Book Reviews

#BookReview The Puppet Show By M.W. Craven


Thank You very much to the publisher – Constable for the review copy.
ISBN13: 9781472127457
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Release date: 24 01 2019
Price*: Kindle £3.99 (GBP)/Paperback £5.74 (GBP)
Kindle $5.21 (USD)/ Paperback $19.18 (USD)
Pages: ~ 368
My rating: 9/10
You can get this book here:
Amazon UK
Book Depository
What I learned from this book: I learned about the Lake District, and what happens when people are set on fire.

Description of 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 …

How this book made me feel: I really loved the cover and the blurb of this one, it was a no brainer whether to read it or not. 🙂

Tilly and Poe are an absolutely stunning combo. They are total opposites in everything: age, the way they work, IQ levels, but they make such an amazing team together. I really liked Poe and his personality, he has a great analytical mind and strong determination to achieve justice. However, Tilly was my favourite in this book, she is such a unique and original character! She is full of surprises, and her intelligence and naivety are incredibly refreshing. I really liked the way the author portrayed the different relationships between police personnel, all the politics and territorial fights were very amusing to read about, and gave the sense, that the author really knows what he is talking about. His work experience in the police and life in the Lake District was very well utilized in this book.

The narrative was very creatively written. The excitement in this book comes in waves, we have these calm periods, when it seems that not many things happen, and then the author throws in some great twist or turn, and the whole buzz comes back rushing. I really liked the topics which the author discussed in this book, such as workplace bullying, child abuse, politics in the management, etc. The story was told from a single perspective, bringing in a lot of Poe’s personal emotions. Even though it was sufficient to me, I would love to see how Tilly’s brain works and how she is processing different situations.

The setting of the book is constantly changing between different places in Cumbria, and the detailed descriptions made me feel like I am with Poe on this journey. The writing style was very pleasant with short chapters, which really just flew by. I have to add a little warning, this novel does carry some scenes where people might feel disturbed. The ending was very cleverly written, where it rounded the whole story very well, but at the same time, leaving you questioning of what is going to happen next.

To conclude, I think it is a very intriguing and absorbing thriller, filled with very unique but at the same time believable characters, and the plot, that keeps thickening as you go, engrossing you with all the new findings and leads. It was a true page-turner to me and I can not wait for the second book in the series. If you haven’t read it, please do, I think it is worth the time, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

Thank You for Your time. 🙂


B1ewfxIGjPS._UY200_.jpgAbout the author: M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

The Puppet Show, the first in a two-book deal he signed with the Little, Brown imprint, Constable in 2017, was released to critical acclaim in hardback in 2018. It has been sold in numerous foreign territories and the production company Studio Lambert, creators of the award-winning Three Girls, have optioned it for TV. The sequel, Black Summer, follows in June 2019.

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

Website – / Twitter – @MWCravenUK

*-the price was taken from and on the current date. The price might change at the time of your purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.

2 thoughts on “#BookReview The Puppet Show By M.W. Craven

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