The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton – Review.

 

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Today I am sharing my review again to support the release in paperback of The Craftsman. It is a book that takes place locally and I was thrilled to find out that there will be a follow up next year. You can buy the book here

About The Book

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

My Review

The Craftsman is a dual time frame novel that takes place in Sabden, a small town in the foothills of Pendle, Lancashire. Witch Country. The Pendle Witch trials and stories are part of this book.
It takes place in 1969 when Florence, Flossie, is a young officer and in 1999 when she is Assistant Commissioner. She has returned to the area to attend the funeral of a convicted murderer who she has stayed in contact with.
Whilst there is the spookiness connected with the witches the storyline in the novel is crime fiction. In 1969, Flossie is one of the team who are trying to find three missing children. She has to put up with discrimination, suspicion and general misbehaviour from the local residents as well as from her colleagues. There are places where an outsider will never be accepted and there was little chance of Flossie ever being considered one of the team. By anybody. All of the attitudes were convincing and it was good to see that she was successful in her career.
In 1999, the storyline is more sinister. I was brought up on stories regarding the Witch trials but had never thought about how they affected the communities nearby. How the legends and history were still evident. Some I had heard before, but the novel shows the lesser known facts.
Many of the characters weren’t particularly likeable, and even though much of the treatment Flossie received was unnecessary she wasn’t an easy person to like. I did like the descriptions of the local people, I found them believable. The older ones, brought up on superstition, some who probably had families who had lived there 400 years earlier, at the time of the trials. And the younger ones who wanted to go to the cities to have a good time.

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton – Review.

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About the Book

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

My Review

The Craftsman is a dual time frame novel that takes place in Sabden, a small town in the foothills of Pendle, Lancashire. Witch Country. The Pendle Witch trials and stories are part of this book.
It takes place in 1969 when Florence, Flossie, is a young officer and in 1999 when she is Assistant Commissioner. She has returned to the area to attend the funeral of a convicted murderer who she has stayed in contact with.
Whilst there is the spookiness connected with the witches the storyline in the novel is crime fiction. In 1969, Flossie is one of the team who are trying to find three missing children. She has to put up with discrimination, suspicion and general misbehaviour from the local residents as well as from her colleagues. There are places where an outsider will never be accepted and there was little chance of Flossie ever being considered one of the team. By anybody. All of the attitudes were convincing and it was good to see that she was successful in her career.
In 1999, the storyline is more sinister. I was brought up on stories regarding the Witch trials but had never thought about how they affected the communities nearby. How the legends and history were still evident. Some I had heard before, but the novel shows the lesser known facts.
Many of the characters weren’t particularly likeable, and even though much of the treatment Flossie received was unnecessary she wasn’t an easy person to like. I did like the descriptions of the local people, I found them believable. The older ones, brought up on superstition, some who probably had families who had lived there 400 years earlier, at the time of the trials. And the younger ones who wanted to go to the cities to have a good time.

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . .

My Review

I had been looking forward to reading Dead Woman Walking since reading the opening chapter via a link from the author. I had an anxious few weeks to think about what would happen before I was lucky enough to receive a proof copy and the opportunity to participate in the blog tour.
The first few chapters detailing the events surrounding the hot-air balloon crash have put me off for life. They were very convincing, and I don’t like to think about which of the passengers I would have had a similar reaction to.
Once I had started reading it was hard to stop. The just one more chapter rule didn’t apply, some of them were very short so I dropped everything and just read constantly. Dropping all the other books that I was reading at the same time.
The narrative was mainly in the present day but it did jump back occasionally to reveal events from Jessica and Isobel’s childhood. These parts gave hints to why Isobel ended up in the convent and why Jessica became a police officer. There are also a few flashbacks concerning Ajax, the police officer involved in the investigation into the hot-air balloon.
I loved the storyline concerning the convent, the cleverly named peafowl and the existence that all the Nuns had. I had never considered that a Nun might have had a family of her own and a connection to the outside world and I had never thought that Nuns might watch TV or have an interest in solving crime. They were all the most likeable characters in the novel.
It’s difficult to say anything about the plot without spoilers so I would just say if you like a novel that tackles a subject that is mentioned often in the news and has plenty of twists then you will love this book. A great follow up to Daisy in Chains.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

To buy the book at amazon or Waterstones

Other stops on the blog tour

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Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton

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Famous killers have fan clubs.

Hamish Wolfe is no different. Locked up for the rest of his life for the abduction and murder of three young women, he gets countless adoring letters every day. He’s handsome, charismatic and very persuasive. His admirers are convinced he’s innocent, and that he’s the man of their dreams.

Who would join such a club?

Maggie Rose is different. Reclusive and enigmatic; a successful lawyer and bestselling true-crime writer, she only takes on cases that she can win.

Hamish wants her as his lawyer, he wants her to change his fate. She thinks she’s immune to the charms of a man like this. But maybe not this time . . .

My Review:

Daisy in Chains is the latest novel by Sharon Bolton. I love her Lacey Flint novels but have always felt more on edge reading her standalone novels.
Maggie is a lawyer who writes true crime novels and gets murderers released from prison when she can prove that a verdict is unsafe. She does so, even if she thinks they are guilty. Hamish Wolfe, in prison for the murders of three women wants her to be his lawyer and get him released. He insists that he is innocent. She is initially determined not to get involved but has started researching his case and agrees to meet him. He is definitely charming. He has power in prison because of his medical skills but you can sense danger around him. The police are keeping a close eye on her, not wanting her to find anything suspect but also because of suspicious activity around her.
I found it impossible to put down, convinced that I had worked everything out but when I reached the end and saw how much I had missed I wanted to reread straight away. It’s very clever. and extremely difficult to review without spoilers. So all I can say is if you want a thriller that will have you sat on the edge of your seat this is definitely for you. Pick a day where you won’t be disturbed because, believe me, when you start to read it you won’t stop. I’m absolutely convinced that Daisy in Chains will be amongst my top ten books of 2016.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received for review.