‘A serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria.
A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6‘
– The Curator
[ Book Description ]
It’s the end of the year 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?
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 . . .
[ My Review ]
‘It could begin now.
The other pawns were in position.
They just didn’t know it yet’
The Curator by M.W. Craven is Book 3 in the outstanding Washington Poe series, one that deserves all the awards and recognition it has already garnered and more. Published with Constable (Little, Brown Imprint) on June 4th, M.W. Craven has set a new bar with his trademark wit and his sophisticated and complex approach to crime fiction. I only very recently discovered that there are many future books in this series in various stages of completion and a possible TV adaptation on the cards which is all very exciting and wonderful news.
Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw have a perfectly in-tune partnership with various quirks in their personalities complimenting each other and making them a very compelling and convincing duo. Working for the National Crime Agency gives them a bit more leeway when uncovering crimes as they can work somewhat independently of the regular police force. Poe does not cope well with taking direction. He works off his own instinct with the wonderful quirky Tilly Bradshaw by his side. Tilly is an outsider with an uncanny ability to analyse and uncover online information that is beyond the capabilities of others. With Poe and Tilly together on a case, there is very little that can stop them. Until they face The Curator….
Again Mike Craven grabs his reader with an opening that is gruesome and stomach-churningly twisted.
‘The man walked around and held her left hand. He stroked it affectionately.
“I’ve had to wait for the anaesthetic to wear off so this is going to hurt, I’m afraid. Believe me when I say I wish I didn’t have to”‘
It’s Christmas time and a gruesome discovery is made. Body parts are left in three random locations in Cumbria with a message attached to each. Is it symbolic? Is it a serial killer at work? What does it mean? With no obvious identity available, Poe and Tilly are brought onto the case and they soon discover that they are up against a most devious individual.
“If you think you know what’s happening, you’re where he wants you to be”
Three victims mutilated but why? Brutally tortured but why? As the duo gather information, their discoveries lead them to a suspect but this person is not as expected. Gathering any trace of evidence in whatever means available to them leads them down some treacherous paths but fear does not impede Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw. They want answers and literally nothing will stand in their way.
The Curator takes the reader into the depths and depravity of M.W. Craven’s mind. This is a book that grabs the undivided attention with an overshadowing darkness permeating the pages. I have no idea how such a story can still have elements of humour injected throughout but these moments are necessary to rescue the reader from the visual that is clearly depicted.
Poe and Tilly are a seriously dynamic combination. Their ability to be one step ahead of everyone else is uncanny yet believable. Their view of the world is different to the rest of us allowing them to go to places where the majority of us would just be incapable of processing.
The Curator is another disconcerting, heart-in-mouth, gripping and disturbing read from the master of this genre, M.W. Craven. The writing is quite simply superb immersing the reader in a hair-raising story that will discombobulate (love that word!) and disgust, shock and disturb, totally capturing the undivided attention of the reader.
‘It was worse than anything Poe had dared fear’
Compelling. Addictive. Furious. 5-Star Fabulous….
[ Bio ]
M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .
His first novel featuring Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw, The Puppet Show, was published by Constable to huge acclaim and has since won the CWA Gold Dagger Award and been shortlisted for the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Award: Best Crime Novel, the Goldsboro Glass Bell Award and the Dead Good Readers Award.
M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.