Hi guys, Mike here. For some reason my publisher, Krystyna, has given me free rein on today’s Friday Reads, proving once and for all that she doesn’t really know me at all . . . I assume she wants me to talk about my new book, The Curator, which is out now, but, for those of you missing your trips to the beautiful county of Cumbria, I think I’d rather talk about the best way of walking to Montague Island, one of the islands on the Furness Peninsular, and a key scene in the book. The first thing you need to know is that, while you can walk to the nearby Piel Island when the tide is out, under professional supervision, you should never try to walk to Montague. And that’s because it doesn’t exist. It’s fictitious. A figment of my weird imagination. If you try to walk to Montague Island, you will drown in the Irish Sea. And if you think this is heavy-handed, please do remember that hotels have to put ‘Not to be Used in the Shower’ labels on their hairdryers . . .
Anyway, on to The Curator. It’s the darkest in the Poe & Tilly series to date, but I’ve ramped up the humour to offer some light against the dark. Steph Flynn is heavily pregnant and incredibly grumpy with it, Tilly gets to go on a boat for the first time (when she may or may not see a shark) and Poe does what Poe does best: annoy people as he follows the evidence wherever it takes him. I think Flynn describes him best when she says, ‘A Venn diagram of the people Poe knows and the people he’s upset would be a f*****g circle.’
'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
It's Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6
Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency's Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren't even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?
And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn't think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he's dealing with someone far, far worse - a man who calls himself the Curator.
And nothing will ever be the same again . . .
*THE NEW THRILLER FROM THE WINNER OF THE CWA BEST CRIME NOVEL OF 2019 AWARD*
Praise for M. W. Craven:
'Jaw-droppingly shocking and intense, there's no escaping this novel's tense narrative and tightly woven mystery' Women & Home on The Curator
'Superb' Daily Mail on The Curator
'An intriguing, fast-moving mystery' The Times on The Curator
'Witty, clever and shocking' Cumbria Life on The Curator
'Pacy, gory and clever' Crime Monthly on The Curator
'Atmospherically moody' Peterborough Telegraph on The Curator
'Unlike most procedurals; MW Craven grabs the reader by the scruff of the neck and drags them bodily over the grit and grimness of this expertly-crafted tale; leaving them bruised, broken, but ultimately satisified' Matt Wesolowski on The Curator
'Truly mind-blowing' A. A. Dhand on Black Summer
'A book that shines with tension, wit and invention' William Shaw on Black Summer
'Washington Poe - a rising giant in detective fiction' Alison Bruce on Black Summer
'A twisty thriller with a killer plot Ed James on Black Summer
'I loved this book!' Jo Jakeman on Black Summer
'One of the best British crime novels I've read in a long time . . . Simply an unputdownable page-turner' Nick Oldham on Black Summer
'Grabs you from the very first page. A dark and brilliantly twisted crime thriller, bringing back the inimitable Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw' Colin Falconer on Black Summer
'Dark and twisted in all the right places. Poe is a great mix of compelling, complex & charismatic, and well on his way to becoming one of the standout characters in crime fiction' Robert Scragg on Black Summer
'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. They deserve to join the ranks of Holmes and Watson, Rebus and Clarke, Hill and Jordan . . .' Fiona Cummins on Black Summer
'Dark, thrilling and unputdownable with sharply drawn characters that stride off the page' Victoria Selman on Black Summer
'Gleefully gory and witty, with a terrific sense of place' Sunday Times on Black Summer