After The Puppet Show, a new storm is
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
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
And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.
Our Author : M.W. Craven
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 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, an Amazon Reader Award and a Cumbria Life award. He is also the author of the Avison Fluke novels, Born in a Burial Gown (shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger) and Body Breaker.
My Review: Black Summer
Where do I Start? This highly anticipated and much longed-for sequel to The Puppet Show is as we all hoped for and more – just as intense and twisty. I am a huge fan of Craven’s writing and the story alone is brilliant – if you haven’t read The Puppet Show and met Washington Poe and Matilda Bradshaw – you haven’t lived – they for me, utterly make these books and Black Summer carries their tale along beautifully. Their friendship is boundless and despite their obvious differences, they work so well together – as partners fighting crime and as friends.
Tilly’s lack of tact and awareness of socially acceptable boundaries makes her the South to Poe’s North – his common sense and astute experience of reading situations and people’s behavior make up for anything lacking on Tilly’s behalf that her intel and computing skills couldn’t solve. Her IQ alone is off the scale and there isn’t a question she can’t answer……
Except maybe – how can you be dead and alive at the same time?
We find Poe, mud smeared and on the verge of being arrested. Reverse back two weeks to follow the story of how this has happened to Washington Poe.
Six years ago Elizabeth Keaton went missing, presumed abducted and murdered, considering the amount of blood found forensically, in the kitchen of her celebrity chef father Jared Keaton’s restaurant Bullace and Sloe was discovered.
Six years ago, Washington Poe had secured the conviction of an innocent man.
Six years ago, Keaton was imprisoned for her death, despite her body never being found.
Then from nowhere, Elizabeth walks into the monthly police clinic in the tiny rural village of Alston in Cumbria. She claims to have been held hostage for the past six years but struggles to describe her kidnapper and despite her obvious emaciated and filthy state of attire, having walked for 4 days to find human contact, a reluctance to be examined medically makes sense after such an ordeal but also makes the situation seem even odder.
Poe is instantly under pressure, to find where’s she’s been, to find out what happened to her and also to apologise to Jared Keaton, who’s already requesting to see Poe. But Elizabeth’s gone again, and no one knows where.
Poe calls on the only person he can rely on, Tilly Bradshaw. His colleague and best friend, after Edgar his beloved springer spaniel of course.
Poe and Tilly go on the hunt for Elizabeth, starting from scratch working from the beginning, retracing the crime scene, speaking to old contacts and that’s when they find the missing piece of the jigsaw.
Quite simply – M.W. Craven has the mind of a genius – he must have, to not only have created such a dream team with Poe and Tilly but to engross the reader in such a manner that we can not put the book down. Well, I know I couldn’t. Black Summer is an enthralling, gripping and strongly compelling piece of writing that will keep the reader glued until the bitter end. It’s sure to grab the attention of new fans worldwide and keep the current ones very happy too.
Luckily, in the paperback version of Black Summer – holds Chapter 1 from book 3 – The Curator, and not that I am wishing time away, but I honestly can not wait for what Craven has planned next for Poe & Tilly.
To treat yourself to signed copies of any of Mike’s books – Black Summer https://www.bookscumbria.com/cgi-bin/trolleyed_public.cgi?action=showprod_6630
@MWCravenUK @LittleBrownUK @BethWright26 #BlackSummer