A Quickie with Cara Hunter

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

In The Dark is the second DI Fawley book set in Oxford. It starts with the shocking discovery of a young woman and a child locked in the cellar of a house owned by an old man. He claims to know nothing about them, but he’s suffering from dementia so can what he says even be trusted? And then a body is found and things start to get very dark indeed….

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

This is a great question! Perhaps ‘Never give up’? Or maybe ‘Anything is possible’ (only I think Elizabeth Strout already used that one!).

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

“What typeface is your book in?”

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

If it was a crime book- and I guess it has to be a crime book – then Ian Rankin. Not just because he’s a great writer (though he is) but because he’s such a nice guy. He really supports new writers and ‘sends the lift back down’. I’m not the only one who owes him a beer in the Oxford Bar!

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!)

Blimey – that’s a tough one! This may be a little bit of a cheat because my husband definitely knows this, but I hate driving (I can, but I almost never do if I can possibly avoid it). On the other hand I am an ace map-reader!

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

I’ve read masses of novels lately (partly because publishers are kind enough to send them to me!) so this is another tough one but I’m going for

I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, by Michelle McNamara. I’m a true crime junkie and this is a fascinating account of the Golden State Killer case, which has only very recently identified a suspect, partly thanks to McNamara’s tireless research.

The Tall Man, by Phoebe Locke. Again a true crime link, this time to the notorious Slenderman case. This is a novel but no less compelling for that. A chilling page turner.

And finally The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances. I read this on holiday and it’s a perfect beach book. Highly recommended!

Who is Cara Hunter?  I’m lucky enough to live in the city I write about. Oxford will be familiar to crime fans across the whole world because of the fabulous Morse novels and TV, but my version of the town is a long way from the beautiful ivy-clad colleges. A much edgier place where the crimes are darker and closer to home.

I’ve always been a voracious reader and viewer of crime – I’ve learned so much from the outstanding writing that we now see on crime TV like Line of Duty or Broadchurch, and I’ve tried to recreate the experience of watching series like that for my readers. I love true crime TV as well – my husband used to tease me about it but now just nods sagely and says ‘research’ !

What else about me? I have pet cats who do their best to distract me whenever I get close to a keyboard (if you have cats, you’ll know), I love travelling, spending time with friends, and I have never knowingly turned down a glass of champagne….

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