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 …
The Puppet show is a fantastically dark, clever and utterly gripping read. From the first few chilling pages I was hooked and found that I couldn’t put the book down. It was a great book to read when up all night with a teething baby.
The three main characters Washington Poe, Flynn and Bradshaw are fantastically evoked and help carry the story forward at an incredibly fast pace. I think the thing that makes it work so well is how different all the characters are but how nicely they compliment each other. All of them have strengths that they bring to the investigation and the combination of the three made for an interesting read.
The reader is given a fly on the wall glimpse into the investigation and it was fascinating to learn more about police procedures. It was especially interesting to read about some of the investigative techniques the police use, some of which I hadn’t heard about before. The investigation seemed quite realistic and their were no huge leaps whilst working out who the murderer which increased my enjoyment.
This was quite a dark read with lots of twists that kept me firmly gripped. The ending completely surprised me and had me sitting upright on the edge of my seat. So much so my husband actually asked me what I was doing. There are a few quite gruesome murders scenes that are quite graphically described which might not be to everyone’s taste but it is easy to skip over these parts if necessary.
This is the author’s debut novel and the first in what promises to be an exciting new series. I can’t wait to read his next book when it comes out in June!
Huge thanks to Beth from Little Brown for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book. I think I’m going to have a huge book hangover now!
About The Author:
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 . . .
The Puppet Show, the first in a two-book deal he signed with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable in 2017, was released to critical acclaim in hardback in 2018. It has been sold in numerous foreign territories and the production company Studio Lambert, creators of the award-winning Three Girls, have optioned it for TV. The sequel, Black Summer, follows in June 2019.
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 be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.