Happy February everyone!!!! And have I got a treat for you to kick off this short month! I’m seriously excited to share my long overdue review of M.W. Craven’s The Puppet Show.
Big thanks to Little, Brown UK, DHH Literary Agency and Netgalley for my copy of The Puppet Show.
Welcome to the Puppet Show . . .
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 …
What Did I Think?
I’ve read a few of the author’s previous series featuring Avison Fluke so I was rather excitedly hear about his new series. I’m just gutted it’s taken me this long to read it!!
I sat with a grimaced or disgusted face depending on the point in the book and I even winced a few times. Mike Craven is a sick sick man!! But this brutality really makes this book stand out. The MO of the Immolation Man makes for grim reading but for me that made me want to keep reading. Who was this sick individual causing havoc in beautiful Cumbria?
I love Tilly. Her social awkwardness is so endearing. She asks things in such innocence, similar to that of a child on the constant journey of discovery and learning. But she’s a genius, amazingly intelligent but doesn’t flaunt it
I love Poe (god Mr Craven has created two fantastic characters here). Poe’s protectiveness for Tilly is kind of like that of a big brother or a big brother’s best friend. He keeps her out of trouble and stands up to those who attack her but pushes her out of her comfort zone.
This book is brilliant. For me, it deserves the hype and acclaim it’s received thus far. And I for one can not wait for a Black Summer…..
Who Is M.W. Craven?
Although he was born in Cumbria, M. W. Craven grew up in the North East of England before running away to join the army as soon as he was sixteen. After training as an armourer for two and a half years (that’s an army gunsmith to you and I), he spent the next ten travelling the world having fun. In 1995 he left the army, and after a brief flirtation with close protection and bodyguarding, decided on a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. In 1999 he joined Cumbria Probation Service as a probation officer, working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge and accepted redundancy to concentrate on writing full time, and now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals.
Between leaving the army and securing his first publishing deal, he found time to keep a pet crocodile, breed snakes, get married, and buy a springer spaniel named Bracken. He lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne, where he tries to leave the house as little as possible. M. W Craven is also one third of Crime Ink-Corporated, a trio of northern writers who take writing out to the community and host events such as England’s first Noir at the Bar.
He is the author of two series. The first, published under Mike Craven, involves DI Avison Fluke; a detective concealing debilitating side-effects as he returns to work after surviving cancer. The first Fluke novel, Born in a Burial Gown, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. The series is published by Caffeine Nights. His second series – the Washington Poe novels – are published by the Little, Brown imprint, Constable, under the name M.W. Craven. The first was published in hardback in spring 2018.
He is a member of both the Crime Writers’ Association and the International Thriller Writers’ Association.
Assume Nothing, Believe Nobody, Challenge Everything (Short story collection). Caffeine Nights Publishing 2015
Born in a Burial Gown. Caffeine Nights Publishing June 2015
Body Breaker. Caffeine Nights Publishing May 2017.
The Puppet Show. Constable. Spring 2018.
Black Summer. Constable. Spring 2019.
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