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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.6 out of 5
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  • A Fantastic read Poe and Tilly just get stronger.

    If you haven’t read the first book in this series get it now The Puppet Show it introduces the characters that follow in this book. Although this can be read as a stand-alone it hel-s to know a little about Washington Poe and Matilda (Tilly) Bradshaw. Poe is now back on the job. Jared Keaton is a chef to the stars or was until he Was arrested and put in jail for the murder of his daughter Elizabeth, despite the fact a body was never found. Detective Sergeant Poe was the person whose testimony saw Keaton sent down. So when a young woman turns up at a remote police station claiming to be Elizabeth, Poe finds himself on the wrong side of an investigation and it could cost him more than his career. The only person Poe can trust is Tilly but there is a lot of work to be done. The relationship between Poe and Tilly just gets stronger a strong friendship developing. As well as being a fast paced crime story there is also humour in the story and it just balances out so well. Can’t wait for book three in 2020

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  • It keeps you on your toes

    On the fourth Wednesday of every month ‘problem-solving officer,’ Graham Alsop resides in the library in the village if Alston, Cumbria. The local police station closed in budget cuts and now just one day a month the residents of the village can see Officer Alsop to tell them any problems that have occurred in the last month. Whilst attending his post a young woman, muddy and undernourished wanders into the library, apprehensive at first she approached Officer Alsop’s desk and tells him she was kidnapped six years ago and held captive until she recently managed to escape, she gives her name as Elizabeth Keaton. Detectives are soon called in and DS Sergeant Poe is asked to return to Cumbria from London as a matter of urgency. Upon his arrival he is questioned about Elizabeth Keaton who went missing six years earlier and her father, celebrity chef Jared Keaton charged with her murder, for which Poe was the lead officer. Poe is flabbergasted. The woman looks like Elizabeth and the DNA from her blood proves she is Elizabeth but Poe still isn’t convinced. With the help of his loyal team, including Crime Analyst Tilly can Poe prove he was right all those years ago or is he just going to have to come to terms with the fact that he messed up Elizabeth’s missing person case and put an innocent man behind bars? After the spectacular first book in the series, ‘The Puppet Show’ comes this outstanding novel ‘Black Summer’ featuring the Cumbrian DS Poe and the wonderful Tilly. I was looking forward to reading more about Poe and the introduction had me on the edge of my seat, I knew this was a book I wasn’t going to be able to put down as it was already dark and foreboding. DS Poe is a man who goes with his gut. He’s been in the police force for a long time and it was his gut feeling that brought the killer down in the first book, so surely he couldn’t have been wrong about Jared Keaton, all the evidence suggests he killed his daughter, but now his daughter is here and Poe doesn’t know what to think. He’s conflicted but he is also doesn’t want a guilty man being released from prison without some thorough checks, even Elizabeth’s DNA isn’t enough for Poe. This is a book that plays with your mind if you have read the first book you will understand and know how Poe works, so how could he have been so wrong about Elizabeth. However, you also feel as if you are on tenterhooks waiting for the confirmation on whether this is really her or not and if it is who took her and why. The book will have you guessing trying to figure out the pieces yourself and doubts about Poe and his initial investigation do creep in as well as doubts about Elizabeth too. It often felt like I was part of the team and working alongside them to solve the mystery. Gosh, I even made notes. If you love crime thrillers then this is a series to read. It keeps you on your toes and has an amazing cast of characters as well as set in a beautiful part of the UK. With the third book, The Curator, coming out soon, I can’t wait to meet Poe and the team again.

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  • Phenomenally Good!

    A phenomenally good read! I didn’t know what I had really been expecting from reading Black Summer by M. W. Craven but I certainly never imagined I would enjoy it as much as I did. The plot-line for this novel, so cleverly devised by M.W. Craven was in another league. I was fascinated as to how anyone could have come up with such an ingenious and inventive story-line as this crime-thriller possesses. The characterisation was truly wonderful, especially that of the enigmatic Detective Sergeant Washington Poe. All of the characters had their quirks and personality traits but Poe really fascinated me to the point where I was becoming rather infatuated. I loved all of his idiosyncrasies and even his eating habits appealed to me. Tilly Bradshaw also stood out for me with her brilliant technological prowess and lack of social skills. I felt totally immersed in this story and would have loved to have enjoyed a drink or two with these detectives in Poe’s local - the Shap Wells Hotel. The setting, Cumbria in England’s North-West was wonderfully portrayed by M. W. Craven and this also contributed heavily towards my total absorption of the story, having visited the area on many occasions. Craven writes in such an absorbing manner that I was lured in immediately and the whole story was believable and highly addictive. The pacing was perfect and there was always something happening - the next lead to chase up, some more fact-finding or another place to visit. Craven had the tone exactly right, a sly sense of humour and solid knowledge of procedure as well as the geographical area, all added up to a really enjoyable novel. I am totally in awe of this clever author who for me is a master of his craft. I already have the first book in the Washington Poe series on my e-reader, demanding to be read and I hope it won’t be too long before Mr Craven writes a third. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Little, Brown Book Group UK/ Constable via NetGalley at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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  • Great, again.

    Another great plot. Love Poe and Bradshaw. Can’t wait for the next one.

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  • Superb

    My second Washington Poe book and I'm addicted, love getting to know the characters, well written, different, and engaging. I can't believe i haven't read M Craven books till now .

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