On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the third book in the Washington Poe series by M.W. Craven, The Curator.
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 . . .
Detective Washington Poe and crime analyst Tilly Bradshaw are back in M.W. Craven’s latest thriller, The Curator. I love, love, love this series. Now that I’ve caught up, I’m going to have to wait until the next book in the series as well. M.W. Craven has created another complex case for Tilly and Poe to crack.
What I absolutely love about this series are the characters. Tilly and Poe are some of the most original characters I’ve come across in crime fiction. And what I really like about M.W. Craven’s writing is that he also manages to write humour into his books really well. One scene, in particular, had me in stitches at the beginning, when Tilly is trying to persuade Poe to go to their boss’s baby shower. And Tilly is also fighting a losing battle in this book in trying to get Poe to eat more healthily.
When you read a book by M.W. Craven, you know the case Poe and Tilly will be investigating will be a grisly one. In this case, it takes place over the Christmas period. Body parts start turning up, and Poe and Tilly have to try and identify the victims. This is without the rest of the body. They have to try and see if there is a link between them. If there even is a link.
I was instantly hooked. I wanted to know what was going on here, and M.W. Craven does a fantastic job in keeping the tension turning up a notch. The plot moves forward really quickly, and as Poe and Tilly grow closer to understanding what is going on, it becomes even more horrifying.
M.W. Craven really knows his characters and strong characterisation is, I think, one of his strongest writing skills. When I start one of his books, I’m rooting for Poe and Tilly. Poe always fights Tilly’s corner, and woe betide anyone who tries to make fun of her when he is around. This is what I really like about Poe. He is willing to stand up for Tilly when not many other people will.
I couldn’t believe the final reveals which come towards the end. It was something I was totally not expecting. My eyes were just fixed to the page as everything unfolded.
M.W. Craven once again creates a very atmospheric setting, particularly in the final scenes, but I don’t want to give too much away here. He draws on the atmosphere of the surrounding landscape so well in his writing, making you feel as though you are right there where the action is taking place.
The Curator is another utterly chilling read in this series, and I can’t wait to see what M.W. Craven has in store for Tilly and Poe next.
Publication date: 4th June 2020
Print length: 351 pages
The Curator is available to buy: