Review: The Craftsman - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

Sharon Bolton returns with her creepiest standalone yet, following a young cop trying to trace the disappearances of a small town’s teenagers.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Grassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago in a small village in Lancashire. Like something out of a nightmare, the victims were buried alive. Florence was able to solve the mystery and get a confession out of Larry before more children were murdered., and he spent the rest of his life in prison.

But now, decades later, he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Is someone copying the original murders? Or did she get it wrong all those years ago? When her own son goes missing under similar circumstances, the case not only gets reopened… it gets personal.

In master of suspense Sharon Bolton’s latest thriller, readers will find a page-turner to confirm their deepest fears and the only protagonist who can face them.

Book Type:

Psychological Thriller

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The Craftsman
By Sharon Bolton

Review: The Craftsman

A female detective solves the case of three teenagers who were buried alive only to re-examine it thirty years later and realize the killer is still at large… especially when the past begins to repeat itself.

Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady returns to the small town of Lancshire, England, where thirty years prior three teenagers were buried alive. Despite relentless revilement by her male colleagues, Lovelady trudged forward and helped solve the grisly case. The culprit: local coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook who’s just died in prison.

Lovelady re-examines the case when she finds a clay effigy baring an uncanny resemblance to her—an effigy strikingly similar to the ones buried with the teenagers. Had she gotten it all wrong? Could she be next?

We flash back thirty years, as young WPC Lovelady struggles to gain respect amongst her colleagues. Constantly chided for her sex, university education and doggedness to figure out what happened to a missing teenager. We’re introduced to the town’s cast of characters, many with ties to the occult.

The novel’s past/present structure is brilliantly built, both wholly riveting and deeply unsettling. Tension ratchets when in the present, Florence’s son goes missing and a race against time ensues.

I absolutely loved everything about this nightmarish thriller. Florence Lovelady is outstanding—her sharp instincts, her tenacity despite sexism. The narrative itself is wonderfully atmospheric, chilling and propulsive… there was never a dull moment. Without spoiling what happens, there is a supernatural thread that I think is well handled and really added to the story’s gothic, spine-tingling feels.

THE CRAFTSMAN is a superb crime thriller and I sincerely hope Bolton gives us more of Florence Lovelady in the future.

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