Review | The Puppet Show (Washington Poe #1) by M.W. Craven

This wasn’t about justice, Poe. It was never about justice.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: vengeance, suspensions, bullying, data analysts, burnt men and teamwork.

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District’s prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless.

When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of.

Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.

As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he’s ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive…

I stopped picking up detective thrillers a while ago because I started losing interest in them. I just don’t have the patience to pick up a super long series following the same detectives solving different cases. It’s just a matter of personal taste!

Now, with that being said, I saw this book and I was immediately intrigued by the title and the synopsis. At the time I didn’t know this was the first book in a series and I only found out about halfway through the book. Still, I read the entire thing and I enjoyed it to the point that I would continue reading this series.

Our main detective in this book is Washington Poe. He returned to work after being suspended for making a mistake during a previous investigation. He is now helping the team identify the “Immolation Man”, who kills his victims by burning them. He soon finds out that there is a connection between him and the killer. With the help of Tilly Bradshaw and Stephanie Flynn, Poe tries to unveil the mystery surrounding the “Immolation Man”!

There are many great things about this book, but what really stood out to me was the writing, the fast pace of the story, the crazy amount of surprises and twists, and of course, the characters! Poe is a great main character. I usually have a hard time connecting to the detectives in these kinds of books, but I had no trouble connecting to him as a character. He is full of wisdom, courage and strength. Another character I loved was Tilly, the data analyst!  She was fantastic and I was so happy Poe and her developed a true friendship. That was an incredible duo!

Just a heads up: if you’re going into this book for the title like I did, you are wasting your time. I was a little disappointed to find out the title has little to do with the content of the book. This story wasn’t what I was expecting, but I still liked it a lot in the end.

I’m impressed. For a detective thriller this was pretty good.

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