Back in March, I had the pleasure to read Sharon Bolton’s new novel, THE CRAFTSMAN. I found it creepy, dark, and engrossing so when I was invited to take part in the blog tour to celebrate the publication of the paperback, I was happy to join in and share again my review of this thrilling and unpredictable novel.
Publication: 18th October 2018 – Trapeze
Devoted father or merciless killer?
His secrets are buried with him.
Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.
Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.
Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?
THE CRAFTSMAN opens in 1999, in Sabden, in Lancashire, where Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady attends the funeral of Larry Glassbrook, a man accused of the murders of three teenagers thirty years before. Over the years she made regular visits to Larry while he was in prison and now she is there to close one of the most terrible cases of her life. But during her brief stay there she finds a clay effigy of herself, similar to the voodoo dolls left with Larry’s victims.
Then the novel goes back to 1969, when Flossie had just joined the Lancashire Police. Three teenagers had disappeared in the last weeks and while her colleagues think that it’s a case of runaway teenagers, Flossie is convinced that it’s more complicated than that and she challenges her colleagues to prove that she is right.
THE CRAFTSMAN is very creepy and very captivating. There is never a dull moment and the tension is always high. I loved the elements of folklore and witchcraft that fit perfectly with the gloomy setting and the grim and scary plot.
I found Flossie a very intriguing character. She is hard-working and very smart. She is good at her job and I loved how she stood up to her sexist and prejudiced colleagues who just want her to make tea or clean the bathrooms just because she is a woman.
Full of mystery, legends, and twists that will chill you to the bone, THE CRAFTSMAN is one of these sublime books that keep you up at night. It’s out now and I highly recommend you go and buy it.
Sharon (formerly S J) Bolton grew up in a cotton-mill town in Lancashire and had an eclectic early career in marketing and public relations. She gave it up in 2000 to become a mother and a writer.
Her first novel, Sacrifice, was voted Best New Read by Amazon.uk, whilst her second, Awakening, won the 2010 Mary Higgins Clark Award (part of the prestigious Edgars) in the US. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger, the Theakston’s Prize for Best Thriller, the International Thriller Writers’ Best First Novel award, the Prix Du Polar in France and the Martin Beck award in Sweden.