Thank you to Minotaur Books for sending me a free copy of The Craftsman in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis from Amazon:
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.
The Craftsman is about as close to perfect as a thriller can get. Bolton has created a harmonious balance in this novel between the well developed characters, steadily building plot, truth and lore, suspense and an ending that brings everything full circle.
Florence ‘Flossie’ Lovelady is such a likeable female lead and I was very please that the whole book is told from her point of view and only alternates between past and present. The majority of the book takes place in the past, the 1960’s to be exact, and there was a lot of angst towards Flossie, a female police officer doing a better job than ‘the boys’. As much as their pig-headedness made me angry, the prejudice added in a lot of realness and believability to the story and it’s historical accuracy.
The witchcraft found within these pages was only subtly hinted at, and to be honest, I think that was for the best. Just the little mentions of it here and there helped create an unstable atmosphere, which was very chilling. If the witchcraft had been full fledged and over the top, I think I would have found it to add too much cheesiness to the novel and taken away from the mystery aspect.
I really loved the ending, I thought it tied things up very nicely. I was hesitant going into this book because I have read a few others by Bolton that I wasn’t crazy about but this one I found to be very enjoyable! It definitely makes a great Halloween read, but could still be enjoyed anytime, I rate it 5 out of 5 stars!