The craftsman

S. J. Bolton

Book - 2018

"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. But no...w, 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" --

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Series
Craftsman ; 1
Subjects
Genres
Suspense fiction
Mystery fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
Published
New York : Minotaur Books 2018.
Edition
First U.S. edition
Language
English
Physical Description
418 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781250300034
1250300037
Main Author
S. J. Bolton (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* What is even more terrifying than being trapped in a coffin? Realizing that you are not in it alone. Award-winning master of suspense Bolton manages to transform a campfire ghost story into a riveting novel. Florence Lovelady, now the top female police official in the UK, returns to a small village in Lancashire for the funeral of a coffin-maker she convicted of three child murders 30 years ago. The victims were buried alive. She is faced with new evidence that suggests the prospect of a copycat killer on the loose, or the sickening possibility that she got the wrong man. Bolton is known for folding in elements of the supernatural, and "uncanny" clearly defines this work. Witches and zombies abound, and it is left to the reader to decide if these characters are simply delusional or that this stuff is for real. (There is an added layer of real-life revulsion at the dismissive, if not downright abusive and misogynistic, treatment accorded Florence by her fellow officers back in the 1960s.) Each part of the book bears a Shakespearean quote as its epigraph, but lyrics from "You Do Something to Me" might have worked just as well: "Do do that voodoo that you do so well." Here's hoping for a series with more of Florence, and, please, the witches. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Many of Bolton's (Dead Woman Walking) previous books have alluded to the dark folklore of the author's native northern England, but it's front and center in this latest stand-alone novel, which was inspired by the 1612 trials of the Pendle witches, among the most famous in English history. In 1999, Florence Lovelady is attending the burial of notorious child murderer Larry Glassbrook—solving those crimes made her career three decades earlier—when she finds a clay effigy like the ones discovered with Glassbrook's victims, and it's definitely not 30 years old. The main story line, set in 1969, follows the original investigation as Lovelady copes with misogyny on the job and enlists the help of a local coven of witches to find the murderer, despite being suspicious of their power. There are rumors of another, secret coven though, one with much darker intent. Back in 1999, Lovelady is grappling with the implications of the new effigy when her own son goes missing and the stakes increase dramatically. VERDICT Recommend to fans of the author's previous work or other British female sleuths. Readers who were delighted by the big twist at the end of Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes will similarly enjoy the final few pages here. [See Prepub Alert, 4/23/18.]—Stephanie Klose, Library Journal Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In 1969, WPC Florence Lovelady, the heroine of this riveting thriller from Mary Higgins Clark Award–winner Bolton (Dead Woman Walking), is assigned to Sabden, England, where a killer is burying teenagers alive. She plays a key role in putting mortician Larry Glassbrook behind bars for the crimes. Florence remains in contact with Glassbrook, who drops a cryptic hint that he knows more about the murders than he has let on: "Tell it to the bees." In 1999, he dies in prison. Florence, who has risen to the rank of assistant commissioner, returns to Sabden for his funeral. Later, under a beehive in the yard of his old house, she finds a clay effigy of a bound female figure that she realizes casts doubt on the original investigation's results. Smart, competent Florence must contend with the disdain of her male colleagues as she doggedly strives to uncover the truth, regardless of the personal or political cost. Elements of witchcraft and the occult take the tale down a dark road toward an ending that's not wholly convincing. Still, readers will race to get there. Agent: Anne-Marie Doulton, Ampersand Agency (U.K.). (Oct.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When eerily familiar child abductions and murders start recurring in a small Lancashire village, a local cop struggles to figure out if she sent the wrong person to jail decades earlier or if a copycat killer is responsible.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"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. 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" --

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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.