I am delighted to share my review today for Dead Ground by M.W. Craven. I adore this series and the two main characters of Poe and Tilly. This is the 4th book in the series, and if you haven’t yet come across one, then go grab a copy.
Detective Sergeant Washington Poe is in court, fighting eviction from his beloved and isolated croft when he is summoned to a backstreet brothel in Carlisle where a man has been beaten to death with a baseball bat. Poe is confused – he hunts serial killers and this appears to be a straightforward murder-by-pimp – but his attendance was requested personally, by the kind of people who prefer to remain in the shadows.
As Poe and the socially awkward programmer Tilly Bradshaw delve deeper into the case, they are faced with seemingly unanswerable questions: despite being heavily vetted for a high-profile job, why does nothing in the victim’s background check out? Why was a small ornament left at the murder scene – and why did someone on the investigation team steal it? And what is the connection to a flawlessly executed bank heist three years earlier, a heist where nothing was taken…
I adore this series and especially the teaming of Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw. Poe and Tilly are total opposites but my goodness it works so well. This is the 4th book in the series and they just keep getting better and better with each one. I would suggest that you do read these in order as the character progression and the storylines do continue through each book.
Just as the relationship between Poe and Tilly is unique so is this next investigation that they have been asked to help out with. Not just any investigation, but one that tries to bind them within the red tape of the Official Secrets Act… as if! This is where reading the previous books is ideal for the character background of the characters comes in, because you will realise that both have their own way of doing things!
Poe is a determined, tenacious and at times bull-headed bloke, whereas Tilly is more reserved, cannot abide lies and is the tech genius in this pairing. They are called into what could be a potentially high profile murder but one that is being carefully managed.
I never read the synopsis for the books in this series after I had read the first book, I just know I am going to get on with them and indeed it has been the case with each book. Going in blind works so well as the author doesn’t take long before he goes from a quick what’s going on with the characters to a full-blown investigation.
The case is devious and calls into question a previous case, the more the team know the more they don’t know. Having assistance from the FBI in the form of Special Agent Melody Lee, known from the last book, was great as did this character. She is similar to Poe in some ways. While she has her part to play in this story, the main emphasis is on the work Poe and Tilly do, the way they piece the players, the clues and the chaos together until they see the bigger picture. Obviously, this is never going to be easy when you have politicians, the Feds and are dealing with Official Secrets and the people that decide who gets to see what. It all gives a feeling of not knowing who to trust and it is this edge that makes this book so addictive, as well as the banter from Poe and Tilly of course.
A brilliant 4th book in this fabulously addictive series. One for those who like a more complex case, with a deeper mystery aspect and some amazing characters. A police procedural in some ways, with conspiracy and so many secrets and one I would definitely recommend.
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