Book Reviews

Lazy Saturday Review: #BlackSummer by M.W. Craven @MWCravenUK @LittleBrownUK @DavidHHeadley


From LipsyyI started doing ‘lazy Saturday reviews’ as a way of getting reviews done in just 30 mins, and they proved to be quite popular. They are quick and snappy, and concentrate less on the plot (or content) and writing and more on my overall feelings about said book. They generally end up being a bit of a rant. My fave!

Ps: My lazy reviews are more often good ones than rants, haha!

black summer

Title: Black Summer
Author: M.C. Craven
Release date: 2019
Format: paperback
Number of pages: 388

Welcome to the other side of the mirror . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

Cynical and ruthless, he has always teetered on the edge. Has Poe finally crossed that line and embraced his darkness?


I finished Black Summer in a few hours, it was absolutely addictive. I see books come and go so fast on social media, and some are good, others should be forgotten quickly, but I often look for a kind of originality. Well, M.W. Craven satisfied this need! I couldn’t believe what I was reading! What a blow to the mind! A good kind of blow!

The first chapter had me wanting to become a vegetarian! Me!? I love meat! This novel is like a unique dish. The writing is outstanding, as precise as a cooking recipe. It caught my breath. Every ingredient was added at the right moment for the biggest impact. The investigation is tight like a nice lamb on a Sunday, and roasts throughout the book, I couldn’t stop reading. I was craving more. I was stuffing my face with the darkness served to me on a golden plate.

The characters? Why didn’t I meet Poe and Tilly sooner? They are fascinating! Complicated enough to make me want to get to know them, but human enough so I could relate to them instead of watching from afar.

in this book, a ghost from the past resurfaces. Except the ghost is made of flesh and bones. The young woman whose father is serving a sentence for her murder is breathing! Where was she? How is it posssible? Poe was sure of himself when he testified against the demoniac chef, accusing him of getting rid of his own daughter. Oh, I love it when the impossible happens! Who and what to trust? Where to start? With believable protagonists, kind or not, and the clock ticking to get to the bottom of the case, it was hard not to feel the pressure, and the amazing thrill of a brilliantly executed mystery.

That ending. I never figured it out. I let out a heavy and loud gasp when I reached the conclusion! I love it when novels have this effect. Everything made sense, even if it was cruel and unfair, and totally wrong! I need more now, so I will be getting The Puppet Show very soon.

Black Summer is a fabulous crime novel. My favourite kind!

You can get your copy by clicking on the cover below!

about the author.png

M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

11 thoughts on “Lazy Saturday Review: #BlackSummer by M.W. Craven @MWCravenUK @LittleBrownUK @DavidHHeadley”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.