Let’s start with some background
Adam Fawley is a Detective Inspector based at the St Aldate’s police station, in the centre of Oxford. He’s 45 at the time In The Dark begins, and only a few months past the high-profile child abduction case that starts the series: the disappearance of Daisy Mason told in Close to Home.
As for the man, rather than the boy, he’s married and still very much in love with his wife, Alex. But there is a deep sadness in their lives, which is casting a long shadow.
Adam has have lived in Oxford over ten years, but he and his brother Julian were brought up in a London suburb. As he says in Close to Home, “in a dismal ribbon development that owed its entire existence to the Underground – a stop on the final stretch, thrown down randomly in what had once been meadows but were long since concrete by the time we lived there. Not a place of its own at all, just ‘south’ of the only thing resembling a real town for miles around.”
What sort of person is he?
Still waters run deep probably captures it. He’s introspective, observant and intelligent, outwardly resilient, inwardly perhaps less so. He doesn’t care that his wife earns more than he does, or that she’s taller than him in high heels. He’s good at lateral thinking and bad at office politics, and he’s not especially ambitious. He’s compassionate and fair-minded, but it’s not all positives: he can be impatient, especially with his flashiest team member, Gareth Quinn, and he can have a short temper on occasion. But he’s a good leader – he gets the best out of his team because they respect and like him, and they’d cover his back to a man (and woman) if ever he needed it.
He doesn’t watch crime on TV (he has enough of it during the day to do it again for fun); he listens to Oasis and Bach and Roxy Music (Alex once told him he looks like Bryan Ferry, to which he replied ‘I wish’); he’s not into sport (his DS, Chris Gislingham is passionate enough about football for the whole station); his star sign is Libra (though he doesn’t believe in that stuff); if he had a pet it would be a cat (but he’s never owned one); his favourite food is Spanish (though he seems to spend his life eating pizza); and surprise, surprise, his favourite colour is blue.
So why is he so sad?
The Fawleys struggled to conceive, but eventually had a son, Jake. They adored him, but a few months before the beginning of Close to Home Jake died in tragic circumstances. We only find out exactly what happened at the end of the book. Like any parent who has lost a child, Adam still blames himself for not doing more, for not being a better father. As for Alex, she longs for another baby, but time is against them so she’s desperate to look at the possibility of adoption. But Adam is resisting because he is adopted himself, though his parents have never actually told him that. He found the papers when he was ten but realised, like children do, that this was something he could never raise. And even now, all these years later, he never has. So will the Fawleys’ love for each other be strong enough, or will the pain and absence in their lives finally force them apart?
Have you read one of Cara Hunter’s DI Adam Fawley thrillers? Let us know in the comments below!