So today is the release of the latest Washington Poe thriller Dead Ground so I’m doing a double whammy and taking the opportunity to share my thoughts on both its predecessor The Curator and Dead Ground. So first up The Curator. Yes yes yes, I’m late in reading this but you know how the last year has been… #SorryMike
It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6
Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?
And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.
And nothing will ever be the same again . . .
What Did I Think?
OHMYGOD that prologue I sat at the end with grimace on my face. Mike Craven, you are a sick sick man!!! But this is just the start of one helluva investigation for Poe and Bradshaw.
I fell for this pairing from the start of this series. Tilly is adorable. Her innocence in many ways is totally endearing and Poe’s fatherly protection of her is wonderful. But during The Curator, Poe’s protectiveness of the heavily pregnant Flynn shines through. Flynn is the mother of the team and now she’s in a vulnerable state.
The case this trio is faced with is so strange in the inconsistency of the kills it had me bamboozled. I sat confused as hell following the investigation as Tilly unpicked and Poe pieced together the clues … and then vice versa. Craven totally upped the ante in this one and the climax of the investigation… just boom 💥 💥💥
I devoured The Curator in less than a day sat in the garden enjoying the sunshine. Craven totally kidnapped my imagination from the off and held it hostage right until the end. And what an ending!!! Talk about a jaw drop!!! Absolutely bloody brilliant!!!!
Who Is M.W. Craven?
M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, returning after 31 years 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.
His first novel featuring Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw, The Puppet Show, was published by Constable to huge acclaim, and it has since won the CWA Gold Dagger Award and been shortlisted for the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards: Best Crime Novel, the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award and the Dead Good Reader Awards.
M. W. Craven 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.