Published by Constable on January 9, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mysteries, Mystery, Police Procedurals
Buy on Amazon UK
Shortlisted for the Crime Writer’s Association 2013 Debut Dagger
Detective Inspector Avison Fluke is a man on the edge. He has committed a crime to get back to work, concealed a debilitating illness, and is about to be made homeless. Just as he thinks things can’t get any worse, the body of a young woman is found buried on a wet, Cumbrian building site. Shot once in the back of the head, execution style, it is a cold, calculated murder. When the post-mortem reveals she has gone to significant expense in disguising her appearance, and the only clue to her identity is a strange series of numbers, Fluke knows this is no ordinary murder. With the help of a psychotic ex-Para, a gangland leader, and a woman more interested in maggots than people, Fluke must find out who she was and why she was murdered before he can even think about finding her killer. As the body count rises and his investigation takes him from poverty stricken estates to picture perfect Lake District villages, he realizes his troubles are only just beginning. Because someone, somewhere has a plan and if Fluke can’t figure out what’s happening, he may just be next.
I first fell in love with Mikes books when I read The Puppet Show which was a game-changer and probably my favourite book ever to be honest.
This book came out years before but his now publisher took them down to re-edit and put new covers in place. And as he debuts novel, you would have absolutely no idea.
This was such an epic and downright impressive start to a series and I fell in love from page one.
Detective Inspector Avison Fluke is an absorbing and engaging character, I love how much depth he has, and how much the author really gets us down to the nitty and gritty and lets us know everything about him. I especially like that he has a different kinda level to him, because of his suffering and surviving a hard illness. But because of the treatment, it leaves him with debilitating side effects and illnesses. Although his illness doesn’t revel straightway which adds a little more mystery.
Matt Towler is an outstanding funny character. He is strong, fierce and hilarious.
M.W.Craven has a fantastic gift in creating such beautiful crafted characters with so much effortless depth and interest to them.
He commits a crime and hides his illness to continue to work as a detective.
The team are confronted with a complex and complicated murder of young women after a note was left at the building site. They have to find who the victim is, before they can move on with their investigation but this proves difficult. They are given so many minds boggling confusing clues through this investigation that not only plights the interest of us readers but also shocks Avison and his team.
I absolutely loved getting down and dirty into the why, how and what. M.W. Craven cleverly did so creatively and beyond fascinating without boring us.
His world-building of Cumbria is absolutely fucking outstanding whereby you can see, hear and smell right where he is describing. He makes you have such an interest in not only the characters and investigation but also the place where it is set. But also shows us an alternative Cumbria instead of the drop-dead gorgeous Lake District as we have heard of.
If you love an epic police procedure, getting into nitty and gritty of crime investigation and love learning about them then this is the book for you. This isn’t just any old book, but it has that morbid fascination added to it we all mostly love about true crime both in book form and documentaries.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Reading 2020