Title: The Puppet Show
Author: M W Craven
Series: Washington Poe #1
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…
This is an explosive start to a new crime series which looks set to be one of my new favourites! Great characters and an addictive plot meant I didn’t want to put this down.
Tilly’s character is, in particular, really refreshing to see in this genre – she is definitely shown as on the autistic spectrum and is a character I loved, especially teamed with Poe who is straight-talking, bold and, most importantly, not overly stereotyped as a detective. He’s bright, incredibly fast-thinking and has his own problems but they’re not overplayed within the plot. In other words, he feels like an actual person – and a likeable one at that! He stands up for people who need it, even when it could disadvantage himself, and I really liked that.
The plot kept me completely absorbed and I found that, although there are plenty of dramatised parts, it didn’t feel ridiculous. The setting – in Cumbria – was really interesting to read about and added an extra sense of atmosphere to the story. MW Craven’s writing is brilliant and I found The Puppet Show to be utterly compelling. In fact, I’m already eagerly anticipating his future releases.
Many thanks to the author, M W Craven, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
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