The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter – Review
By Sandra Callard
The Whole Truth is an exhilarating romp through the university city of Oxford, author Cara Hunter’s home town. The city is a strong and diverse scene for the horrors of murder and this one opens with a man accusing a woman of sexual assault. But can a woman sexually assault a man, especially a six foot tall, twenty-two-year-old rugby player, when she is twenty years older than him?
This is the dilemma facing Detective Inspector Adam Fawley of the Oxford Police Force, as he picks his way through the turmoil of evidence. The police procedures are very authentic and plausible, as Fawley and his team begin to dissemble the tortuous story, but he is caught offside when a murder occurs and he is, inexplicably, arrested for it.
The story is told through the eyes of the police, the students and staff of the university, and the notes of police interviews, as well as people on the periphery of the story, as Fawley, his wife, Alex, and the life of their soon-to-be-born child are all at risk. There is new information coming forward from all angles and it soon becomes clear that Fawley’s wife is somehow involved. The relationship between Fawley and his pregnant wife is beautifully played out, but will she break his heart or is she in the clear?
There are two crime stories running alongside each other in the novel, the alleged sex assault and the murder, but they do, surprisingly, run seamlessly together, as the two stories are investigated by the same team. It is tempting to think that the two stories do in fact reflect each other and that we will eventually find the missing link between the two crimes, different though they are.
The pace and speed of this novel takes your breath away. Hunter has an impressive way of story telling which can garner a huge amount of relevant facts in an extremely economic and readable style. Information is laid before us in a continual stream and teases the reader with a plethora of facts which we think can surely lead us to the perpetrator if we put our mind to it. But no, Hunter has us fooled and the denouement catches us out. There is an appendage at the end of the book which has a superlative twist, in addition to the various twists and turns that are throughout the book, and I would defy any reader to predict it.
The Whole Truth has everything a good whodunnit should have. It has suspense, shock, believable characters and a strong storyline, and it is no surprise that this is the fifth book in the DI Fawley series and I think we can expect many more from the pen of Cara Hunter.
‘The Whole Truth’ by Cara Hunter is published by Penguin, £7.99 paperback