Friday 4 June 2021

The Curator (Washington Poe #3) - M.W. Craven

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 . . .

What did I think?

This book is AMAZING!  This series somehow keeps getting better and better, despite each book being absolutely brilliant in its own right.  I may be a bit late reading this one but there is method to my madness; you know the Poe and Bradshaw hangover you end up with when you finish the book because you just want more of them?  Well, I have timed it perfectly to go straight on to book 4 so that's my book hangover averted.

The Curator is simply brilliant from start to finish.  The trio of Washington Poe, Tilly Bradshaw and DI Stephanie Flynn is literary gold; they are fiercely loyal and would fight to the death for each other.  Although you can definitely read The Curator as a standalone, it's so much more rewarding when you have followed the characters through the previous books.  Tilly remains one of my favourite literary characters of all time; I just love how literal and honest she is and it makes me laugh every time she addresses someone by their full name, even people she knows well.

The plot is razor-sharp, completely awe inspiring and incredibly clever; I felt like I should have stood up and given M.W. Craven a round of applause at the end.  Take a bow, Mr. Craven!  There is no other crime series quite like this one and it's no wonder that readers (me included) get so excited when a new Washington Poe book is released.  The writing is gripping, vivid and as no-nonsense as Poe but it also has a sprinkling of dry humour despite the often gruesome subject matter.  Even the author's note and acknowledgements have Mike Craven's wonderfully dry humour woven through them, as I found out to my delight when I greedily devoured every single word of The Curator

The Curator is SO gripping that I almost burnt my chips!  I was so engrossed in the book and didn't even want to put it down for a minute so we ended up with some very crispy chips for tea.  This is top-notch crime fiction and it's definitely one not to be missed.  So very highly recommended and an easy full-house of stars for this outstanding book.

I received a digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley but will also be imminently purchasing a paperback for my collection.  This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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