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Hope to Die

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The Swanns prove to be a shifty pair especially aggressive Peggy and her brand of motherhood contrasts sharply with that of Alex. Yes, the no chapters thing is odd, but the scene breaks help and tbh 5 books deep, I barely notice it now. There’s also a handy ‘Previously … in the Fawley Files’ chart at the beginning, a dossier of the team members to help new readers, and old ones like me, who have short memories. If you've been following the series you'll have no trouble diving right in but if this is your first foray into the world of Adam Fawley, I think the book stands well on its own other than you miss out on the background of the characters.

As the story goes on it is easy to actually feel kind of sorry for Richard, while Margaret was harder to read and definitely seemed to be holding something back. Along with such a well crafted plotline that is made to flourish even more by the familiar multimedia format, the series arc moves along impressively too with good development of existing characters complemented by the arrival of several new faces, who are well fleshed out. Sorry for those that have to wait until the Publication Date: 18th August, 2022, but it will be well worth it. The multimedia is superbly realised as ever and just shows the author’s continued ability to captivate.

Suffice to say that, on this occasion, Cara Hunter has taken inspiration from a real-life crime for this fictional story and that element of true-crime realism combined with the author's creative writing skills works extremely well. And yes, this is based on a true story, but since other creative liberties were taken, I think it would've been worth it to make the motive a bit clearer. I really loved that the story is told through a mixture of narrative, transcripts of interviews, Wikipedia-style entries, online chats, letters, news headlines and lots more. While I haven’t read all the books in the Fawley series (this is my third and I am definitely planning on going back to read the first three), I’ve become quite attached to the characters and really enjoy reading about both the police investigation and the lives of the team.

What at first seems like an easy case of an intruder being shot by an elderly man in his home, turns into a complex and twisty case that has links to a high profile case of convicted child killer, Camilla Rowan. Before long, it becomes clear that the Swanns changed their name by deed poll after a notorious court trial in which their daughter, Camilla aka 'the chameleon', was convicted of the murder of her baby on the basis of circumstantial evidence, no body was ever recovered. The murder leads Fawley to a convoluted investigation from the past, and a family torn apart by a devastating crime involving the disappearance of a child. Like most of the books in this series the storyline is very tense and there is an eagerness to get to the end to find the perpetrator.Although I enjoyed this, number six in the series, I did find myself tiring of what felt like an excessive use of artifacts. Hunter’s excellent outline of the characters at the start of the book is a wonderful memory refresher for fans of the books and would also be helpful to those new to the series. As she did with the previous novel, Cara Hunter provides a little background précis of the central characters at the start of the book, which shows wonderful practical consideration for her audience. Richard’s wife Margaret backs up his story – they had retired for the night when they heard someone breaking in downstairs.

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