In the Dark

Penguin. (DI Adam Fawley, Bk. 2). Feb. 2019. 256p. ISBN 9780143131069. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781524704858. SUSPENSE
In the historic leafy suburbs of North Oxford, a construction crew renovating a house accidentally breaks through a cellar wall in the house next door to find a young woman and a child imprisoned. Both are starving and psychologically scarred. The elderly homeowner denies any knowledge of the pair or how they came to be trapped in a secret room in his basement. At first, it looks like a horrifyingly familiar case of kidnapping, wrongful imprisonment, and assault—but some facts don't add up. The retired professor's escalating dementia and deteriorating physical condition complicate the case against him. Then there's the unsolved case of a young female BBC reporter, who vanished two years before from a house in the same neighborhood. In the second "DI Fawley" novel, Hunter relates the investigative process of Adam Fawley and his squad through a combination of first- and third-person narration, media coverage, and transcribed police interrogation interviews, gradually unwinding a case that is much more complicated that it initially appears.
VERDICT This slow-burning procedural builds with tension as the narrative moves through several cunning twists, offering fans a pleasing follow-up to the first book in the series, Close to Home.

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