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…
The Curator is the third release from the Washington Poe series, and in my opinion it’s the best yet!
Fast paced, punchy and dark, this book grabbed me from the beginning and struck the perfect balance between police procedural and thriller. I found it easy to follow but there was plenty of twists and turns, and although previous cases are referenced, and I’d advise anyone to start at the beginning if possible (with book 1: The Puppet Show), I don’t feel it’s essential – you can enjoy this one as a standalone novel too.
The characters are as engaging as always. I love Poe; he’s your typical brilliant detective who has a rebellious nature but without being too much of a ‘maverick detective’ cliche. His sidekick Tilly Bradshaw is as brilliant as ever, and provides plenty of entertainment. Poe and Bradshaw just work together so well, both in their sleuthing work and as characters interacting within the story.
The storyline is twisted, surprising and shocking, and one part of the ‘solution’ felt perhaps a little far fetched for me, but on the whole I thought the story was absolutely brilliant. It’s definitely got some bits that make for uncomfortable reading, so if you’re after a gentle detective novel this perhaps isn’t for you!
The Curator has plenty of grit and lots of very dark moments, which I loved (as always!). I didn’t want it to end and am already excited about book four!
Many thanks to the publisher, Litle Brown UK, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
[About the author]
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.