Release date: May 3, 2018
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?
You may remember me raving about this book a few months ago and I’m resharing my review to celebrate paperback publication day!
Last year Sharon Bolton had me raving about a book containing hot air balloons, nuns, human trafficking and peacocks, yes Dead Woman Walking took all of those elements and delivered a thriller the likes of which I’d never seen before. Until now. The Craftsman delves into witchcraft and clay effigies (think voodoo dolls) and has a supernatural undercurrent that normally wouldn’t work so well for me, but this? This was genius.
It’s starts in 1999 and Florence is attending the funeral of a killer she helped to catch back in 1969. It immediately jumps back to that time period and remains there until almost the end. Florence was exceptionally well developed, I loved seeing how she grew and matured between the late sixties and late nineties, she was such an interesting woman and the way she was mistreated as a female police officer at the start of her career was appalling but fascinating.
This was so immersive, the atmosphere was chilling and eerie and full of tension, both because of the missing teenagers and also because of the hostility that Florence experiences all because she’s a woman. The case was complex and kept me on my toes and the ending was outstanding, I never saw it coming! Bolton is at the top of her game, I can’t recommend this book and her work more, she’s a truly gifted author.
The Craftsman in three words: Intricate, Chilling and Dark.
Overall rating: 5/5