Cari Hunter’s books are a breed apart and I’m totally addicted. They both terrify and delight me. This proved true once again with A Quiet Death. If you’re having a day (or a week, or a month, or – let’s face it, it’s 2020 – a year) where you have no faith left in humanity, maybe you should postpone reading or listening to it. Or not. Cari Hunter is so good at making things sound real that all I was thinking as I listened to Nicola Victoria Vincent narrating perfectly – as usual – is how awful people can be. How inhuman and soulless. Then just when my heart was on the verge of giving up and closing itself off to the world, there came Sanne and Meg, saving said world (or at least part thereof).
I know Cari Hunter doesn’t write romance but seriously, Meg and Sanne are one of the best, most plausible, hottest couples in lesfic. And they make all the terrible things happening in Hunter’s books – because, yeah, they’re thrillers and they’re scary AF – bearable, at least for me.
When A Quiet Death begins, Dr Meg Fielding and Detective Sanne Jensen are celebrating the “almost four weeks anniversary” of the relationship everybody (except them) knew they were meant to have. It’s business as usual for both on them on the work front, which means Sanne will yet again get in trouble. The discovery of the body of a young Pakistani girl on the moors turns out to be only the beginning of a difficult and heartbreaking investigation for Sanne and her colleagues, who, on top of that, find themselves navigating the slippery slope of police distrust in minority communities.
I get distracted easily, and that I never felt like taking a break from the story to check my emails or be silly on social media is another proof of Cari Hunter’s talent. The crime arc is splendidly gutting and dark as can be. Police procedurals can be monotonous (as is real police work, I guess), but Hunter keeps me captivated thanks to, as I wrote above, how real her characters are. Meg and Sanne, obviously, but also Nelson, who’s the partner any cop should have. I also felt my heart break with tenderness at the relationship between Sanne and her mother. I just love these people, flaws and all.
Hunter doesn’t write life as we’d like it to be. She writes the people who make it worth living.
Bonus: A few years ago, Cari Hunter interviewed Nicola Victoria Vincent and it’s really interesting so go read it.