All The Rage by Cara Hunter

Image result for all the rage book cara hunterAll The Rage is the fourth book in Cara Hunter's immensely readable police procedural crime series featuring DI Adam Fawley. Set in Oxford, they're gripping mysteries that are best read in the order of publication, as although each one can stand alone as a whodunnit, there are storylines relating to the personal lives of Fawley and his team that carry over from one book to another.

This time, Fawley is investigating what seems to be the attempted abduction of a teenage girl, Faith. Discovered by a motorist after making her escape, Faith has been hooded with a plastic bag and bundled into a van, her hands bound with cable ties. But she insists she hasn't been sexually assaulted and both she and her mother seem reluctant to cooperate with the investigation, putting it down to an April Fool's Day prank that 'got out of hand'. Fawley is concerned that elements of the attack on Faith seems similar to a series of rapes he investigated as a young detective sergeant several years previously - but a man was charged with those attacks and jailed. Could it really be possible that the wrong man was convicted?

Like the other books in the series, All The Rage has a fast-moving plot full of twists and red herrings. There are also, as usual, snippets from the police team's private lives, and in this book we learn a little more about Fawley himself and his relationship with his wife Alex, who at the start of this novel is pregnant with their second child (their elder son, Jake, has died shortly before the series begins). This time, however, Fawley's personal life has a deeper connection to the case, and this poses some interesting ethical questions. Cara Hunter's characters are always convincingly flawed, and Fawley is no exception.

My only niggle about this book is that I found the resolution of the mystery slightly unconvincing - not because I didn't believe the perpetrator would have done it (I actually found that element, chillingly, all too credible) but because I simply couldn't believe that they would have been capable of covering their tracks sufficiently well to evade suspicion for more than 24 hours. I also felt that one or two supporting characters were perhaps superfluous. That said, All The Rage is another strong, gritty, tightly-plotted instalment in the Adam Fawley series, and ends on a note that makes me feel impatient for the next one.