Black Summer – M W Craven (Washington Poe Book 2)

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 gripping new thriller in the Washington Poe series from M. W. Craven, winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of 2019.

My Review:

I adored the first book in this series The Puppet Show – read my full review here and so I was quietly confident I would enjoy Black Summer just as much.. but I didn’t … I actually enjoyed it MORE… as Simon Cowell might say.. I didn’t like it… I LOVED it!

Black Summer follows on from The Puppet Show and whilst it can be read as a standalone, I personally always recommend starting a series at book 1 and therefore you get to know and understand the main characters, their back stories and follow their journeys through each book.

In this book we once again meet up with Tilly Bradshaw and Washington Poe and this time they are faced with a complex case that could put Poe in prison.  It’s a fast paced cat and mouse game which puts these two fabulous characters in a race against time to solve the case and stop anyone else from being killed or Poe being arrested.

The relationship between these two characters is absolutely FABULOUS, the banter, the mutual understanding and respect, their loyalty to each other is a joy to read about.  Tilly Bradshaw is a breath of fresh air, a socially awkward computer geek who is often unintentionally tactless in her own unique and observational way but brings a much needed injection of humour to this dark and disturbing series.

There’s not much I want to add to this review, except READ IT and if you haven’t read book 1 – READ THAT NOW.

Black Summer is a clever, witty, compelling, complex, action packed crime thriller which will keep the readers on their toes, turning those pages and being totally entertained from the opening paragraph to the final sentence.  LOVED IT.

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 . . .

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 usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

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