The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven (Washington Poe 1)

January 26, 2019

The Puppet Show,

I recently started noticing this come up on social media and realised I had purchased this in August of 2018, and that I also have all of the DI Avison Fluke books by the same authors , all as yet unread.

I’m a massive buyer and hoarder of books, I have maybe 800 TBR, but this one 'The Puppet Show' was always on the Downloaded section of kindle, I just kept reading other series but not because i didn’t want to read this I was just carried away with other stuff ... anyway I can’t believe I left this for 6 months , there is no words for this book, it’s quite simply one of the best crime procedurals I’ve ever read.

Starting with the prologue , wow , it’s a graphic, intense , brutal read, one of the best openings to a book I’ve read , in my reading experiences only James Oswald has written something so harsh . This is gruesome, shocking , glorious stuff, and it sets us up for the read ahead...

Dark, atmospheric, powerful, and most of all it feels real.

The language the characters use is, how , for me, people speak in the real world. There are times i can read a book and sigh and think people just don’t talk like that; this is not the case, Craven has his prose perfect,the language is on point and his characters speak like i refreshing!

As dark as it , it is also very very funny, laugh out loud at times, I find massive joy in being made to laugh simply by written word, it takes some author to do that, Craven smashes this!

So the story, Dysfunctional and currently suspended DI Washington Poe, , has closed himself off to civilisation,off the beaten track , left to his own devices,he is being coerced back into a DS job to investigate the ‘immolation man’ - a serial killer running riot, setting fire to old boys around Cumbria.  Poe doesn’t want to get involved but when it becomes apparent he is central to the investigation he can’t help but look into the crime, along with a new partner , Tilly Bradshaw, a socially awkward analyst with zero people skills but an astonishing mind : the case begins

Poe and Bradshaw are the Classic odd couple , its laurel and Hardy , Ant and Dec, echoes of Hodges and Holly from Stephen King's,  Mercedes Trilogy, it’s absolutely brilliant and reading Poe bring her out of her shell is  heart warming , funny and pure genius from the author. This is the best pairing I’ve come across in recent times, you have to read to believe these two!

Both characters are very clever and also easily relatable, likeable down to earth characters, they even go to Sainsburys for a breakfast .. this really touched home with me.

With the boss Director Van Zyl, Who wants to be seen to be politically correct but does right, DI Flynn, Poes,  successor and previous employee, the fantastic Tilly Bradshaw and Poe , we have a team of great characters, all written superbly.

Craven expertly ratchets up the tension in the final 3rd of the book drawing all the pieces of the puzzle together seamlessly and the unpleasant subjects brought up in this book are tackled with real aplomb, this feels like a writer , on top of his game , up to the minute and it’s just simply outstanding,concluding in a devestating ending that would bring lesser mortals to tears. It’s that good.

This book is going to put M.W.Craven into the forefront of British crime writing. and he deserves to be on this showing and these characters are destined for Television. I would be amazed if the BeeB or sky aren’t on this already ....

This is a true 5 star ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

A best selling series is on the way; get involved at the start .. available at amazon it Black Summer Yet???

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