Jaffareadstoo is delighted to host today's stop on The Puppet Show Blog Tour
Little Brown Book Group
24 January 2019
Washington Poe #1
My thanks to Beth at the publishers for my copy of the book and the invitation to be part of this blog tour
A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District's prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.
When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.
Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.
As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he's ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive..
My thoughts about it..
Cumbria in the English Lake District has one of the highest concentration of prehistoric stone circles and when bodies start to be discovered in the centre of some of these circles, their horrific injuries are not for the faint hearted nor is the hunt for the perpetrator whose specific modus operandi instills fear into the hearts of the police investigators.
Washington Poe, is an ex-detective inspector who is back working with the Serious Crime Analysis Section. Poe has something of a chequered past, but he has been brought back from suspension to help with this latest inquiry, and teaming him with Tilly Bradshaw, a brilliant computer analyst, is inspired, as socially awkward, Tilly, and the rather maverick, Poe make a great, but unusual, partnership. Working alongside them, and trying to keep this unusual paring in order, is the recently promoted DI Stephanie Flynn, who heads the Serious Crime Analysis Section, and who must try to keep one step ahead of a serial killer whose evil knows no bounds.
I romped through the story at great speed because I quite simply couldn't put the book down for more than a few minutes and whilst I made a restorative cup of tea I looked around me to make sure that I wasn't high up on the Cumbrian fells watching another body burn in the shadow of an ancient stone sentinel. The dark and edgy story line sits well against the brooding nature of the landscape which is so beautifully described that you feel as if you walk alongside Poe as he goes about the meticulous business of catching a killer. And yet, even though the story is really very, very dark, interspersed throughout are some wonderful light moments between Poe and Tilly which made me laugh and came as a welcome relief from what was really happening as the story unfolded.
There's so much going on in The Puppet Show that it's really difficult to know where to start without giving any of the game away, so I won't say anything more about the twisting nature of the plot except that it needs to be read with no prior knowledge of the direction the story is heading, so that, the final shocking denouement, when it comes, will be as much of a surprise to you, as it was to me.
The Puppet Show is a dark, suspenseful read which kept me on the edge of my seat and is everything you want, and so much more, from a compelling new crime series.
Book Two - Black Summer is already high on my wish list..
M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .
M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country..
Twitter @MWCravenUK #ThePuppetShow