To say that Black Summer hooked me is an understatement. For four days straight, I made sure that my kindle was in constant reach, so I could squeeze in another chapter whenever I had a spare minute (and more often than not, when I should have been doing something else).
It’s hard to talk about the plot without revealing spoilers as M.W. Craven’s clever story twists and turns like stormy Cumbrian lane, but at its heart is an impossible crime that – for all the technology available to Special Crimes Unit sergeant Washington Poe thanks to his socially unaware sidekick Tilly – is solved by good old-fashioned Sherlockian detective work.
Fiendishly ingenious, the investigation is brought to life by a superb cast, including a villain worthy of Fleming and my new favourite character, the brilliant and eccentric Estelle Doyle, a pathologist who chooses her nail varnish by painting the toe nails of corpses. Along the way, we are treated to atmospheric descriptions, fine food and even some fascinating tidbits of trivia that I guarantee you’ll be telling your mates in the pub (but hopefully not a drinking establishment as seedy as the wonderfully drawn Dog as visited by Poe halfway through the book.)
While maybe not as dark as its predecessor, the second Washington Poe mystery is eminently binge-worthy.
Now, how long have I got to wait for the next?