All the Rage – Cara Hunter
A modern police investigation thriller full of dark suspense and intrigue, around moral dilemmas that will and rightfully propel this book to bestseller status. All the Rage is a crime drama that conjures a complex plot with crafted layers for puzzle solvers facing surprise and misdirection at every turn.
Faith Appleyard is a teenager who was abducted in a van and brought to an allotment where she was physically abused with a bag placed over her head and a clump of her hair pulled from the back of her head. It seems that the only way she survived was when police sirens disturbed the attacker. Such a brutal unprovoked attack leaves deep scars and psychological turmoil that has its own unique context. Not long after the attack on Faith, another teenager, Sasha Blake goes missing. Sasha is part of a close-knit group of friends that have known each other most of their lives. Patsie, Isabel and Leah make up the tight group that is very popular and often referred to as LIPS. The despair and heartbreak from Sasha’s mother are delicately and masterfully written with fantastic emotional awareness.
DI Adam Fawley and his formidable team of detectives are brought into the investigation of both young women. The team of DS Gislingham, DC Everett, DC Somer, DC Baxter and DC Quinn are joined by a new member, DC Anthony Asante. As the investigation into Sasha continues there is an emerging link between the two abductions and Fawley’s apprehension is mounting and clearly causing him distress. A previous case involving a sexual predator, Gavin Parry, haunts Fawley as he was the DS who managed to secure a conviction. The anguish is that Parry, known as The Roadside Rapist, had the same MO of forcing a plastic bag over the women’s heads, dragging them into a white van and pulling hair from their heads as souvenirs. Parry is still in jail but has always contested his innocence and accused Fawley of framing him. The uncertainty and suspicion mount that perhaps they have sentenced the wrong man and perhaps contrived the evidence. The uneasiness is that either the real killer is still at large, a copycat killer has started or it’s just coincidence.
Cara Hunter delivers the perfect balance in a crime series where the background stories of many of the characters continue to intrigue while the crime and its multiple subplots are always handled with purpose. Try skipping a few pages and you’ll find yourself either lost or missing something important, which shows just how effectively she maintains a riveting momentum throughout.
Cara’s observations create little shades of personality that contribute to the plot and the theatre of interactions. The attention to detail that she shows in the character development and their subconscious reactions within discussions and relationships draws such appealing multi-textured characters that are enthralling.
All the Rage integrates the mechanisms than Cara’s other books have engrained in our expectations – a first-person perspective from Adam Fawley, and the use of social media and other formats for recording chatter, news, interviews, telephone transcriptions etc. It’s like watching a master weave all the elements that breathe life into a fully formed treasure. I enjoy her stories immensely and I hope she continues on this mesmerising path.
I highly recommend reading this book and I would like to thank Cara Hunter, Penguin Book UK and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC version in return for an honest review.