Black Summer (Washington Poe, #2)
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.

Black Summer (Washington Poe, #2) Details

TitleBlack Summer (Washington Poe, #2)
Author
ReleaseJun 6th, 2019
PublisherConstable
ISBN-139781472127464
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Thriller, Audiobook

Black Summer (Washington Poe, #2) Review

  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    MW Craven proves that his stellar crime debut The Puppet Show was no fluke and then some with this sequel featuring the charismatic pairing of DS Washington Poe with his traumatic and haunting background and the unforgettable genius that is the endearing crime analyst, Matilda 'Tilly' Bradshaw, on the autism spectrum, at the National Crime Agency. In Cumbria, Constable Graham Alsop of the Neighbourhood Policing Team is a problem solver running sessions at the library for the community after MW Craven proves that his stellar crime debut The Puppet Show was no fluke and then some with this sequel featuring the charismatic pairing of DS Washington Poe with his traumatic and haunting background and the unforgettable genius that is the endearing crime analyst, Matilda 'Tilly' Bradshaw, on the autism spectrum, at the National Crime Agency. In Cumbria, Constable Graham Alsop of the Neighbourhood Policing Team is a problem solver running sessions at the library for the community after budget cuts and the closing down of police stations in the area. A young woman in a dreadful state staggers in claiming to be Elizabeth Keaton, speaking of her traumatic experience of sexual abuse for years after being abducted. The only problem is that she is supposed to be dead, and her father, famous celebrity chef Jared, of the well known local Bullace and Sloe restaurant with its Michelin stars, is in prison, serving a life sentence for her murder.The man responsible for Keaton's conviction was Poe, and he is urgently called back to Cumbria where he has a remote home, Herdwick Croft, and his dog, Edgar. Supported by Detective Superintendent Gamble, Poe returns to the scene of the crime, the Bullace and Sloe kitchen where evidence of heavy amounts of blood were found. Elizabeth Keaton has provided irrefutable blood samples that prove that she is who she says is, and Poe follows this chain of evidence to ensure that it has not been tampered with. Poe found Jared to be a cruel, and sadistic personality, hidden behind his public persona of a affable and charming man in public and on his TV shows, in fact Poe is certain the man is one of the worst psychopaths he has ever encountered. Jared's legal team have mounted a challenge to his conviction, Poe knows he is in trouble when he meets Jared again, a man who is going to be free very soon. With Gamble suspended, DCI Wardle, his replacement. has Poe in his sights when Elizabeth disappears. With the net closing around him, Poe calls in Tilly, if anyone can counter the threats he faces, it's going to be her.Tilly has grown in personal stature and confidence since we last saw her, she now runs her own team of IT nerds and geeks, and whilst she still makes unfiltered comments that disconcert and confound, she has learned to fit in a little more. DI Stephanie Flynn, gives up on trying to get Tilly to adhere to a dress code, understanding that this asset has to be managed differently and she does not get in the way when Tilly goes to help her good friend, Poe. In a complex and tangled investigation, it takes Poe and Tilly some time before they begin to see the chinks of light that allude to the murky truth. This is a fantastic read, entertaining, tense, suspenseful, full of comic humour and wit, and Craven, in Poe, and in particular, Tilly, indisputably has a winning set of protagonists whose relationship is a joy to observe. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the next one in this highly recommended series! Many thanks to Little, Brown for an ARC.
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  • Beata
    January 1, 1970
    This novel was what I call a page-turner as I kept turning the pages, neglecting some chores (no complaints here!) and speculating: 'Now, how was that done??' This novel has the right pace, the intrigue, good dialogues and characters who, though not perfect, know how not to be ouwitted. A case seemingly impossible to solve kept me guessing till the very end. A big thank-you to Mr Craven and Constable for a print copy of the book. The opinion expressed here is entirely mine.
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  • Peter
    January 1, 1970
    ExonerationBlack Summer is the eagerly awaited second book in the Washington Poe series from Mike Craven. It is an outstanding return for Poe and his colleague, Tilly Bradshaw, in a thriller that is as captivating, dazzling and edgy as any crime mystery I’ve read this year. Poe and Tilly have such a wonderful partnership that exudes humour, loyalty and great personal charm. They are both highly capable investigators, but from different ends of the spectrum – Poe who reads people well, and plays ExonerationBlack Summer is the eagerly awaited second book in the Washington Poe series from Mike Craven. It is an outstanding return for Poe and his colleague, Tilly Bradshaw, in a thriller that is as captivating, dazzling and edgy as any crime mystery I’ve read this year. Poe and Tilly have such a wonderful partnership that exudes humour, loyalty and great personal charm. They are both highly capable investigators, but from different ends of the spectrum – Poe who reads people well, and plays by hunches and his gut feeling, and Tilly who is a remarkable data scientist who operates through logic. As outliers, they don’t always fit well with others but have an affinity and stubborn loyalty to each other. Six years earlier, Washington Poe led on the conviction of celebrity chef Jared Keaton for the death of his daughter Elizabeth. Her body was never recovered but the amount of blood found in Jared’s kitchen confirmed the location and she couldn’t have survived that amount of blood loss. Poe assessed Keaton as a charismatic, talented, psychopath, and deemed him the manifestation of evil. Back in present times a dishevelled woman walks into a police facility and claims to be Elizabeth and she’s been held captive for over 6 years, where she has been abused and malnourished. DNA tests prove beyond doubt, she is Elizabeth Keaton, and Jared Keaton was, therefore, convicted for a crime that didn’t happen. With Jared Keaton being released from prison, the finger of blame is pointing towards Poe. With revenge and incrimination converging on Poe, he reacts the only way he can. “It was time to stop messing about. He needed to play his wild card. His nuclear option. He unlocked his Blackberry, typed out a four-word message, and sent it into the ether. Four words Keaton couldn’t have planned for, Tilly, I’m in trouble.” Tilly arrives without delay with her arsenal of computers, peripherals and software that just puts her in a zone where data patterns and data enrichment, provide insights that few can comprehend. Can the skill and resourcefulness of Poe and Tilly resolve the mystery and the looming threats from a psychopath and a legal system both seeking retribution?In an atmosphere of uncertainty, the tension and menace mounts as Elizabeth disappears again and the criticism falls on Poe. Mike Craven does a masterful job in providing nonstop suspense and suspicion as his plot winds its way through a story that is full of hostility and apprehension. The characters continue to evolve and in particular, Tilly is maturing in her social etiquette, not completely, as this is still causing some light humour. She also has her own team of techie geeks back at the NCA supporting police investigations. I loved the personal battle Poe has with himself, moving from a position of pity and anger at his own past to acknowledging his responsibility and power to change his life. It is brilliant characterisations that draw a reader into admiring or feeling anxious about the growth of a character. Mike is a writer with a wonderful sense of humour and you can see the opportunities he creates to entertain with some very witty and amusing situations.I would highly recommend reading this book and I’d like to thank Little Brown Book Group and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC copy in return for an honest review.
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  • Matt
    January 1, 1970
    After devouring M.W. Craven’s series debut, I was quick to get my hands on a copy of this sequel, which packs just as much punch with its sensational storytelling and strong plot. Washington Poe is still reeling from the fallout of the Immolation Man case and he carries the burns on his hands to prove it. When he is called back up to Cumbria, he cannot be sure if there is more he will have to remember. However, it is another of his past cases that comes to the forefront. Six years ago, Poe After devouring M.W. Craven’s series debut, I was quick to get my hands on a copy of this sequel, which packs just as much punch with its sensational storytelling and strong plot. Washington Poe is still reeling from the fallout of the Immolation Man case and he carries the burns on his hands to prove it. When he is called back up to Cumbria, he cannot be sure if there is more he will have to remember. However, it is another of his past cases that comes to the forefront. Six years ago, Poe helped to put Jared Keaton behind bars for the murder of his daughter. While working in the front of house of her father’s restaurant, Elizabeth Keaton was apparently attacked, spilling enough blood in the kitchen to ensure she could not have survived. However, with no body, it was all circumstantial evidence, which Poe used to ensure the Michelin-star chef did not see the light of day. When a woman claiming to be Elizabeth Keaton stumbles up to a police officer, all bets are off. Poe is sure that Elizabeth is dead, citing the forensics found at the scene, though the blood of this woman matches the victim perfectly. Elizabeth claims that she was abducted, but cannot remember much of anything else. Poe must work fast to see what is going on, calling upon his analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, whose book smarts and social awkwardness may help forge ahead. They explore all the evidence once again and thrust themselves into the cutthroat world of the culinary arts, trying to piece the crime together, while Jared Keaton prepares to be exonerated and Poe’s future hangs in the balance. How can the blood lie, twice, and what happened six years ago to turn things completely upside down? ‘Elizabeth’ disappears again, adding depth to an already confusing set of facts. Poe and Bradshaw will have to work quickly, though with the help of their National Crime Agency colleagues to find answers. There may be something embedded in Keaton’s gastronomical gifts that tells the tale, but time is limited. Another stunning novel that Craven uses to captivate the reader throughout. Not to be missed by fans of the first book, and highly recommended to those who want a stunning read to pass the time.M.W. Craven takes the reader down one rabbit hole and up another in this stunning sequel that carries on not long after the debut piece. It is not only a wonderful story, but the reader can find themselves in the middle of relentless action while discovering the darker sides of police procedurals. Washington Poe is again front and centre in this piece, with grit and determination to solve the crime offset by a desire to be sociable wherever possible. Poe’s desire to see things through to their completion adds a thread to the story, as he forges ahead to ensure that he truth prevails, even if it could cost him everything. Poe refuses to back down and will work outside the chain of command if he feels that he is in the right, though he understands the need for deference during certain situations, usually of his choosing. The other members of the National Crime Agency prove able to complement Poe and contrast nicely with all he does, particularly Tilly Bradshaw. Her social cluelessness is balanced with extensive knowledge and dedication to working no matter the hour. When not adding levity to the story, Bradshaw is extracting needed results to help Poe prove his point, no matter the location of facts and information. Others work well to keep Poe in line (or defying them) and there is no shortage of clashes throughout this piece. The story was stellar, pulling on both past and present, with excellent detail embedded in a narrative that flows freely. The smallest of facts can prove to be the most important, given enough time and effort, forcing the reader not to discount anything that Craven puts to page. Those looking for something deeper, but not wanting to lug around a thick novel ought to locate M.W. Craven’s work, as he packs a punch like no other in a compact writing style. And now we wait for the next book, to help replicate this awesome feeling of excitement I’ve come to know this week!Kudos, Mr. Craven, for another strong novel. You surely have a way with words and can captivate me like no other when you put your ideas to paper (or on screen).This book fulfils Topic #6: Current Equinox in the Equinox #8 Reading Challenge. Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
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  • Whispering Stories
    January 1, 1970
    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.comOn the fourth Wednesday of every month ‘problem-solving officer,’ Graham Alsop resides in the library in the village if Alston, Cumbria. The local police station closed in budget cuts and now just one day a month the residents of the village can see Officer Alsop to tell them any problems that have occurred in the last month.Whilst attending his post a young woman, muddy and undernourished wanders into the library, apprehensive at first she approached Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.comOn the fourth Wednesday of every month ‘problem-solving officer,’ Graham Alsop resides in the library in the village if Alston, Cumbria. The local police station closed in budget cuts and now just one day a month the residents of the village can see Officer Alsop to tell them any problems that have occurred in the last month.Whilst attending his post a young woman, muddy and undernourished wanders into the library, apprehensive at first she approached Officer Alsop’s desk and tells him she was kidnapped six years ago and held captive until she recently managed to escape, she gives her name as Elizabeth Keaton.Detectives are soon called in and DS Sergeant Poe is asked to return to Cumbria from London as a matter of urgency. Upon his arrival he is questioned about Elizabeth Keaton who went missing six years earlier and her father, celebrity chef Jared Keaton charged with her murder, for which Poe was the lead officer.Poe is flabbergasted. The woman looks like Elizabeth and the DNA from her blood proves she is Elizabeth but Poe still isn’t convinced. With the help of his loyal team, including Crime Analyst Tilly can Poe prove he was right all those years ago or is he just going to have to come to terms with the fact that he messed up Elizabeth’s missing person case and put an innocent man behind bars?After the spectacular first book in the series, ‘The Puppet Show’ comes this outstanding novel ‘Black Summer’ featuring the Cumbrian DS Poe and the wonderful Tilly. I was looking forward to reading more about Poe and the introduction had me on the edge of my seat, I knew this was a book I wasn’t going to be able to put down as it was already dark and foreboding.DS Poe is a man who goes with his gut. He’s been in the police force for a long time and it was his gut feeling that brought the killer down in the first book, so surely he couldn’t have been wrong about Jared Keaton, all the evidence suggests he killed his daughter, but now his daughter is here and Poe doesn’t know what to think. He’s conflicted but he is also doesn’t want a guilty man being released from prison without some thorough checks, even Elizabeth’s DNA isn’t enough for Poe.This is a book that plays with your mind if you have read the first book you will understand and know how Poe works, so how could he have been so wrong about Elizabeth. However, you also feel as if you are on tenterhooks waiting for the confirmation on whether this is really her or not and if it is who took her and why.The book will have you guessing trying to figure out the pieces yourself and doubts about Poe and his initial investigation do creep in as well as doubts about Elizabeth too. It often felt like I was part of the team and working alongside them to solve the mystery. Gosh, I even made notes.If you love crime thrillers then this is a series to read. It keeps you on your toes and has an amazing cast of characters as well as set in a beautiful part of the UK. With the third book, The Curator, coming out soon, I can’t wait to meet Poe and the team again.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    Washington Poe is back!Things have moved on since ‘The Puppet Show’ ( Book 1 ) finished and its fair to say this can be read as a stand alone or of course as Book 2 in the series, there are enough small nods to past events that if this is your first outing with Poe then you get a bit of a back storyIt was good to have Poe back, I am not a massive lover of series books but took to Poe and Tilly ( his unorthodox tech expert ) in Book 1 and so was looking forward to the new case.....Elizabeth Washington Poe is back!Things have moved on since ‘The Puppet Show’ ( Book 1 ) finished and its fair to say this can be read as a stand alone or of course as Book 2 in the series, there are enough small nods to past events that if this is your first outing with Poe then you get a bit of a back storyIt was good to have Poe back, I am not a massive lover of series books but took to Poe and Tilly ( his unorthodox tech expert ) in Book 1 and so was looking forward to the new case.....Elizabeth Keaton was killed, brutally murdered by her father, psychopath and celeb chef Jared Keaton.....well, that is until she turned up at a Cumbrian library 6 years later!Poe had been in charge of the investigation, now he is about to be investigated and Jared Keaton is to be releasedThe evidence is 100% watertightEveryone can see thatThere is nothing Poe can doBut he has a niggle....and once he starts he cant stop as he re investigates Elizabeths murder in his own special wayHow can a murdered girl re appear, with the correct blood and dna!!??!!A taut, tense and exciting thriller filled once again with humour, atmosphere and wonderful descriptions of Cumbria I look forward to Book 3The acknowledgements at the end are definitely worth a read as wellTalented author and a good solid story told in this authors unique way 9/10. 4.5 Stars
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  • Helga
    January 1, 1970
    Dark, witty, grisly, brilliant!Nail-biting. That is one of the states you will find yourself in, reading this book.How can someone be alive and dead at the same time? Six years ago the highly successful chef Jared Keaton is arrested for the murder of his daughter Elizabeth. Although the police are unable to find her body, Keaton is convicted nonetheless based on circumstantial evidence discovered by D.S Poe. Poe has no doubt that Keaton is the murderer. Six years later a young woman walks into a Dark, witty, grisly, brilliant!Nail-biting. That is one of the states you will find yourself in, reading this book.How can someone be alive and dead at the same time? Six years ago the highly successful chef Jared Keaton is arrested for the murder of his daughter Elizabeth. Although the police are unable to find her body, Keaton is convicted nonetheless based on circumstantial evidence discovered by D.S Poe. Poe has no doubt that Keaton is the murderer. Six years later a young woman walks into a makeshift police station and claims to be Elizabeth. Exhausted and emaciated she is, but dead she certainly is not!Has Poe made a grave mistake and sent an innocent man to prison? Is the woman really Elizabeth?Is Keaton as blameless as he claims to be?
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  • NZLisaM
    January 1, 1970
    The highly anticipated second installment in the Washington Poe series delves into the world of renowned celebrity chef, Jared Keaton, and his Michelin 3 star restaurant!In his last case as a DI, Poe's evidence and testimony, along with a blood spattered restaurant kitchen, saw Keaton receive a life sentence for killing his daughter, Elizabeth, even though her body was never found, and no motive was ever established.Six years later, a scared, disheveled, malnourished young woman limps into the The highly anticipated second installment in the Washington Poe series delves into the world of renowned celebrity chef, Jared Keaton, and his Michelin 3 star restaurant!In his last case as a DI, Poe's evidence and testimony, along with a blood spattered restaurant kitchen, saw Keaton receive a life sentence for killing his daughter, Elizabeth, even though her body was never found, and no motive was ever established.Six years later, a scared, disheveled, malnourished young woman limps into the library. When approached by an on-duty policeman, she identifies herself as Elizabeth Keaton, and says she's been held captive by a stranger all this time. DNA testing proves she is indeed Elizabeth.Poe (now working as a DS) is in hot water. DNA doesn't lie! Yet he's still confident he got it right all those years ago, believes Jared Keaton is a true psychopath, and intends to prove it. But, he needs to do it fast as it's only a matter of days before Keaton is released back on the street.Like The Puppet Show, Black Summer opens with a brief, shocking, italicised prologue, showing the final moments of an unidentified victim’s life. It certainly got my attention! And when chapter one started with the fate of two poor songbirds called ortolan bunting, I not only praise the author for his originality, but knew I was in for one hell of a story! And, the plot delivered on every level, had me confused (in the best way possible) and kept me guessing.I was thrilled to return to such an amazing cast of characters – Poe and Tilly Bradshaw stole my heart in the first book – I just adore their friendship and every interaction so much. Edgar the spaniel is also a firm favourite, and the new faces that were introduced slotted seamlessly into Poe and Bradshaw's universe.As someone who is not a fan of trendy restaurants charging exorbitant prices for a minuscule portion of an unusual combination of ingredients, the food, meals, and abundance of courses described in this book was equal parts amusing and fascinating. And I'll never order soup off the menu again!Could be read as a standalone, but The Puppet Show earned 5 stars from me last year, so why wouldn't you start there? Readers of police procedurals, and those who love puzzling, hard-to-solve crimes will not want to miss this one. Roll on book three.
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  • Miriam Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I was very late to the party reading “The Puppet Show” (the first in the Washington Poe series) and after thoroughly enjoying it, I was very excited to be able to read the follow up “Black Summer” immediately after. Although either book works well as a stand-alone, I would recommend reading in order as it does benefit you to learn how all the working relationships link together. The story starts with a prologue that was attention grabbing, a first chapter that was like something out of a I was very late to the party reading “The Puppet Show” (the first in the Washington Poe series) and after thoroughly enjoying it, I was very excited to be able to read the follow up “Black Summer” immediately after. Although either book works well as a stand-alone, I would recommend reading in order as it does benefit you to learn how all the working relationships link together. The story starts with a prologue that was attention grabbing, a first chapter that was like something out of a Hannibal Lecter movie, which then rolled smoothly straight into the second chapter that was truly intriguing, instantly captivating me, ready for the rest of the book. What more could you want from a crime thriller?!Although the first chapter is rather grisly and involves the fine dining of a bird called the Ortolan Bunting, I was so intrigued I actually researched this subject and found it to be very interesting, if not shocking and upsetting. I wholeheartedly love the characters the author M.W. Craven has created. Washington Poe is a troubled man but not a one that brings his issues front and centre of the story but subtly in the background and his relationship with Tilly his analyst sidekick is really quite endearing. I also liked the introduction of the forensic pathologist Estelle Doyle and thought she was another quirky character to add to the fantastically created list of characters. This made for very enjoyable reading and a definite desire for me to continue this fabulous series further again in the future. What really made the story for me was that it wasn’t just any police procedural but a one based on departments you don’t normally hear of - the NCA (National Crime Agency) and SACS (Serious Crime Analysis Section). It’s nice to read about unknown departments in the police force and learn how the different officers all work together to fight crime. It also combines a character driven novel with action, intrigue and good old fashioned police work with the addition of a computer expert that truly knows her stuff.I love discovering new authors and when I initially read “The Puppet Show” I knew this was going to be a series I would be addicted to and being a local author to me, it was nice to be able to relate to places mentioned in the story. I do hope one day to meet M.W. Craven at a local bookstore and chat about Washington Poe and Tilly’s relationship!I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either of these books. They’re excellently plotted, well thought out, instantly addictive and wholly absorbing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Black Summer” and rate this five star read as an absolute must read for 2019!5 stars
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  • Mandy White
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness! That was fantastic. I just love Washington and Tilly. Dark and clever, this waa aa good as The Puppet Show if not better!!
  • Adrienne
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it. Wonderful. So many twists and turns. And how they all added up correctly - in the final chapter. Beautifully crafted characters, almost improbable events - that the normal mind rarely is able to eventually grasp. But is easy for a psychopath.Delightful prose. Unputdownable.
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  • Bridget
    January 1, 1970
    A phenomenally good read!I didn’t know what I had really been expecting from reading Black Summer by M. W. Craven but I certainly never imagined I would enjoy it as much as I did. Things got off to a bad start when I failed the download the book before it was archived, but it was all onwards and upwards from there, as I suggested this book as a purchase at my local library and they granted my wish!The plot-line for this novel, so cleverly devised by M.W. Craven was in another league. I was A phenomenally good read!I didn’t know what I had really been expecting from reading Black Summer by M. W. Craven but I certainly never imagined I would enjoy it as much as I did. Things got off to a bad start when I failed the download the book before it was archived, but it was all onwards and upwards from there, as I suggested this book as a purchase at my local library and they granted my wish!The plot-line for this novel, so cleverly devised by M.W. Craven was in another league. I was fascinated as to how anyone could have come up with such an ingenious and inventive story-line as this crime-thriller possesses. The characterisation was truly wonderful, especially that of the enigmatic Detective Sergeant Washington Poe. All of the characters had their quirks and personality traits but Poe really fascinated me to the point where I was becoming rather infatuated. I loved all of his idiosyncrasies and even his eating habits appealed to me. Tilly Bradshaw also stood out for me with her brilliant technological prowess and lack of social skills. I felt totally immersed in this story and would have loved to have enjoyed a drink or two with these detectives in Poe’s local - the Shap Wells Hotel.The setting, Cumbria in England’s North-West was wonderfully portrayed by M. W. Craven and this also contributed heavily towards my total absorption of the story, having visited the area on many occasions.Craven writes in such an absorbing manner that I was lured in immediately and the whole story was believable and highly addictive. The pacing was perfect and there was always something happening - the next lead to chase up, some more fact-finding or another place to visit.Craven had the tone exactly right, a sly sense of humour and solid knowledge of procedure as well as the geographical area, all added up to a really enjoyable novel. I am totally in awe of this clever author who for me is a master of his craft. I already have the first book in the Washington Poe series on my e-reader, demanding to be read and I hope it won’t be too long before Mr Craven writes a third.I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Little, Brown Book Group UK/ Constable via NetGalley at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Black Summer is the second book in the Washington Poe series and can easily be read as a stand alone but I really do urge you to read the previous book as it’s just as fabulous as this one.I have been dying to be re united with Poe and Tilly and boy has it been worth the wait. This book was everything I hoped for and more. From the first jaw dropping chapter, the author well and truly had my attention.Everything about this book is just first class. From the very clever story line, to the best Black Summer is the second book in the Washington Poe series and can easily be read as a stand alone but I really do urge you to read the previous book as it’s just as fabulous as this one.I have been dying to be re united with Poe and Tilly and boy has it been worth the wait. This book was everything I hoped for and more. From the first jaw dropping chapter, the author well and truly had my attention.Everything about this book is just first class. From the very clever story line, to the best characters, I just loved everything about it. Tilly’s quirkiness has been tamed slightly but there is still enough there to make her a lovable and highly enjoyable character to read about. Poe is still his usual self of which I wouldn’t have him any other way. Am sure I said this about the last book but will say it again, these two characters really are the making of these books and just blast other crime series out of the water.I felt so much frustration due to the case Poe and Tilly are working on. Poe is getting hit from all angles and he knows in his gut that something isn’t right but he’s struggling to find any evidence to prove it. It really does make for a race against time and I wasn’t sure if this was one case that even this dynamic duo would struggle to solve.Black Summer was an absolute belter of a read. The case is nothing I have ever come across before and was just so cleverly done. It made it even more gripping and fresh as well as keeping the reader on their toes. I could waffle on for ages about this book but doubt I could do it the justice it deserves. Just buy it. It’s brilliant and would give it 100 stars if I could.My thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown Book Group UK for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
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  • Andreia ❤The Butterfly Lover❤
    January 1, 1970
    One star.
  • David Gilchrist
    January 1, 1970
    What a fantastic follow on from 'The Puppet Show' Compelling, intriguing with some humour and some dark parts too. An author that is a sleep thief of the top order.
  • The Book Review Café
    January 1, 1970
    Ever since I reached the last page The Puppet Show I have been (in)patiently waiting for Black Summer by M.W. Craven, the second book in the Washington Poe series. One of my favourite things about picking up a new book is when a crime author grabs your attention with a dramatic opening, as soon as I read the first page I just knew that this was a book I knew I would savour. Although Black Summer could be read as a stand-alone I would urge you to read both books in order, not doing so would be Ever since I reached the last page The Puppet Show I have been (in)patiently waiting for Black Summer by M.W. Craven, the second book in the Washington Poe series. One of my favourite things about picking up a new book is when a crime author grabs your attention with a dramatic opening, as soon as I read the first page I just knew that this was a book I knew I would savour. Although Black Summer could be read as a stand-alone I would urge you to read both books in order, not doing so would be like ordering a dessert without the main course! Where’s the pleasure in that? This book is perfectly paced, with engaging characters, it’s definitely one of this year’s summer unmissable crime reads. Black Summer is the perfect title for this book, there’s a storm brewing with Poe planted firmly in the eye of the storm! M.W. Craven puts our hero Poe through the wringer as he finds himself on the wrong side of a crime investigation, one that will question his integrity, and potential end his career. A case from his past dramatically takes centre stage when Elizabeth Keaton staggers into a police station, nothing wrong with that you might think, but Poe helped to convict her father Jared Keaton, chef to the stars for her murder! A conviction based mainly on forensic evidence. So it doesn’t bode well for Poe, aided by his colleagues, computer, science and maths genius, Tilly Bradshaw, Poe is in a race against time to prove his innocence. There’s nothing Tilly loves more than a complex the puzzle, if anything she embraces them, and M.J. Craven delivers a deliciously complex case, one that allows Tilly to showcase her skills in helping to solve a bewildering case. There is so much I could say about Poe and Tilly the dynamic duo, they are both such fabulous depicted, compelling characters. Poe is complex & charismatic, complex, whereas the wonderful Tilly is still socially awkward, some of her comments need fine tuning, tact definitely isn’t her strong point but she’s a hell of a character all the same. The dialogue between the couple is endearing, charming and funny, but it’s these moments that add light to the darkness of the plot. There is an array of brilliant characters in Black Summer that are worthy of a mention. We are introduced to forensic pathologist, Estelle Doyle another quirky character, and one I hope will reappear in future books. As for the charming, charismatic Jared Keaton, without giving away spoilers, he’s the definition of a psychopath, chilling but so brilliantly depicted! The author has a knack for creating characters that are multidimensional, quirky and unforgettable, always a definite plus. I loved how the author brought all the threads together culminating in a jaw dropping, but very satisfying and clever conclusion. Black Summer isn’t as dark or gory as The Puppet Show, but OMG if anything I probably enjoyed this book more, there’s so many questions, intrigue, and mystery, my perfect kind of crime read. This is one book that will definitely be on my top reads of 2019, I’m only sorry that we will have to wait another year for the next book in the series, but I will definitely read it and the one after that, and the one……… Black Summer is a book I would recommend without hesitation, and for those of you who love a crime thriller that’s taut and brilliantly twisted it’s a ‘must read’All my reviews can be found at http://thebookreviewcafe.com
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  • The Cats’ Mother
    January 1, 1970
    I was late to the MW Craven party, having only read The Puppet Show a few weeks ago, after hearing about it for months. Well I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice, so was very pleased to see this available from NetGalley - even if it meant going through the UK site. I’m pleased to report that this second Washington Poe book is even more fiendishly twisty than the first, and just as well written. Six years earlier, Poe arrested a callous psychopath, celebrity chef Jared Keaton, for the I was late to the MW Craven party, having only read The Puppet Show a few weeks ago, after hearing about it for months. Well I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice, so was very pleased to see this available from NetGalley - even if it meant going through the UK site. I’m pleased to report that this second Washington Poe book is even more fiendishly twisty than the first, and just as well written. Six years earlier, Poe arrested a callous psychopath, celebrity chef Jared Keaton, for the murder of his daughter, despite her body never being found. When a young woman stumbles into a police office, claiming she’s been held in captivity and that her name is Elizabeth Keaton, it seems a grave miscarriage of justice has occurred, but Poe knows Keaton is not innocent - and realises that he is being set up when she disappears again. Fortunately, Poe has a secret weapon - the brilliant Tilly Bradshaw!Both these books stand out from the crowded field of modern British detective fiction by having not only wonderful central characters, but also a complex but watertight plot, and lots of interesting information on very random but fascinating topics (although I am traumatised by the description of the culinary monstrosity described in the first pages, and really wish I had not googled it to discover that it is actually real, and what it looks like.) Tilly is even more adorable here, and I loved how she has grown in confidence so that their friendship and working relationship is now much more equally balanced. Poe is dealing with the revelations from the end of Puppet Show, we get to know DI Stephanie Flynn a bit better too, and the ending leads us nicely into the next book. I also respect the way he did not spoil The Puppet Show for anyone who hasn’t read it yet. I would still recommend reading them in order for everything to make sense.I do like books which are howdunnits rather than the usual who, for a change, it’s a different kind of suspense but very effective - I didn’t have a clue how or why the crime was achieved. I also felt the backdrop of the gathering storm was a great way of building tension. The ending was perfect - our trio revealing their devious side to beat the killer at his own game. Hopefully there won’t be too long a wait for the next one!My thanks to NetGalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review. Black Summer is published on June 20th 2019.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    Please read the promotional description for the storyline.M. W. Craven has not only done it again he has surpassed his first novel in this excellently written sequel of the Washington Poe series. In this book, Craven has placed Detective Sergeant Washington Poe, and his endearingly loyal sidekick Tilly Bradshaw, into a crime of murder that is inherently gruesome and as complex as a Burr Puzzle. DS Poe finds himself under attack when the victim of a murderer he was responsible for apprehending Please read the promotional description for the storyline.M. W. Craven has not only done it again he has surpassed his first novel in this excellently written sequel of the Washington Poe series. In this book, Craven has placed Detective Sergeant Washington Poe, and his endearingly loyal sidekick Tilly Bradshaw, into a crime of murder that is inherently gruesome and as complex as a Burr Puzzle. DS Poe finds himself under attack when the victim of a murderer he was responsible for apprehending suddenly appears alive. The deconstructing and reconstructing of the case that follows is one of the most unique and interesting murder mysteries I have had the pleasure to read.I see Mr. Craven's next book starts an entirely new series, Body Breaker, Detective Inspector Avison Fluke, #1; and I look forward to reading it because his talent for writing is so good. At the same time, I can't help hoping there will be a Washington Poe, #3 in the future.
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  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    The Puppet Show was one of my absolute favourite reads of last year, made all the more incredible by the fact that it was a debut. I feel like I've been yearning for this second thriller in the Detective Sergeant Washington Poe series for a long time and it certainly didn't disappoint. This can be read independently of the first book without issue but it is so damn good you'll want to pick it up I am sure. Here, Poe's judgement is called into question when the apparent victim of a killer he The Puppet Show was one of my absolute favourite reads of last year, made all the more incredible by the fact that it was a debut. I feel like I've been yearning for this second thriller in the Detective Sergeant Washington Poe series for a long time and it certainly didn't disappoint. This can be read independently of the first book without issue but it is so damn good you'll want to pick it up I am sure. Here, Poe's judgement is called into question when the apparent victim of a killer he helped convict years earlier suddenly appears seemingly alive and well. But when she disappears again as fast as she came the heat is well and truly turned up on Poe.This a deliciously dark and tantalisingly twisted read with characters that come live on the page. It is well researched and pacey and it's almost impossible not to fall in love with the fascinating dynamic between Poe and Tilly. They trust each other implicitly and so Tilly helps Poe through this overwhelmingly stressful time. I relate to her quiet, introverted nature and her social awkwardness makes her all the more endearing. Craven writes in such an absorbing manner that hooks you in immediately and the whole story is believable and highly addictive. Black Summer is another sensational, page-turning thriller from Craven. This is gripping entertainment and comes very highly recommended. Many thanks to Constable for an ARC.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Black Summer is the 2nd in the Washington Poe series, and I admit I am late starting this series as I only read The puppet Show before I read this one and WOW what a book that was so I was excited to get my hands on Black Summer.Celebrity Chef Jared Keaton was convicted of murdering his daughter Elizabeth Keaton 6 years ago. Washington Poe is the man that got him convicted. But one stormy night, Elizabeth turns up alive in the Police drop in centre at a local library. Is it really her?Poe now Black Summer is the 2nd in the Washington Poe series, and I admit I am late starting this series as I only read The puppet Show before I read this one and WOW what a book that was so I was excited to get my hands on Black Summer.Celebrity Chef Jared Keaton was convicted of murdering his daughter Elizabeth Keaton 6 years ago. Washington Poe is the man that got him convicted. But one stormy night, Elizabeth turns up alive in the Police drop in centre at a local library. Is it really her?Poe now under suspicion, with the help of his boss and the rest of the team re open the case. Not only to find out what happened to Elizabeth Keaton but, also stop Jared going free.This is another cracking instalment of these series. I love the characters of Poe and Tilly and the rest of the team. The story different and more complex then The puppet show but, still expertly written and the race against time to discover what really happened to Elizabeth Keaton before the police got to Poe, even made it more gripping. I loved the descriptions of the scenery of Cumbria. It made me think of visiting there one day. Thank you NetGalley and Little brown for a copy of this book. Another 5 star read
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com Can Black Summer be a worthy follow up to the brilliantly entertaining The Puppet Show? The answer is absolutely!We make a welcome return to the world of the ever-confident DS Poe, and his brilliant sidekick Bradshaw (who I love reading about once again), with a storyline that is, to me, even more intriguing than that of The Puppet Show. Both stories are brilliant but I just found the story in Black Sumer to be easier to get into, and to really lose myself in. Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com Can Black Summer be a worthy follow up to the brilliantly entertaining The Puppet Show? The answer is absolutely!We make a welcome return to the world of the ever-confident DS Poe, and his brilliant sidekick Bradshaw (who I love reading about once again), with a storyline that is, to me, even more intriguing than that of The Puppet Show. Both stories are brilliant but I just found the story in Black Sumer to be easier to get into, and to really lose myself in. I didn’t want to put this book down, and hugely enjoyed trying to guess the solution to the seemingly unsolvable crime – how can Keaton’s daughter, Elizabeth, be alive and kicking when Poe was absolutely sure that not only was Elizabeth dead all those years ago, but her horrible father killed her. You know if Poe thinks a certain way, it’s likely to be the truth, so this story gets into the reader’s head and makes them start to wonder: could Poe have really f*cked up? And if he hasn’t, then HOW on earth has Elizabeth come back to life? Therein starts a race against time to try and work this out, prevent the evil Keaton from leaving prison, and avoid Poe himself getting dangerously tangled up on the wrong side of the law…I would definitely recommend this novel. It’s fast paced without being rushed, and keeps the tension high as Poe and Bradshaw come up against some really unlikeable characters – from the criminal and police worlds! It all combines to make an addictive read. Bring on book 3 :)Many thanks to M.W. Craven for providing a copy of this novel, on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Bill Lynas
    January 1, 1970
    After their debut in M W Craven's novel The Puppet Show detective Washington Poe & his brilliant assistant Tilly Bradshaw return in a new thriller.The story concerns Jared Keaton, a famous chef, who has been serving a life sentence for the murder of his daughter. Despite the daughter's body not being found Washington Poe's work succeeded in Keaton being convicted. So, when the chef's daughter turns up alive six years later everyone is in shock.I was so gripped by this book that I raced After their debut in M W Craven's novel The Puppet Show detective Washington Poe & his brilliant assistant Tilly Bradshaw return in a new thriller.The story concerns Jared Keaton, a famous chef, who has been serving a life sentence for the murder of his daughter. Despite the daughter's body not being found Washington Poe's work succeeded in Keaton being convicted. So, when the chef's daughter turns up alive six years later everyone is in shock.I was so gripped by this book that I raced through it in a very short time. M W Craven treats his readers to a fine plot, great prose & wonderful dialogue. For a crime novel there is a huge amount of humour & it's handled brilliantly. Craven keeps racking up the tension to a well thought out & satisfying conclusion. An absolute joy from first page to last.
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  • Nigel
    January 1, 1970
    Briefly - An entertaining read and 4 star + a bit for me. I like the Poe/Tilly combination a lot. In fullWhat an intriguing start to this book. It may not be particularly pleasant but it ends with Washington Poe being arrested. The story then goes back 2 weeks before his arrest to look at the events leading up to it. The story relates to a case solved by Poe a few years back. A celebrity chef was found guilty of murdering his daughter and has spent 6 years in prison so far. A young woman goes Briefly - An entertaining read and 4 star + a bit for me. I like the Poe/Tilly combination a lot. In fullWhat an intriguing start to this book. It may not be particularly pleasant but it ends with Washington Poe being arrested. The story then goes back 2 weeks before his arrest to look at the events leading up to it. The story relates to a case solved by Poe a few years back. A celebrity chef was found guilty of murdering his daughter and has spent 6 years in prison so far. A young woman goes into a remote police station claiming to be his daughter. She appears to have irrefutable evidence of her identity. This leads to a call to Poe with the simple line "Poe we have a problem". This is almost the catchphrase for this book!Earlier this year I read The Puppet Show which was the first Washington Poe book. I really enjoyed it and so was very pleased to be able to read this follow up. I think I ought to say that I feel it would be better to read book 1 before this to get the background to the characters. I doubt it is essential but I do think it would add to the enjoyment of this one. The book follows Poe's attempts to effectively clear his name as a result of this miscarriage of justice. He finds that he has few people of his side but he does have Tilly Bradshaw again.I guess one of the aspects of both these books I've enjoyed is the relationship between Poe and Tilly. To call Tilly awkward is something of an understatement. The same can be said of calling her brilliant! This book builds on this relationship nicely. The story itself is good and well worked. The writing makes for an easy read - one of those ones where you think "I'll just read one more chapter"...I actually don't think this is flawless. I have a concern about one aspect of the case although there is an attempt to address it in the book. That said I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book as I did the last. At times it is dark and brooding - a little like the Lake District that is the main setting. Equally there are glimpses of the sun and parts that entertain in a lighter way. Anyone who read The Puppet Show should enjoy this one in my opinion. I really do hope that there will be a book 3. I will definitely be reading it.Note - I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair reviewhttps://viewson.org.uk/police/black-s...
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  • Annette
    January 1, 1970
    A very complex but compelling read, Washington Poe's past comes back to haunt him when a young woman turns up at a temporary police station six years after she went missing leaving a copious amount of blood behind that clearly pointed to her death. Poe was the arresting officer in what seemed to be a clear cut case against her father who is serving a life sentence, so how can this possibly be happening. Blood tests confirm her identity but no sooner does she appear she vanishes without a trace. A very complex but compelling read, Washington Poe's past comes back to haunt him when a young woman turns up at a temporary police station six years after she went missing leaving a copious amount of blood behind that clearly pointed to her death. Poe was the arresting officer in what seemed to be a clear cut case against her father who is serving a life sentence, so how can this possibly be happening. Blood tests confirm her identity but no sooner does she appear she vanishes without a trace. This is a brilliant read with a strong story-line, I absolutely loved it.
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  • Jennifer Nolan
    January 1, 1970
    Another great Washington Poe book. Having a Springer Spaniel I loved the discription the author gave of Edgar's traits many of which my Springer shares. I highly recommend this book.
  • Sandra Leivesley
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, wow, wow!! I have been waiting so long for this follow up to The Puppet Show, but it was definitely worth the wait!Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are back with a new case to solve. This time, six years after Poe helps to convict celebrity chef Jared Keaton for the murder of his daughter, despite the fact that no body was ever found, the daughter suddenly turns up and then disappears again. But is she who she says she is?This is different to The Puppet Show in that it isn’t as gory, but Wow, wow, wow!! I have been waiting so long for this follow up to The Puppet Show, but it was definitely worth the wait!Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are back with a new case to solve. This time, six years after Poe helps to convict celebrity chef Jared Keaton for the murder of his daughter, despite the fact that no body was ever found, the daughter suddenly turns up and then disappears again. But is she who she says she is?This is different to The Puppet Show in that it isn’t as gory, but it is such a clever story. I was wracking my brain throughout trying to work out what happened (a bit like Tilly), and when the truth was revealed it all fell into place. Mike Craven has certainly done his research, and I googled just to make sure!! The book is a real page turner with touches of humour to break the tension a little, and I read it in two sittings because it was impossible to put down. Sleep is overrated anyway! But aside from the brilliant story, I was overjoyed to have Poe and Tilly back in my life. They are wonderful, totally believable characters. They make an odd pair of friends and colleagues – Poe the Luddite who can barely use a smartphone and brilliant Tilly with all her PhDs and quirky ways which make me giggle - but they just work! This is by far my favourite book of the year and is a must read for any crime fiction fan. It deserves way more than 5 stars! And if you haven’t read The Puppet Show yet I would advise you to read that too. I can’t wait for the next in the series!Thank you to the Mike Craven, Little, Brown and NetGalley for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Suzanne Oliver
    January 1, 1970
    I was honoured to get a copy of Black Summer by the amazing M W Craven to read from @netgalley and wow I wasn’t disappointed!! I have read it in a day as again, I couldn’t put it down!! This was a fast paced read, so many gasp out loud moments, loved all the police procedures,, it has an extremely well written and researched storyline and I love the growing friendship between Poe and Tilly. I am stunned by this book, I loved The Puppet Show and this one also blew all my expectations out of the I was honoured to get a copy of Black Summer by the amazing M W Craven to read from @netgalley and wow I wasn’t disappointed!! I have read it in a day as again, I couldn’t put it down!! This was a fast paced read, so many gasp out loud moments, loved all the police procedures,, it has an extremely well written and researched storyline and I love the growing friendship between Poe and Tilly. I am stunned by this book, I loved The Puppet Show and this one also blew all my expectations out of the water! M W Craven is a very talented author and I will be waiting on tenterhooks for the next instalment!!
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  • Donna Maguire
    January 1, 1970
    https://donnasbookblog.wordpress.com/...I loved The Puppet Show and put it straight in to my top three books read in 2018 so for me Black Summer, the second book in the Washington Poe series was one I had been waiting for!! I love the team of Poe and Tilly and I was eager to catch back up with them, and delighted to see that they were again on top form in this story, they work brilliantly together and I love their interaction, Tilly is one of my favourite characters in all crime thrillers and I https://donnasbookblog.wordpress.com/...I loved The Puppet Show and put it straight in to my top three books read in 2018 so for me Black Summer, the second book in the Washington Poe series was one I had been waiting for!! I love the team of Poe and Tilly and I was eager to catch back up with them, and delighted to see that they were again on top form in this story, they work brilliantly together and I love their interaction, Tilly is one of my favourite characters in all crime thrillers and I would love to give her a big hug, although I think she might just stand there looking awkward whilst I did it!I loved this story, Black Summer is well crafted and it had me guessing right through to the end. Poe finds himself in a lot of trouble in this book and I was really keen to see how it would develop, what would happen to him? Could they get it resolved? Could Tilly rescue him? There are twists and turns and oooh and ahhh moments a plenty as the story starts to unravel as you race towards the end which I though was superb and very well done. The author has a brilliant writing style and he brings the area and his characters to life clearly drawing on his local knowledge to make it a genuine and believable series. Personally I feel that this is fine to be read as a standalone, but I would recommend reading both books if you do get an opportunity as they are both excellent in their own ways. It is five stars from me, it is a cracking story, so well developed, plenty to keep me fully engaged and it is a truly addictive story - I adore Tilly and Poe and can't wait for the third book to be released in 2020, after the first two in the series it has a lot to live up too!! Very, very highly recommended!!
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  • Laura Rash
    January 1, 1970
    This one didn’t pack quite the punch that Puppet Show did but it was highly entertaining and had its dark and odd moments that makes Craven a talented author. Love the characters of Poe and Tilly and hoping for many more books with them.
  • Eva
    January 1, 1970
    Black Summer is the second book in the Washington Poe series and I’ll say right now that it’s even better than its predecessor. I never reviewed The Puppet Show on my blog because the sheer awesomeness blew me away and I couldn’t find the words to describe all the feels, as the youngsters would say. Ever since I finished reading that one, I’ve been impatiently awaiting its follow-up and here it is. This time, I’m determined to get some half-decent sentences on paper and try to convince you that, Black Summer is the second book in the Washington Poe series and I’ll say right now that it’s even better than its predecessor. I never reviewed The Puppet Show on my blog because the sheer awesomeness blew me away and I couldn’t find the words to describe all the feels, as the youngsters would say. Ever since I finished reading that one, I’ve been impatiently awaiting its follow-up and here it is. This time, I’m determined to get some half-decent sentences on paper and try to convince you that, yes, you DO absolutely need a new series in your life.Celebrated chef Jared Keaton is serving a life sentence for the murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. But Elizabeth’s body was never found. So when a young woman walks into a remote police station declaring she is Elizabeth, it looks like Jared will be released. Washington Poe suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the investigation. Determined to find out the truth, he enlists the help of the only person he trusts, the absolutely fabulous Tilly Bradshaw. The question they need to answer is a real conundrum. How can someone be both alive and dead at the same time?Fair warning. Black Summer kicks off with a rather gruesome event at a restaurant. It’s not a brutal murder scene, in case you wondered. It’s a dish that is served, which made me gag. I also made the horrible mistake of googling to see if it was a real thing. Stupid me. It’s things like that, that give me nightmares, people! Shudder.Anywho! From that opening scene, we go back in time, when two weeks prior Elizabeth reappears. And just like that, we’re off on a ridiculously tense and gripping journey with a manipulative psychopath at the helm. I couldn’t at all figure out what was going on. While I had some theories, I just couldn’t make them stick, which was rather apt because that was also Poe’s problem. He’s quite convinced he knows the score, he just can’t seem to find the proof he so desperately needs.A fascinating investigation to keep you hooked from start to finish but what really make this series stand out is the truly delightful relationship between Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw. Tilly herself is a joy but it’s her interactions with Poe and others that really make her shine and allow for some comic relief in between all the gore, murder and mayhem.I don’t know about being Team Poe or Team Tilly, the decision is too hard, but I am most definitely Team Craven! Black Summer is immensely compelling, a delicious page-turner and it’s undoubtedly left me wanting more. Make some room on your shelves for this one! You won’t regret it!
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