Close to Home

Close to Home

A thrilling search for a missing child – and her missing secrets – with an ending you won’t see coming.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...

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Title:Close to Home
Author:Cara Hunter
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Close to Home Reviews

  • Brenda

    Daisy was frightened – she could hear someone coming for her; she knew she couldn’t get away.

    When Detective Inspector Adam Fawley was called in the middle of the night, he knew it wouldn’t be for anything good. But learning it was a child abduction was much worse – they all hated cases involving small children and Daisy was only eight years old. The big party the parents were holding, with fireworks, lots of people from the neighbourhood, including children – the noise would have muffled the sou

    Daisy was frightened – she could hear someone coming for her; she knew she couldn’t get away.

    When Detective Inspector Adam Fawley was called in the middle of the night, he knew it wouldn’t be for anything good. But learning it was a child abduction was much worse – they all hated cases involving small children and Daisy was only eight years old. The big party the parents were holding, with fireworks, lots of people from the neighbourhood, including children – the noise would have muffled the sounds of a child screaming…

    As the force investigated, the door to door with the neighbours, the scouring of the nearby bush and surrounding land, Adam knew time was running out for little Daisy. They had to find her, and fast. But where would she be? How could she just vanish as if from the face of the earth? Surely someone had seen or heard something…

    by Cara Hunter is an intense psychological thriller that just buried itself under my skin and stayed there! The pace was electric – the clues and innuendoes horrifying. But the twist at the end – now I didn’t see that one coming!! Absolutely brilliant! My first by this author, and definitely not my last. Highly recommended.

    With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read and review.

  • Susan

    This debut novel is the first featuring D.I. Adam Fawley and is set in Oxford. The story begins when an eight year old girl, Daisy Mason, is reported missing after a family party. From the first we are aware that Fawley has lost a child himself, although the details only become apparent as we read on, so the case is very emotional for him. However, the reactions of the parents are not what either Fawley, or his team, expect. Father Barry Mason is upset, but acting suspiciously, mother Sharon is

    This debut novel is the first featuring D.I. Adam Fawley and is set in Oxford. The story begins when an eight year old girl, Daisy Mason, is reported missing after a family party. From the first we are aware that Fawley has lost a child himself, although the details only become apparent as we read on, so the case is very emotional for him. However, the reactions of the parents are not what either Fawley, or his team, expect. Father Barry Mason is upset, but acting suspiciously, mother Sharon is defensive and secretive and Daisy’s brother, Leo is withdrawn and quiet.

    As the investigation continues, we begin to learn of the many secrets in the Mason household. This book takes us from the investigation, to the day of the disappearance, back to events in the past – using newspaper reports, interviews and the outpourings of social media along the way. It soon becomes clear that the initial report is not to be trusted and interviews with the family, classmates of the missing girl, and their parents, reveal that nothing is as it first appeared on the surface.

    This is a clever and well plotted novel, with lots of plot twists and some good characters. There seem to be a plethora of crime novels about missing children at the moment, but any book so good that I forsake my kindle and take a paperback with me on my daily commute, is a winner for me. I thought this was realistic (including the police assumption that the outlook of finding Daisy alive was bleak), the characters interesting and the story gripping. I look forward to reading more novels by Cara Hunter and to revisiting D.I. Adam Fawley and his team.

  • Maureen

    **4.5 STARS**

    The literary world already has a huge number of successful Detective series, but I believe DI Adam Fawley will find his place amongst those successes with this excellent debut novel from Cara Hunter, as 'Close to Home' has all the makings of a great series.

    8 year old Daisy Mason has disappeared from her parents summer barbecue in Oxford; there were lots of guests - neighbours, school friends, their parents, but nobody saw a thing and were therefore unable to help with police enquir

    **4.5 STARS**

    The literary world already has a huge number of successful Detective series, but I believe DI Adam Fawley will find his place amongst those successes with this excellent debut novel from Cara Hunter, as 'Close to Home' has all the makings of a great series.

    8 year old Daisy Mason has disappeared from her parents summer barbecue in Oxford; there were lots of guests - neighbours, school friends, their parents, but nobody saw a thing and were therefore unable to help with police enquiries. But the one thing all police officers hate more than anything else, is a case involving a child, and DI Adam Fawley and his team will leave no stone unturned in their search for Daisy.

    Suspicion naturally falls on those closest to her, and investigations reveal that this 'normal' everyday family is actually very dysfunctional. Mum Sharon, and Dad Barry, each have secrets they'd rather keep hidden from the outside world, while 10 year old Leo, (Daisy's brother) is reluctant to share what he knows with the police - and he clearly knows something.

    As is the case today, thoughts and feelings about the family are displayed for the whole world to read on the big wide web. This is definitely trial by social media, with many of the posts making serious accusations without anything material with which to back up those accusations. This in turn, results in anger and threats of violence, and it becomes even more imperative that DI Fawley and his team discover the whereabouts of Daisy.

    Nothing is as first appears in this investigation, but ( through flashbacks ) we gradually gain insight into this very complex family, and what led to Daisy's disappearance, though what actually happened to her isn't revealed until the very end of the book.

    This was a page turner in every sense, the writing was crisp, the storyline was utterly gripping, and the characters (though not always likeable ) were completely believable. DI Fawley and his team worked tirelessly in their search for Daisy, and it was encouraging to watch the results of their hard work and long hours unfold into concrete clues.

    I don't think I've ever changed my mind so many times regarding who the perpetrator was - so congratulations to the author for keeping me guessing right until the end. I'm not sure the ending was quite believable, but having been utterly gripped throughout, I'm willing to go with it.

    A brilliant start to a series that (I for one) will greet with huge anticipation.

    *Thank you to

    for my paperback copy in exchange for an honest review*

  • Sassy Brit

    Visit all my reviews

    . I love to chat books!

    I'm reviewing Close to Home by Cara Hunter. This is an Vine Customer Review of Free Product. Here are my thoughts:

    ^^ 'Close to Home' is the 1st book in the Oxford detective DI Adam Fawley series by author Cara Hunter.

    ^^ I have just finished this book, and I read it fast. I found the whole 'Daisy Mason is missing' mystery wonderfully intriguing and loved the way it was written. So much information was provided to us, but a lot

    Visit all my reviews

    . I love to chat books!

    I'm reviewing Close to Home by Cara Hunter. This is an Vine Customer Review of Free Product. Here are my thoughts:

    ^^ 'Close to Home' is the 1st book in the Oxford detective DI Adam Fawley series by author Cara Hunter.

    ^^ I have just finished this book, and I read it fast. I found the whole 'Daisy Mason is missing' mystery wonderfully intriguing and loved the way it was written. So much information was provided to us, but a lot was held back in the way it was revealed. It's the sort of book I'd like to go back and read again, knowing how it ends, to see precisely what I was made to think, what actually happened, and how it was conveyed to me by unreliable witnesses. It was as though I was helping DI Adam Fawley with his investigations. Trying to work out who did it, alongside of him.

    ^^ This story flits between the day of the investigation, past events and eventually leads up to the day of her disappearance. We focus on the parents, Daisy's brother Leo, and largely on what he social media are saying as everyone gets involved in the hunt for Daisy. Suspicions are flying around all over the place. Help, or hindrance?

    ^^ My copy was an ARC copy, so I'm not entirely sure it's the final version, but I really enjoyed how there was actually NOT any separate chapter breaks. It was all a mix of interviews, police reports, newspaper cuttings in different fonts. So each part of the story was told in different formats and had their own natural breaks. In a way, I think this made it an even faster and quite unique read. I do hope the finished product stays the same for you.

    Overall: I can definitely recommend this to those of you who like these 'who did it?' missing children stories. Do read this when you have the chance. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Catra Hunter writes how a bestseller should read! (That make sense? LOL) It's clever. Thought-provoking. And quite emotional at times. These characters kept me up all night until I finished. It's a nail-biting, fun read!

  • Gary

    'Close to Hone' is the 1st book in the Oxford detective DI Adam Fawley series by author Cara Hunter.

    This fast paced novel is certainly a page turner and features some great characters. 8 year old Daisy disappears from her Oxford home and both her parents are quickly identified as possible suspects. Daisy's mother doesn't appear to be concerned and her father is more concerned in keeping a low profile than helping the police to uncover the truth regarding Daisy's whereabouts. The book reveals mor

    'Close to Hone' is the 1st book in the Oxford detective DI Adam Fawley series by author Cara Hunter.

    This fast paced novel is certainly a page turner and features some great characters. 8 year old Daisy disappears from her Oxford home and both her parents are quickly identified as possible suspects. Daisy's mother doesn't appear to be concerned and her father is more concerned in keeping a low profile than helping the police to uncover the truth regarding Daisy's whereabouts. The book reveals more information to the reader by featuring flashbacks that explain the family history and open up more possibilities to the crime.

    This is an excellent novel that keeps the reader interested to know more and serves up twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very end.

    I would like to thank Penguin Books UK and Net Galley for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  • Paromjit

    Cara Hunter begins her series featuring DI Adam Fawley of Thames Valley Police with a mix of police procedural and psychological thriller set in Oxford. It begins with a scene of a fearful Daisy Mason. The precocious 8 year old Daisy goes missing at her parents barbeque and fireworks party for parents and neighbours. The police are called in, and DI Adam Fawley instigates local area searches. Adam has a focused and highly competent team that are determined to find Daisy that includes DS Gareth Q

    Cara Hunter begins her series featuring DI Adam Fawley of Thames Valley Police with a mix of police procedural and psychological thriller set in Oxford. It begins with a scene of a fearful Daisy Mason. The precocious 8 year old Daisy goes missing at her parents barbeque and fireworks party for parents and neighbours. The police are called in, and DI Adam Fawley instigates local area searches. Adam has a focused and highly competent team that are determined to find Daisy that includes DS Gareth Quinn, DC Gislingham and the sharp eyed DC Everett. However, the parents, Barry and Sharon Mason are displaying strange behaviour and refusing to countenance a detailed search of their home. Leo, their 10 year old son, is clearly not opening up about all that he knows. In the meantime, the media have parked up outside their home with no intention of leaving anytime soon. A social media storm takes off, firstly mostly concerned but later a more trolling, toxic presence with its vilification of the parents, threats and more worryingly, incitement to violence and murder.

    As the team delve into Daisy's life and her family, it soon becomes clear that they are a dysfunctional family mired in secrets and lies. Sharon is insecure, vain and lacking the maternal instincts to nurture her children. Barry has a secret life of other women and dodgy business practices. Daisy is painted as a exceedingly bright child, who feels like a fish out of water with her more intellectually pedestrian family. She is given to eavesdropping on the conversations of others, has her own secrets and emotional fallouts amongst her own coterie of schoolfriends. We are given flashbacks that go back a considerable number of years to the more recent past. Adam and his team slowly find that every assumption they have made begins to slowly fall apart as they try to find out what happened. Matters are further complicated as we become aware that Adam and his wife, Alex, recently lost their son, Jake, in highly emotionally upsetting circumstances. In a investigation where nothing is as it seems, suspicions focus on and oscillate between Sharon to Barry, as Adam believes the perpetrator is usually close to home.

    This is a fast paced and well plotted story peppered with social media postings, news bulletins and police interviews. It authentically replicates the reality of how outrageously people behave on social media in real life missing children cases. There is twist after twist in the narrative that has you desperate to keep reading to find out how it all ends. The final twist requires a huge suspension of disbelief in my view, as indeed does the portrayal of Daisy as a 8 year old, but this did not stop me from enjoying the novel. One of my favourite parts is just how well Adam's police team worked, their absolute commitment to the case and how they support one another. A highly entertaining and absorbing read. Many thanks to Penguin for an ARC.

  • Louise Wilson

    Last night, 8-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from her parents summer party. No on saw anything- at least that's what they are saying. DI Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But nine times out of ten, it's someone the victim knew. Someone is lying and Daisy's time is running out.

    This fast paced well plotted novel kept me on the edge of my seat, urging DI Adam Fawley and his team to find Daisy. There are lots of twists in this intense psychological thriller. I was constantly changing my mind

    Last night, 8-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from her parents summer party. No on saw anything- at least that's what they are saying. DI Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But nine times out of ten, it's someone the victim knew. Someone is lying and Daisy's time is running out.

    This fast paced well plotted novel kept me on the edge of my seat, urging DI Adam Fawley and his team to find Daisy. There are lots of twists in this intense psychological thriller. I was constantly changing my mind about who the guilty party was. Even better eas the books satisfying ending. I loved it.

    I would like to thank NetGalley, Penguin Books UK and the author Cara Hunter for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Rachel Hall

    3.5 stars

    Close to Home is part police procedural and part psychological thriller and marks the inaugural outing of DI Adam Fawley and his team in Oxford and focuses on the disappearance of eight-year-old Daisy Mason from a family barbecue at the height of summer. So far the premise all sounds pretty conventional but Cara Hunter gives the novel a very distinctive feel with a fly on the wall level of insight into a real-time police investigation which prioritises action over analysis and ensures r

    3.5 stars

    Close to Home is part police procedural and part psychological thriller and marks the inaugural outing of DI Adam Fawley and his team in Oxford and focuses on the disappearance of eight-year-old Daisy Mason from a family barbecue at the height of summer. So far the premise all sounds pretty conventional but Cara Hunter gives the novel a very distinctive feel with a fly on the wall level of insight into a real-time police investigation which prioritises action over analysis and ensures rapid-fire plot development. In fact, the reader barely has a moment to digest one shock before being hit by the next bombshell. The narrative details not only the police investigation but is also comprised of newspaper articles, Twitter commentary, Facebook postings and the odd hand-written contribution. Close to Home is not separated with the usual chapters thus emphasising the continuously unfolding developments and a feeling of being privy to all of the thoughts of the investigating CID from the get-go. DI Fawley and his cohorts are bound together by the belief that the answers to Daisy’s disappearance lie close to home, within the family and the local neighbourhood. The predisposition of the investigators towards laying the blame firmly at the parents door will leave readers in no doubt that this is definitely not a random snatch by a stranger.

    Receiving a call in the early hours of the morning to the Canal Manor estate when the Mason family discover that their youngest child is nowhere to be found, Close to Home opens with a first person narrator judging the family before even entering the house and casting aspersions on living on the “wrong side of the canal”. After the first few pages I wasn’t overly optimistic as it then progresses to a piecemeal character assassination of a family who rapidly reveal themselves to be highly dysfunctional. Adding to this disjointed feel are the fleeting attentions of a story which jumps between random elements meaning that much of what unfolds is merely given cursory attention. However after this initial discomfort Close to Home does settle down and the narrative of DI Adam Fawley becomes steadily more engaging and sincere, only for early probing to reveal that the Mason family have a closet full of secrets rattling around. A second and more occasional narrative marked in italicised text takes the form of flashbacks from the days preceding Daisy’s disappearance.

    House proud mother Sharon Mason is clearly a woman for whom appearances matter and her unruffled demeanour seems oddly calm in comparison to her sweating and agitated husband, Barry, who keeps his head in his hands throughout. Daisy’s ten-year-old brother, Leo, appears rather detached from events and is reluctant to speak with the police, however obvious is it that he clearly knows more than he is willing to disclose. Daisy is portrayed as a precocious and exceptionally bright child with a circle of exclusive and similarly erudite friends, both supremely confident and able to express their emotions candidly. With an image conscious mother and a father living a double life it soon transpires that Daisy was privy to most of the hidden secrets within the Mason household, imbuing her disappearance from the family home with even greater significance. In an investigation fraught with difficulties even establishing an approximate time for Daisy’s disappearance is not without complications and as the now de rigueur trial by Twitter ensues public vitriol incites a backlash against Barry and Sharon the fear of vigilante reprisal attacks adds to the pressure on DI Fawley and his team.

    Extreme suspension of disbelief is required to believe Daisy and her group of friends are just eight-years-old from their emotional articulacy to the complicated friendship dynamics of a group who should surely be more concerned with playground games. Characterisation of both Sharon and Barry Mason is also weak with Barry never rising above seedy and Sharon appearing resolutely self-obsessed. I like to not only see what characters do but crucially understand their motivations and with a more linear structure I usually find that the characters are fleshed out throughout the course of events but in Close to Home much of this is foregone. The unusual format didn’t prove a hindrance to my overall enjoyment however but the Twitter commentary of trolls brings nothing to the party and as a reader who enjoys the escape from the vile social media slanging I have no desire to read pages of it in a crime fiction novel. The ludicrous epilogue compounds the impression that characterisation is not Cara Hunter’s strength requiring Daisy to have the foresight of a paid up member of Mensa and undoubtedly devalues much of what has preceded it. Narrated in the first person by DI Adam Fawley I was surprised at how little I learnt about him, apart from his own loss of a son in tragic circumstances and having been adopted himself. Diligent and focused, I was disappointed that he never appeared as anything other than bland throughout and I felt more connection and familiarity with several of his constables, notably the reliable DC Gislingham, shrewd DC Verity Everett (“Ev”) and ladies’ man Acting DS Gareth Quinn.

    There is something distinctly unsavoury about the novel, from the judgemental attitudes of the detectives prior to even entering the home or meeting the family, the scant dull diligence into the background of the family that is performed through to the complete lack of tact and discretion with how the case is handled. Admittedly I may be old fashioned but I like to the think that the majority of the detectives are pursuing a vocation first and a career secondly and whilst every human implicitly makes judgements seeing the politically incorrect opinions bandied around by Thames Valley CID leaves a very bad taste. Hunter makes a belated attempt to show some sympathy for the two children involved but this all feels a little too late to pass muster.

    Despite tearing through this highly readable novel I was less enamoured by the generalisations blatantly obvious from outset and the attitude that financially challenged parents who haven’t had the benefit of higher education themselves would be so hostile towards their own children with a propensity to learn and a desire to do so. As it stands Close to Home has too much of the sensationalised expose attitude and lacks credible characters, however is also proves nigh on impossible to put down!

  • Sara

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Close To Home follows Detective Inspector Adam Fawley and his search for missing 8 year old Daisy. As is often the case, the kidnapper may be closer to home than everyone thinks, and Adam is tasked with finding out who lying.

    Adam Fawley is a dynamic leading man. He's charismatic, likable and obviously good at his job. I liked that. Too many times in novels like this we see police officers who are so incompetent its a miracle they ev

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Close To Home follows Detective Inspector Adam Fawley and his search for missing 8 year old Daisy. As is often the case, the kidnapper may be closer to home than everyone thinks, and Adam is tasked with finding out who lying.

    Adam Fawley is a dynamic leading man. He's charismatic, likable and obviously good at his job. I liked that. Too many times in novels like this we see police officers who are so incompetent its a miracle they even catch the suspects. I was happy to see this was not the case in this book.

    The other characters in this were all a little annoying and unlikable. Daisy's mother doesn't seem to care that her daughter's gone missing, and her father is more concerned with 'keeping up appearances' than actually trying to find his child. As the story continues, we see why the parents are acting like this, and the reasoning behind their behaviors is explained well - but I just still didn't like them. As we see Daisy's backstory unfold and we see a precocious intelligent little girl, I couldn't even bring up any feelings for her. I had no sympathy for any of them, and that made it difficult for me to care.

    The story itself is also a little all over the place with flashbacks to back fill and flesh out the main characters and develop their history and significance to the case. This meant the plot jumped around at times, and disrupted the flow of the story. I'm not a fan of this type of story telling personally. I like a more linear approach. I also would have appreciated less of the police reports which seemed to reiterate or repeat information the reader already knew, making the plot a little too long winded.

    Look, I'm very picky with my contemporary thrillers. I like something a little out of the ordinary, and something that's going to really shock and surprise me. Unfortunately, I think this subject matter is very common at the moment, with a flood of novels relating to missing children etc. and I think in some parts the novel suffers because of this. I didn't find it particularly original or griping enough at all - and the ending requires a large amount of suspension in belief, and made no real sense to me.

    Unfortunately not for me.

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