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I was so excited when this book arrived in the post. Even the malevolent cover alone gave me the shivers and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
The events move between 1969 and 1999 and tell the story of Florence Lovelady.
In 1969 Florence is a young WPC in a peculiar town in Lancashire where the occult and pagan beliefs seem commonplace. Three children have been reported missing. Lovelady is a talented officer with good instincts and a penchant for identifying patterns but is constantly belittled by the other officers and towns-people for being; a woman, educated and from out-of-town. When the body of one missing child is found and it is concluded she was buried alive, Florence has a race against time and against the seemingly scared but reluctant towns-people to find the killer before it happens again.
Thirty years later and Florence is attending the funeral of the killer she caught all those years ago. New evidence comes to light that the murderer Florence caught and put away may not have been the right man. Once again Florence is thrown into the sinister world of witchcraft whilst hunting for the true killer, who just happens to have her son in his clutches this time.
I loved this book and pretty much held my breath the whole time I was reading. It’s unlike anything I’ve read before and I couldn’t read it fast enough. The movement between times flows naturally and is easy to follow. Lovelace’s character is depicted beautifully, showing her confidence in the things she does professionally and her insecurities in personal aspects of her life. The story is incredibly fast paced and there was never a moment where I felt something was being drawn out too long. Throughout the book I was taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I spent the whole book terrified but often found myself in tears at the desperation of parents loosing a child and at the macabre description of a child’s last moments. Frustration kicked in everyytime Florence was put down or dismissed because she was an educated woman.
The Craftsman reads like a true crime book and does an excellent job of planting a little seed in your head that the occult may just be real and exists in a town in Lancashire. It’s a piece of haunting story-telling that will stay with you for days after reading.
I’m now left eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
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