Expected Release Date: October 16th, 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Mystery & Crime
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Catching him will make her career – and change her forever.
On the hottest day of the year, Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady attends the funeral of Larry Glassbrook, the convicted murderer she arrested thirty years earlier. A master carpenter and funeral director, Larry imprisoned his victims, alive, in the caskets he made himself. Clay effigies found entombed with their bodies suggested a motive beyond the worst human depravity.
13-year-old Patsy Wood has been missing for two days, the third teenager to disappear in as many months. New to the Lancashire police force and struggling to fit in, WPC Lovelady is sent to investigate an unlikely report from school children claiming to have heard a voice calling for help. A voice from deep within a recent grave.
As she tries to lay her ghosts to rest, Florence is drawn back to the Glassbrooks’ old house, in the shadow of Pendle Hill, where she once lodged with the family. She is chilled by the discovery of another effigy – one bearing a remarkable resemblance to herself. Is the killer still at large? Is Florence once again in terrible danger? Or, this time, could the fate in store be worse than even her darkest imaginings?
I’ve read quite a few of Sharon Bolton’s books and all of them have been four or five star reads for me. I love the way she writes: the character development is always masterful and the atmospheric details pull you in to her world in a way that has you both wishing to stay and dying to get out. Her latest book, The Craftsman, far surpasses that and is deserving of more than just five stars. It has earned it’s spot as my favorite read this year.
I read a lot of Mystery and Crime novels and one thing that I find irritating is the way that a lot of authors feel the need to write every female lead detective as damaged but bossy, arrogant and just like ‘one of the guys’. I get the strong female thing, but it’s overdone and borderline cliche.
In The Craftsman, Sharon Bolton introduces you to Florence Lovelady, who as a young detective in her twenties during the notorious Glassman case in 1969, struggles with sexism in the office. Her peers don’t take her serious because she’s a woman and would rather have her serve them tea then give input on a case. It’s real and it’s refreshing, so for that I gave two huge thumbs up. However, don’t be fooled, our lead detective is still full of spunk and does not easily take no for an answer.
But let’s get to the gist of the story which, in all seriousness, still has me in a book hangover. It begins in 1999 at the funeral of serial killer Larry Glassbrook, who killed three local teenagers back in 1969. Florence Lovelady, the investigator responsible for putting Larry away, returns to the town of Sabden to attend the funeral. While there, strange things begin to happen that seem eerily similar to Larry Glassbrooks MO, and they seem to be directed at Florence.
From here the story alternates between 1999 and 1969 and is perfectly executed. In the past we learn of Florence’s involvement in the case, as well as other drama in the town. Just when you think you know what’s happening, your blindsided with something even more shocking. We also get a taste of witchcraft but in a way that adds nothing but eerie charm to the environment and to the story. It’s authentic and real. It takes this book from ‘just another mystery’ and makes it next level. Florence is in danger but Larry is dead, so who is the person coming after her?
I urge you to not wait to buy this book: witchcraft, children being buried alive, and serial killers. If you’ve never read anything by Sharon Bolton, then make this your first; and if you have – well then what are you waiting for? The Craftsman will be released on October 16th, just in time for Halloween! Pre-order your copy now and then come back and tell me how much you loved it once your done!