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The Puppet Show

Washington Poe, Book 1
Narrated by: John Banks
Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (71 ratings)
Regular price: £19.99
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Summary

Welcome to The Puppet Show....

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.

He is reluctantly partnered with brilliant but socially awkward civilian analyst Tilly Bradshaw, and 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....

©2018 M. W. Craven (P)2018 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"Dark, sharp and compelling." (Peter James)

"A powerful thriller from an explosive new talent. Tightly plotted, and not for the faint hearted!" (David Mark) 

"A thrilling curtain raiser for what looks set to be a great new series" (Mick Herron)  

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stunning new series

The location of Cumbria is unusual and perfectly brought to life. Whilst Washington Poe is the hero, I found Tilly to be equally as compelling.
Good narration - kept my interest and look forward to the next in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • james
  • limerick, Ireland
  • 01-08-18

must read, great plot and twists

loved it,great narrator too can t wait to read his next book,hopefully a follow up

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Story...

Enthralling and brilliantly narrated. A must listen for all crime/mystery lovers. Well written and easy to follow with a little concentration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Superb

I’ve ploughed my way through some great crime novels in my time - print and audio. This is a real peach. Wonderful plotting and characters, great story and (for once) a narrator you hardly know is there. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a great listen

excellent story with many twists brilliantly narrated with depth and feeling, can't wait for the next instalment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Poe and Tilly

I have read many first novels and it’s not very often that I find myself searching for the next in the series when I’m still 100 pages from the end. I love this book for multiple reasons but, most of all, the relationship between Tilly and Poe (I am sorry if I’ve spelt any of their names wrong but I listened to the audio version - which was brilliantly read). The first thing I will do after leaving this review is pre-order book 2. Thank you very much MW Craven!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Thrilling

I absolutely loved this book. The pacing is perfect and Craven is a brilliant narrator. If you like crime thrillers you’ll love this

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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What a find!

Brilliantly written, superbly narrated, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the characters had an impact on me, I loved the friendship between Tilly and Washington, laughing out loud on more than one occasion because Tilly's innocence was so sweet.

The story was excellent, and kept me guessing. I feel sad having to wait for the next book in the series!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant book, right up to the last minute

I get through a lot of audiobooks and this is by far the best I’ve listened to in the last 12 months. Absolutely brilliant. Love the characters of Poe and Bradshaw- a refreshing combination. Can’t wait for the next book in the series.

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Clever

Loved it, another cracking read. Can't wait for the next one. Thanks Mike, it's brilliant.

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  • Jordan Edwards
  • 15-06-18

Absolutely Amazing. Twists and Turns!

This was amazing. Tons of twists and turns keeping me off balance throughout the story.
It also helped that the Narrator's voice for Washington Poe sounds like Sean Bean!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 26-09-18

Interesting story with

An interesting tale with an evolving story line and endearing characters. Would consider another one from this author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dawn
  • 13-08-18

Can't Wait for the Next Installment!

Looking for new authors to try out and stumbled on this story. Loved it! Great characters, intriguing story, good narration. I immediately looked for another by the same author but this seems to be his/her first available. Looking forward to the next installment in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MasterTorian
  • 12-02-19

Fascinating premise

Let's talk about the narrator first. He was quite good, once I got used to his voices. I particularly liked his voice for Poe, who sounded almost exactly like Sean Bean. However, at times his inflections seemed a little off and his tempo was steady throughout, rather than adjusting faster or slower based on what's happening in the story.

I would have liked to have heard some more variation, but apart from that his narration was very good.

Now for the story.
I've always been fascinated by serial killer stories, although I tend to gravitate more toward true crime books than fictional novels.

And I have a reason for that. In true crime, the focus is usually at least 50% on the killer (sometimes much more than that), and frankly that's the part that fascinates me.

My favorite serial killer fiction are the Hannibal novels and psycho.

This one caused the same struggle I had with James Patterson's Alex Cross novels: the killer is basically incidental while we focus 90% (or more) on the detective.

This one has a huge advantage over Alex Cross in that regard, however: Washington Poe is actually interesting!

However, the most fascinating character in this book (and the one with the widest arc) is Tilly. She's such an awesome character, and once she gets pulled out of her comfort zone she grows, so much, into this amazing character who understands so much and yet so little at the same time.

I think a part of me fell in love with her, just a little bit.

Now, in keeping with my "no spoiler" policy, because there are so many twists and so many reveals, there's not a lot more I can say about the story.

Except for this.

My introduction to this book led me to expect some MASSIVE twists and turns. However, I found nothing shocking here. There were one or two twists I didn't quite see coming, but some were perfectly natural and others quite predictable.

That said, however, once the story finally gets going it is quite a ride and a lot of fun.

And if you're lucky enough not to see the ending coming, it's going to blow you away.

But, as I alluded to at the start, I would have liked to see more about the killer. The final explanations just seemed a little rushed and not wholly satisfying.

In closing, this is a fun (if gruesome) mystery with some genuine suspense and a few really awesome emotional moments. And while there are a few tangents that detract from that just a bit, they aren't weighty enough to overpower the story or the characters.

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  • Larry R.
  • 28-01-19

just ok

I heard good things about it, but it's not good for someone who isn't from the UK. Much of the story depends on the setting, which are foreign to me.