Publication Date: April 5th 2018 from Trapeze
Source: Review Copy
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?
This may be the best book Ms Bolton has written to date. It is CERTAINLY the creepiest keep you up all night subtly scary novel I have read in a long time.
Set in the 70’s and later on the cusp of the new millennium, the story follows Florence, a policewoman in a small northern town where children are disappearing. Their fate becomes intertwined with her fate and Sharon Bolton weaves a tense and deeply atmospheric tale around her characters and her location.
I don’t think that last line will stop haunting me for a while.
Absolutely spot on in every single way, the sense of time is perfect, Florence as a character is intriguing and definitely divisive enough to keep you engaged all the way – during those moment’s you are not hiding in a cupboard that is – and there are a few of those…
The storytelling has an urban legend vibe of the type parents tell their children- don’t be naughty or The Craftsman will get you – but done with beautifully exquisite descriptive prose that just gets right under your skin and settles there, leaving you randomly nervous when night starts to fall. The tense mystery elements are cleverly done – was the right killer caught or is The Craftsman still out there – as you go between past and “present” nothing is predictable and in the underneath of it all lies that prickling sense of fear ingrained in us all.
I loved it. The Craftsman had me waking up at all hours for nights after I’d finished it, sure there was something waiting there in the dark. The ending, as I said, was elegantly done for maximum effect, as if the rest of it wasn’t enough and these are the kind of reads I live for.
Utterly gripping, eerie and sublime, The Craftsman is simply superb. He WILL come for you….