The Puppet Show by M. W Craven – Review.

About The Book

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless. When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of . . .

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive …

My Review

The Washington Poe series is one I have been trying to read for a few years and I finally managed to get the chance to read this first book in the series. It takes place in Cumbria, a county I have visited a few times over the last few years. However I had no idea that there were stone circles there and now I want to go back to see what else I may have missed.

It felt a little different reading about a series of murders within a rural setting rather than a city. Far too many crime novels take place in busier areas and it was evident that whilst the crimes were the same in many ways they had to be solved a little differently. It isn’t as easy to get around an area that has less inhabitants and less transportation. Here it was quad bikes, little public transport and mainly deserted roads in many areas. 

I found Poe and civilian analyst Tilly fascinating and I’m certain that their friendship and professional relationship will be a fresh and very entertaining part of this series. Both were similar in many ways, and he certainly knew how to bring out the best in her. Giving her the respect that she deserved and making her feel more confident and comfortable in her role.

The case itself was one that felt disturbing, believable and at times heartbreaking. It’s impossible to say why, because of spoilers and bizarrely I managed to solve it at precisely the same time Poe did. It was one that I suspect will have an impact on the following books in the series for many reasons and I can’t wait to read more. 

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