Today I’m sharing my review for Black Summer by M.W.Craven the second book in the Washington Poe series, and one of my most anticipated reads for summer 2019. You can read on for my thoughts, but first the book description……
After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .
Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal 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 investigation lead back to Poe.
Ever since I reached the last page The Puppet Show I have been (in)patiently waiting for Black Summer by M.W. Craven, the second book in the Washington Poe series. One of my favourite things about picking up a new book is when a crime author grabs your attention with a dramatic opening, as soon as I read the first page I just knew that this was a book I knew I would savour. Although Black Summer could be read as a stand-alone I would urge you to read both books in order, not doing so would be like ordering a dessert without the main course! Where’s the pleasure in that? This book is perfectly paced, with engaging characters, it’s definitely one of this year’s summer unmissable crime reads.
Black Summer is the perfect title for this book, there’s a storm brewing with Poe planted firmly in the eye of the storm! M.W. Craven puts our hero Poe through the wringer as he finds himself on the wrong side of a crime investigation, one that will question his integrity, and potential end his career. A case from his past dramatically takes centre stage when Elizabeth Keaton staggers into a police station, nothing wrong with that you might think, but Poe helped to convict her father Jared Keaton, chef to the stars for her murder! A conviction based mainly on forensic evidence. So it doesn’t bode well for Poe, aided by his colleagues, computer, science and maths genius, Tilly Bradshaw, Poe is in a race against time to prove his innocence. There’s nothing Tilly loves more than a complex the puzzle, if anything she embraces them, and M.J. Craven delivers a deliciously complex case, one that allows Tilly to showcase her skills in helping to solve a bewildering case.
There is so much I could say about Poe and Tilly the dynamic duo, they are both such fabulous depicted, compelling characters. Poe is complex & charismatic, complex, whereas the wonderful Tilly is still socially awkward, some of her comments need fine tuning, tact definitely isn’t her strong point but she’s a hell of a character all the same. The dialogue between the couple is endearing, charming and funny, but it’s these moments that add light to the darkness of the plot. There is an array of brilliant characters in Black Summer that are worthy of a mention. We are introduced to forensic pathologist, Estelle Doyle another quirky character, and one I hope will reappear in future books. As for the charming, charismatic Jared Keaton, without giving away spoilers, he’s the definition of a psychopath, chilling but so brilliantly depicted! The author has a knack for creating characters that are multidimensional, quirky and unforgettable, always a definite plus.
I loved how the author brought all the threads together culminating in a jaw dropping, but very satisfying and clever conclusion. Black Summer isn’t as dark or gory as The Puppet Show, but OMG if anything I probably enjoyed this book more, there’s so many questions, intrigue, and mystery, my perfect kind of crime read. This is one book that will definitely be on my top reads of 2019, I’m only sorry that we will have to wait another year for the next book in the series, but I will definitely read it and the one after that, and the one……… Black Summer is a book I would recommend without hesitation, and for those of you who love a crime thriller that’s taut and brilliantly twisted it’s a ‘must read’
- Print Length: 400 pages
- Publisher: Constable (20 Jun. 2019)
Buying links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧 Amazon US 🇺🇸
And yes I’m giving a Black Summer my shiny Book hangover award, It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.