I am delighted to host today's Blog Tour stop
Little Brown Books
3 June 2021
Washington Poe #4
My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book and for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour
Detective Sergeant Washington Poe is in court, fighting eviction from his beloved and isolated croft, when he is summoned to a backstreet brothel in Carlisle where a man has been beaten to death with a baseball bat. Poe is confused - he hunts serial killers and this appears to be a straightforward murder-by-pimp - but his attendance was requested personally, by the kind of people who prefer to remain in the shadows.
As Poe and the socially awkward programmer Tilly Bradshaw delve deeper into the case, they are faced with seemingly unanswerable questions: despite being heavily vetted for a high-profile job, why does nothing in the victim's background check out? Why was a small ornament left at the murder scene - and why did someone on the investigation team steal it? And what is the connection to a flawlessly executed bank heist three years earlier, a heist where nothing was taken.
If only I could get away with writing a review that says " This is just brilliant" as that sums up my feelings after finishing this latest book from master wordsmith, M.W. Craven. I thought that after reading The Curator the author had excelled himself but this story really does takes the series up a whole other notch.
Dead Ground literally hits the ground running with one of the most imaginatively described opening chapters I have read in a long time and the scene is then set for an engrossing and utterly compelling crime thriller which sees Detective Sergeant Washington Poe and his computer expert assistant, Tilly Bradshaw having to go right into the heart of a mystery which, with every tantalising clue, just gets weirder, and weirder.
When a man's body is discovered in a seedy Carlisle brothel, Poe initially thinks that this is merely a run of the mill murder inquiry but once he and Tilly realise the significance of an object found at the scene, the whole plot start to twirl and dance with all the twists, turns, complicated plot shifts and mesmerising characteristics which we have come to expect from this talented author.
To spoil any of the plot would be disgraceful so I’m not going to say anything about what happens when and why, except to say that I read the book in two sittings as I really couldn’t put it down and even though I desperately wanted to see how the plot played out, I really didn’t want the book to end as that would mean saying goodbye to Poe and Tilly.
There really is no end to this writer's talent for giving us clever and intricately plotted crime thrillers and even though each book succeeds on its own merits, it is still part of the superb partnership that is, Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw. They’re just a great double act whose distinct and rather special personalities shine through with every well written word.
If you haven't read this series yet, and you really are missing a treat if you haven't, but be warned even though they are dark and very gritty, and not for the faint hearted, they are also seriously compulsive. So.. let Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw take you on a very special journey through some of the darkest recesses of picturesque, Cumbria.
In my opinion these books are a TV series waiting to happen ...just saying!
Dead Ground is my featured book of the month for June and is available to buy from all good books shops.
A brand-new voice in British crime fiction, M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle. He joined the army at sixteen, leaving a decade later to complete a social work degree and spent seventeen years as a probation officer in Cumbria, rising to the rank of assistant chief officer. The first in the Washington Poe series, The Puppet Show, won the 2019 CWA Gold Dagger, has sold in numerous foreign territories and has been optioned for TV by Studio Lambert. M. W. Craven has been shortlisted for the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award and an Amazon Reader Award. He is also the author of the Avison Fluke novels, Born in a Burial Ground (shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger) and Body Breaker. The second in the Washington Poe series, Black Summer was published in June 2019.
Twitter @MWCravenUK #Dead Ground #TeamPoe #TeamTilly