2019 · Blog Tour · Book review

The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven @MWCravenUK @LittleBrownUK

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Today I’m over the moon to be sharing my review for the Puppet Show by M.W. Craven which is published by Little Brown imprint Constable. Huge thanks go to M.W. Craven for arranging a copy to be sent to me.

About the book

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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 …

The Puppet show is available to purchase now @ Amazon UK

My thoughts

You know when you open up a book and read the first couple of pages, your eyes are near popping out your head and your mouth is wide open that it’s going to be an absolute cracker and that’s what The Puppet Show is. I was totally hooked and it’s one of those books that when you’re not reading you’re thinking about it. Oh it’s so good.

We first meet Detective Washington Poe living in a croft in the remote Cumbrian Moors. Suspended from the National Crime Agency he has made a life for himself with his dog Edger. Poe is a fantastic character, I instantly took to him and although he’s quite mysterious he’s a good detective and one that doesn’t like to stick to the rules, hence his suspension.

Another fabulous character is Matilda (Tilly) Bradshaw, who is ever so clever but she has no social skills what so ever. Still living at home she has spent most of her life learning with no idea how to interact with other people which led to some quite funny moments in the story.

Poe and Tilly are completely different but the two work so well together, it was an absolute joy to read about them.

The Puppet Show has some gruesome moments but it is written fantastically. It’s a story that keeps you thinking and guessing with a well paced plot that kept me turning the pages at a rate of knots. It’s like a cryptic puzzle with only little clues being given along the way and the descriptions whether it be the fantastic scenery or the gruesome murders really came to life.

I could probably harp on and on about how good this book is and since finishing it I’ve been telling everyone to go buy it so that’s what I’m doing here as well. GO BUY THE BOOK, IT’S FABULOUS.

Oh and at the end of The Puppet Show there is a little sneak peek at what’s coming next and oh boy I can not blooming wait.

It’s only January and I can safely say that The Puppet Show is in my top 2019 reads, it’s just genius and left me with a real book hangover.

About the author


I was, and remain, a happy person. I love to laugh and I’m forever on the lookout for new and innovative ways to do this. Other than my father dying when I was fourteen, I had a brilliant childhood. I was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle. When I was sixteen I joined the army by accident (may that wily recruiting sergeant have a lifetime of TV programmes with incorrectly synced audio . . .). I spent the next decade travelling the world sweeping leaves. When every leaf was off every tree in every barrack in Germany, and safely in a bin liner, I dug a tunnel with a reconditioned mess-tin and escaped.
At a loose end, I considered becoming an expert in otters (sadly this is true). To further this aim I did a degree in social work. Thirty-one years after I’d left Cumbria as a babe-in-arms, heralded by the seven trumpets of the apocalypse, I returned to take up a probation officer role in Whitehaven. It was . . . boisterous.
Sixteen years later, and at the rank of assistant chief executive, I made the jump and became a full-time author. As one half of Mr and Mrs Craven, I am contractually obliged to say that getting married is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. With this in mind, a job you can do in your pyjamas comes a pretty decent second . . .
So here I am. Living in a beautiful and historic part of the country. Fells and mountains to pretend you’ve climbed. Forgotten villages to explore. Lakes to swim in and rivers to kayak down (I’ve done neither and I never will.). There are castles and mazes to get lost in, Roman ruins to scramble on (don’t do this, people will shout at you), and, as you’ll see in The Puppet Show, sixty-three Neolithic stone circles to run around naked (again, don’t do this; people really shout at you).
Also we have a lot of sheep.
So. Many. F*****g. Sheep . . .
I’m happily married to a beautiful woman (Jo) and, like Poe, I have a mischievous springer spaniel (Bracken – who once ate my cheese muffin when I wasn’t looking). When I’m not out with Bracken, or talking bollocks in the Kings Head, I can be found in the bar at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country. I’ve written several books now. One has been optioned for TV and translated into foreign languages. I really can’t complain. And I’m not. Really I’m not. Writing for a living is the best life I could have imagined for myself.
So, I’m happy. And I often think about where the darkness comes from. Put me in front of a blank screen and the laughter stops, immediately replaced by sinister thoughts.
It’s just as well someone pays me to write them down . . .

Author links



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