Peter's Reviews > The Puppet Show

The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven
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it was amazing
bookshelves: publisher-author-direct, crime, favorites, mystery, thriller

Vengeance
The Puppet Show is a fascinatingly dark serial killer hunt that is packed with intrigue, subterfuge, vengeance, and characters that provide such enthralling dynamics that make this a truly outstanding thriller. A brilliant read.

Washington Poe is an ex-Detective Inspector with the Serious Crime Unit and is currently serving a suspension pending an enquiry into how he let confidential police documents fall into the hands of a victim’s family enabling them to take their own revenge. Poe is a highly driven person with an acute radar for injustice and often unreserved in how he would dispense retribution. There is a dark streak in his personality and he will forcefully jump to the defence of an abused colleague and be intolerant with those he disrespects or gets in his road, regardless of position. I read a post online suggesting that if it went to TV the perfect actor to play his part would be Idris Elba – I totally agree.

Tilly Bradshaw works for the NCA as a data analyst and is quite the genius with numbers and data patterns. She lives with a personality disorder on the autism spectrum, and Mike Craven has drawn this wonderful innocent character that we really care for. In her own way, she is very determined and strong willed but appears fragile with her naive and soft demeanour.

DI Stephanie Flynn has temporarily replaced Poe within the NCA and is performing as a capable, methodical and reliable boss that knows how to maintain police protocol. This is the important balance against the undisciplined activities of Poe and as a DI provides a much better stabilising and cohesive influence on the team.

The latest victim of the ‘Immolation Man’ has Poe’s name carved onto his chest, thereby pressuring the NCA to return Poe to the force and assist in solving the murders. Each victim of the Immolation Man is found burned to death within a stone circle in the Cumbria region. There is a modus operandi: a significance of the stone circles, a method of murder, a disfiguration, and they are all elderly men. The victims don’t seem to be selected at random but who is seeking revenge and for what. To find the connection requires Tilly and Poe to utilise their unique talents, especially in the face of a plot that is full of surprises and a revealing link to a set of crimes from the past. Poe is reminded of the Chinese proverb
“He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself.”

Mike Craven is a very talented writer that has created a debut novel and start of a series, with extremely appealing characters that readers will thoroughly invest in. His craft of the plot is captivating with layers of mystery and suspense that are totally engrossing. The additional elements of humour and colleague conflict are very entertaining but not overplayed, and the remote landscapes of Cumbria are vividly drawn.

I do feel fortunate that I've picked up on this series from the beginning. I would rate the book very highly and would have no hesitation in recommending to anyone that enjoys the murder/crime/mystery/thriller genre. I would like to thank Little Brown Book Group for a copy of the book in return for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

December 27, 2018 – Shelved
December 27, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
January 1, 2019 – Started Reading
January 1, 2019 – Shelved as: publisher-author-direct
January 6, 2019 – Shelved as: crime
January 6, 2019 – Shelved as: favorites
January 6, 2019 – Shelved as: mystery
January 6, 2019 – Shelved as: thriller
January 6, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)

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Paromjit I too loved this, Peter! :):)


Peter There was a lot to like about it and I enjoyed the elements of humour which I thought worked really well. I'm looking forward to the next one.

Thanks, Paromjit.


message 3: by Misty (new)

Misty Awesome review! This sounds intense! I notice there is no Kindle edition. Is that what is awaiting a release date?


Peter Unfortunately, I have to hold off until 21st Jan to release the full review as they've asked me to participate in a Blog Tour for the release of the paperback in the UK/Ireland.

The Kindle and Hardback versions were released in the UK/Ireland in Jun 2018.

Thanks for your very kind words, Misty. I thought it was an exceptional book and one I could happily recommend. :):)


message 5: by Holly (new)

Holly  B Intriguing review Peter!


Peter Holly wrote: "Intriguing review Peter!"

Thank you Holly, sorry it can't be more at this stage. :):)


Miriam Smith Sounds good Peter 😊


Peter Miriam wrote: "Sounds good Peter 😊"

It was great, Miriam, and one I'm happy to recommend. 😊

Thanks!


message 9: by Jaline (new)

Jaline Fascinating, well-written review, Peter! 😊


Peter Jaline wrote: "Fascinating, well-written review, Peter! 😊"

Thank you, Jaline, I think you would like this one. :):)


message 11: by Barbara (new)

Barbara A new series and a great first book - can’t wait.


Peter Barbara wrote: "A new series and a great first book - can’t wait."

Hi, Barbara, yes another series to add to the list and I can certainly see myself following this one. :):)


message 13: by Zoe (new) - added it

Zoe Faucher You had me dark serial killer


Peter Zoe wrote: "You had me dark serial killer"

Zoe, I think you will love this one. There's a darkness about the DS as well, so you'll be in heaven. 😊


message 15: by Mike (new) - added it

Mike Fantastic review, Peter! Will look forward to getting my hands on this one.


Peter Mike wrote: "Fantastic review, Peter! Will look forward to getting my hands on this one."

Thanks for your kind comment, Mike, and yes one to watch out for.


message 17: by Margaret Mary (new)

Margaret Mary Amazing review, Peter and a debut novel, so the series could be great.


Peter Margaret Mary wrote: "Amazing review, Peter and a debut novel, so the series could be great."

Thanks, Margaret Mary, I think you may really enjoy this book and coming series. :):)


message 19: by Ann (new) - added it

Ann Sounds like a fantastic series and a brilliant review. I love the sound of the 2 main characters.


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader I definitely want to read this one. Terrific review, Peter!


Peter Ann wrote: "Sounds like a fantastic series and a brilliant review. I love the sound of the 2 main characters."

Thank you, Ann, yes I really enjoyed it and the 2 main characters - well I expect big things from them, so good. :):)


Peter Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader wrote: "I definitely want to read this one. Terrific review, Peter!"

Thanks very much, Jennifer. I think this is one that is set to be a great series. I did interview him yesterday and he's writing the 4th now and plotting the 5th and 6th, so the publisher seems convinced too. Talk soon.


message 23: by Beata (new)

Beata Dear Peter, your reviews are excellent and I hold you responsible for adding new titles :)))


Peter Beata wrote: "Dear Peter, your reviews are excellent and I hold you responsible for adding new titles :)))"

🤣

That's fine, glad to be responsible for a positive move.

I think you will enjoy this one though. Thanks, Beata.


Jess☺️ Fantastic review Peter!! Sounds like my kind of book so glad you enjoyed it sounds fantastic 😃


Peter Jess☺️ wrote: "Fantastic review Peter!! Sounds like my kind of book so glad you enjoyed it sounds fantastic 😃"

Thank you so much, Jess and yes this is one I'd happily recommend to you, I think you'd love it. :):)


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