📖The Curator by M. W. Craven

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again . . .

So, I actually found this book very hard to get into which confused me as I love the series. The book is just under 400pg and while that can sometimes feel like nothing, as I struggled to get into it, it did feel meaty.

I did eventually get into it about 1/3 of the way through and I was able to connect the way I wanted to. I read this on my week off over a couple of days and in-between napes and various activities.

Much of what I’d like to talk about concerning the plot will have to be left out as it would ruin it for other readers. The plot does call out real events and then uses that as a plot starting point for this book.

This book was incredibly hard to predict. There were so many elements interweaving together that it made predictions and theories hard to put together. I was admittedly, shocked by the reveal.

More shocked than I had anticipated. I talk quite a bit about the magic of revealing a killer. How it is done well and how it is done badly. In this instance I thought the reveal was rather ingenious because it covered so many layers and really dived into a depth I wasn’t expecting.

I read the last 1/3 of the book post nap with a raging headache and I think the pain of my head raging gave me the needed adrenaline I needed to launch the final dramatic scenes.

The book came out in 2020, so it only remained on my tbr shelf for 2 years!! It is the 3rd book in the Washington/Bradshaw series. Set in Cumbria and involving NCA and SCAS agencies. I am familiar with some parts of Cumbria, and I always get a kick out of reading books in familiar settings and locations.

The dynamics of the characters changes in this book. We meet the new Detective Superintendent – Jo Nightingale. It’s always interesting putting a new character in with established ones. You never know which way the cookie will crumble.

I think Nightingale actually fit in better with the characters than Ian Gamble the previous DSI. There was magic in the character choices.

In this book Poe, I think, is feeling more his age while Tilly is forever trying to get him to eat more fruit and veg. I think also that Tilly has grown more, she seemed stronger, more bold. She is growing, slowly but surely, and she is growing as a characters. I’m enjoying the progressing development.

My star rating isn’t the full five I would like to give but that is purely because of the difficulty I had getting into the read.

I give this book: ✨✨✨✨

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