What a year Mike Craven has had! From Cumbria Life Author of the Year at the start of 2019 to winner of the CWA Gold Dagger a few weeks ago for The Puppet Show, he’s had quite a journey. You may have caught him at CrimeFest, Harrogate, Bloody Scotland . . . or at a host of bookshop evenings or other regional crime events. And he shows no sign of slowing down – he’s just handed in book four, even though we haven’t quite got around to publishing book three yet (The Curator comes out in June 2020), and already he’s talking about what is coming after that. It’s exhausting!
So if you haven’t been introduced to the charismatic Washington Poe and his very good friend Tilly Bradshaw of the National Crime Unit, you are in for a treat. We publish the paperback of Black Summer this December and you can come to the series fresh from here . . . but if you haven’t read The Puppet Show, you can always spoil yourself and read that first before launching into Poe and Tilly’s next outing.
A startling opening chapter leads us into a convoluted murder case featuring a psychotic chef, an elusive young woman, and puts the impossible question to the reader: how can a person be both alive and dead at the same time?
Mike loves puzzles and playing with your mind and just when you think you have a handle on what’s going on he’ll pull the rug out from under you. And, as in The Puppet Show, the one thing that grounds this rollercoaster ride of a novel is the brilliantly realised relationship between the difficult, cynical and stubborn Washington Poe and his straight-talking sidekick, Tilly.
Read Black Summer this Christmas – and then you’ll understand what all the fuss is about!
by M. W. Craven
'A brutal and thrilling page-turner' The Sun
'The best pure mystery plot of the year' Morning Star
'Gleefully gory and witty, with a terrific sense of place' Sunday Mirror
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.
The gripping new thriller in the Washington Poe series from M. W. Craven, winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of 2019.
*Longlisted for the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger 2020*
Praise for MIKE CRAVEN
'Dark, sharp and compelling' PETER JAMES
'Fantastic' MARTINA COLE
'Britain's answer to Harry Bosch' MATT HILTON
'A powerful thriller from an explosive new talent' DAVID MARK
'Truly mind-blowing' A. A. Dhand
'A book that shines with tension, wit and invention' William Shaw
'Washington Poe - a rising giant in detective fiction' Alison Bruce
'A twisty thriller with a killer plot Ed James
'I loved this book!' Jo Jakeman
'One of the best British crime novels I've read in a long time . . . Simply an unputdownable page-turner' Nick Oldham
'Grabs you from the very first page. A dark and brilliantly twisted crime thriller' Colin Falconer
'Dark and twisted in all the right places' Robert Scragg
'In Tilly and Poe, MW Craven has created a stand-out duo who are two of the most compelling characters in crime fiction in recent years' Fiona Cummins
'Dark, thrilling and unputdownable' Victoria Selman