes long after I put the book away. Riveting and phenomenal, I was offered a guessing game filled with sparks and graves to dig or disturb. Now suffering from a massive book hangover, I am dying to read the previous books in this series, and I urge you to do the same!
What are you waiting for? 😃 Buy Link
I’m lucky enough to live in the city I write about. Oxford will be familiar to crime fans across the whole world because of the fabulous Morse novels and TV, but my version of the town is a long way from the beautiful ivy-clad colleges. A much edgier place where the crimes are darker and closer to home.
I’ve always been a voracious reader and viewer of crime – I’ve learned so much from the outstanding writing that we now see on crime TV like Line of Duty or Broadchurch, and I’ve tried to recreate the experience of watching series like that for my readers. I love true crime TV as well – my husband used to tease me about it but now just nods sagely and says ‘research’ !
What else about me? I have pet cats who do their best to distract me whenever I get close to a keyboard (if you have cats, you’ll know), I love travelling, spending time with friends, and I have never knowingly turned down a glass of champagne….