Today it’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Black Summer by M.W. Craven. This is the second book in the Washington Poe series -it’s a cracking read.
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 ten years later to complete a social work degree. Seventeen years after taking up a probation officer role in Cumbria, at the rank of assistant chief officer, he became a full-time author. the first in the Washington Poe series, the Puppet Show, won the 2019 CWA Gold Dagger, has sold numerous foreign territories and has been optioned for TV by Studio Lambert.
M.W. Craven has been shortlisted for the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award, an Amazon Reader Award and a Cumbria Life 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. Black Summer is the second novel in the Washington Poe series.
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About the book
After the Puppet Show, a new storm is coming…
Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath… He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.
So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.
Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?
And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.
The first chapter will remain with me for a long time. It takes an excellent author to write something that is simultaneously innocent and the most menacing thing I have read in a long time. I just can’t get the birds out of my head – the description of the scene and the sound I think it must have made.
I’m sending curses to Craven, because I just can’t lose the imagery.
Washington Poe is called in to confirm the details of a gruesome past case. A celebrity chef killed his own daughter, and despite there being no body, he was convicted of her murder. But Elizabeth is back and she is very much alive and kicking, which means Poe made the kind of mistake that ends careers. It also means a psychopath will soon be walking the streets again.
Poe goes over every single step, especially the blood evidence, to find some kind of loophole that will explain how this was able to happen. He, and others, question his investigation and whether he neglected the truth in favour of a fast solution. Then Elizabeth goes missing once again and the shadow of suspicion falls on Poe.
It’s a psychological thriller, a police procedural with the vibe of the macabre, which is drawn from a deep well of darkness. The Puppet Show was good, but this second book in the Washington Poe series is even better. Craven is cementing his mark in the world of crime writers.
I really enjoyed the read and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. Craven has this knack for creating memorable characters that readers connect with – Tilly for instance – and writing his crime with a hint of horror, a dollop of suspense and a spoonful of noir. It’s a dark, riveting read – what can I say it’s Cravenesque.
Buy Black Summer (Washington Poe #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Constable – Little Brown Books UK pub date Paperback 12 Dec. 2019 – £7.99. Buy at Amazon com.