A Calculated Risk by Cari Hunter
A Calculated Risk by Cari Hunter

A Calculated Risk by Cari Hunter

I want to live in a world in which Cari Hunter’s characters exist

Cari Hunter doesn’t churn out books by the dozen every year but they’re all well worth the wait. They’re extremely well-plotted, for one. And with A Calculated Risk, Hunter gives us, once again, the kind of characters I love most. I want to say they’re perfect, but I don’t mean they’re flawless. On the contrary, they’re wonderfully human, fallible, relatable. Fifteen years after Isla broke her heart, Jo bumps into her at the local hospital. Isla went on to become a cardiothoracic surgeon and a consultant with the Emergency Response Team. Jo dropped out of med school and joined the police instead. A DI with the Serious Crime Team, she still can’t resist an animal in need of a foster home and is at her best when she gets to do “all this detective stuff”. She’s never told anyone about Isla, not even her partner and friend Tully, and when a case involving a gruesome attempted murder and the kidnapping of teens puts her and Isla in unavoidable proximity, every feeling – the good and the bad – rushes back to the surface.


I love many many things about Cari Hunter’s books, as anyone who has read my reviews before knows. One of these things is the author’s ability to make me hear the characters. Don’t expect them to sound American. They aren’t and they won’t. You may have to google a word here and there or accept that you don’t need to understand exactly what they’re eating or what an idiom means precisely. That’s part of the fun, of travelling via reading. I’ll read a sentence and hear their voices. Now I can’t wait for the audiobook and Nicola Victoria Vincent’s narration so I can check whether I got them right.

A Calculated Risk by Cari HunterI know police procedurals aren’t for everyone and I know readers who enjoy contemporary romance above all are not very likely to pick up this book. And I get it, I really do. I love romance too. These readers are missing out on some of the best characters in sapphic fiction, however. Some of the best in fiction, period. I know I say it every time but it’s true: I want to live in a world in which Cari Hunter’s characters exist. To get them though, to experience their emotions and crushes and angst, to fall in love with and alongside them, the reader also has to contend with criminals who feel just as real – terrifyingly so. There’s no escaping ordinary evil either in the real world or in the one Hunter writes but at least in hers, there are genuinely kind people fighting it, and with success to some extent. What I’m trying to say is that despite reading about the horrible things humans do to each other, my heart will be full and warm by the time I turn the last page. It’s true again with A Calculated Risk. It will be alright, it says. We will be alright. In this burning world, Jo and Isla, like Meg and Sanne before them, like Grace, Safia, Jem or Rosie, like the side characters in their lives too, are beacons of hope I very much want to believe in. 5 stars.

A Calculated Risk by Cari HunterA Calculated Risk by Cari Hunter

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