Constable (an imprint of Little Brown) 12th December 2019
Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath… He’s currently serving a life sentence for the 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 the investigation lead back to Poe.
Huge thanks to the author Mike Craven and Beth his publicist for inviting me to be involved in this blog tour and providing me with a copy of the book. I was a big fan of The Puppet Show and in case you missed it, you can read my review here.
The second instalment in what I am calling the Washington Poe series although I understand #TeamTilly is also popular. If you haven’t read The Puppet Show you won’t be familiar with these 2 terrific characters – DS Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw – Crime Analyst. And if you are a fan of crime fiction and you haven’t read The Puppet Show, well, why ever not?
Packed into just short of 400 pages is a comprehensive plot, Poe finds himself under suspicion of murder following his role in what appears to be a miscarriage of justice. But all is not as it seems and in a covert investigation Poe and Bradshaw combine their investigative skills to ensure justice.
Black Summer and indeed The Puppet Show have everything necessary for gripping, crime fiction. The plot is stong and contains just the right amount of detail to keep me guessing, maintain my attention and not become confusing. The characters without exception are authentic, the key characters Poe and Bradshaw are now familiar and lieable, continuing their alliance established in The Puppet Show. DI Flynn returns as Poe’s boss and continues to support her maverick detective. Set in Cumbria the remote locations and expansive distances feature as Poe returns to his home town and previous stomping ground as he seeks to understand what has occured.
The chapters are short enough to demand, ‘just one more’, making the book hard to put down. The writing is accessible as expected from crime fiction and the story flows. Written in the third person narrative the story unfolds with a good amount of suspension and tension. With book 3, The Curator, on the cars, there is a tasty teaser at the end of Black Summer, it’s clear ot me the this is the newest great crime series and it comes highly recommended by me.
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 probabtion office 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 Ground (shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger) and Body Breaker.