I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Black Summer by M.W. Craven on my blog today, the second book in the Washing Poe crime series.
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.
Well, if you’re planning on visiting a Michelin star restaurant any time soon, I wouldn’t suggest reading this book before that visit. But if you are more of a traditional pub food kind of person, like me, then read on. I finally got round to catching up on M.W. Craven’s second book in his Washington Poe series, Black Summer over the last couple of days, and I can’t believe that again, I’ve waited this long to read one of his books. It gripped me from the start. I couldn’t wait to see how things would unfold for Poe this time around, and M.W. Craven certainly doesn’t give him an easy time.
M.W. Craven opens the book with a jaw-dropping opening. Poe is dining at a posh restaurant when the building is stormed with police officers, and he is arrested. Fast forward to a few weeks earlier, and Poe is haunted by one of the biggest investigations of his career. Six years ago, he helped to put killer, celebrity chef Jared Keaton, behind bars. Jared was convicted for the murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found. But now, a young woman, who looks remarkably like Elizabeth turns up at the police station claiming to be here. This young woman’s appearance is about to put Poe’s career and his reputation into jeopardy. Is it possible that he got it wrong all those years ago and that he sent an innocent man to prison? But Poe knows that something is not right here, even when DNA test results reveal that the young woman is Elizabeth. He can’t live with the fact that he may potentially have made a mistake, and Poe believes wholeheartedly that he was right six years ago, and that this woman isn’t Elizabeth. But how can he prove this when this irrefutable evidence saying that she is?
M.W. Craven hooked me in right away with the shocking opening chapter. From that moment, I wanted to know what had happened prior to that point and how things were going to pan out. I really didn’t know how Poe was going to be able to get out of this situation. But knowing him, and knowing his friend Tilly Bradshaw as well, I knew he’d find a way if there was one to be found.
What I have grown to love about this series is the friendship between Poe and Tilly. Many reviewers have already commented on their relationship, so I’m not going to say much more here, other than it’s one of the best things about these books.
Black Summer is a creative, highly addictive, first rate crime novel. I can’t wait to get my hands on book three and to start reading. This is a series I know now, I’ll definitely be sticking with.
Publication date: 20th June 2019
Print length: 343 pages
Black Summer is available to buy: