#BookReview: #TheCraftsman by Sharon Bolton @AuthorSJBolton @TrapezeBooks

The Craftsman

I am delighted to be sharing my review for “The Craftsman” from Sharon Bolton. Thanks to Netgalley and Trapeze Books for the ARC for review. The Craftsman will be published on the 3rd May and I seriously recommend that you get your hands on a copy ASAP!

Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:

August, 1999 
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.

June, 1969 
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.

August, 1999 
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?

My thoughts:

Would it be suffice for a one word review for the latest novel from one of my favourite authors? OMFG! There, one word, the one word uttered when I turned the very last page and read that very last line. That very last line which is probably the best last line of a book EVER!

This read has been a long time coming for me but it was well worth the wait! Sharon Bolton has nailed it (yes, I know it is an awful pun) with this sinister, atmospheric and dark tale of missing children and misogynistic attitudes in the 1960s.

The blurb gives you all the information you need to know about the plot, it gives you a large dose of witchcraft in the past and present, black magic and secrecy all wrapped up in the everyday sexism that existed in the 1960s. It is so difficult to think that this was only 40 odd years ago. It explores social attitudes towards women, especially women who dare to break out the mould dictated to them by the culture of the day.

Starting off in 1999 before taking you back 30 years to the time of the disappearance of the children, The Craftsman, marries the two time periods in a perfect union. The plot was so tightly woven that you couldn’t get a needle through it. I was on tenterhooks all the way through with so many twists and turns it was impossible to know who, or what to believe. Fabulous pacing and realistic with reference to the Pendle Witches and that whole notion of women who don’t conform being labelled as witches had me completely engrossed in the novel.

Florence Lovelady was a well-rounded and believable character, I got a real sense of who she was, her conflict with her own personal beliefs versus social norms and expectations of the time and her determination not to allow others to let her gender stand in her way. She was a strong, believable and likeable character who engaged me from the beginning.

The Craftsman reminded me of just how talented an author Sharon Bolton is, she has the ability to take the reader on a dark journey injected with a subtle darkness from the outset and drag them hurtling into a full-blown horror without making it over explicit and exaggerated. I really do get lost in her books when I read them. This one will have the cold fingers of fear crawling up your spine.

“The Craftsman” is available for purchase from:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About Sharon Bolton:

Sharon Bolton

Sharon Bolton (previously S. J. Bolton) is the critically acclaimed author of some of the most bone-chilling crime books ever written. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year and the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. In 2014 she won the CWA Dagger in the Library for her whole body of work. 

 

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