I am so delighted to share my thoughts on Black Summer by M.W. Craven. This is #2 in the Washington Poe series. I adored the first book The Puppet Show, and had the second on pre-order for so long, so it will come as no surprise that I also have the 3rd book The Curator on pre-order and it is going to be an agonising wait until it is released on June 4th!
So with out further ado, let me show you what Black Summer is all about…
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.
When I started to read the first few sentences of Black Summer I thought to myself how nice they were… a few sentences later I thought Wow, that was a brutal intro! Within the matter of one page the author took me from sweet and charming to brutal yes in one single page. This is an author who knows exactly how to capture this reader from the very first page, and he held me in his literary grip right to the very last page. This was a one-sitting read!
I adored the characters of Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw when I was introduced to them in The Puppet Show and picking up Black Summer was like meeting up with friends. As much as I like Poe and his tenacity, I have to say that the social awkward Tilly is a readers dream. The author uses this character to inject perfect little comments that are occasionally not mentioned at the best moments, they inject a quick sense of humour.
The case that Poe finds himself in is one of an old crime. It calls into question the investigation and also Poe’s professionalism. Poe is a character who is hard-headed, uses his gut instincts and is confident. The possibility that he has messed up does cause a brief wobble in his armour and it is good to see him reach out and ask for help. Enter Tilly, the techno-genius, maths genius and profiler. What she lacks in people skills she more than makes up for in knowledge.
The case of a murdered girl turning up alive is a great basis for a story. But what comes after is where this author really does work some very devious and complex literary magic. He has created a story that is mesmerising and completely addictive. All the way through the story I discovered random facts that are connected with the investigation. These are woven into the story in such a way that they are part of the story.
The author uses the scenery of Cumbria to wonderful effect, his descriptions of the area are vivid and show an obvious knowledge, once again little facts are included adding another dimension to the story. For me, the characters of Poe & Tilly show a dynamic that has been developed since the last book, it feels like a natural progression. The story-line though is just Wow!
If you like crime thrillers, then if you have not already got this book on your shelf, then you really should. It is a fabulous 2nd in the series read that is just brilliant and I Absolutely Recommend it.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx