#allthebookreviews – The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

Catching up on some more ATBR titles from earlier this year 🙂

Thanks to Minotaur Books for the free copies in exchange for our honest reviews.

THE CRAFTSMAN – Sharon Bolton (out now!)

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Chandra’s Thoughts: 4/5 stars

Bad ass female protagonist, check! Creepy, witchy feels, check! Kids being buried alive, check check!

This is my second Sharon Bolton and so far I’ve loved both books I’ve read by her!  She manages to bring the creep factor up with subjects of witchcraft and being buried alive. Oh good lord, I couldn’t even imagine – my ass is getting cremated and hopefully I won’t be alive when that happens!

Florence is a trying her best to do her job as well as she can, but being the only female in a man’s profession and also the newbie to the team, well.. things aren’t really looking good for her.  How do you explain that you lived in the house with the person convicted of these crimes and never even suspected?

We are told within the first chapter who the killer is.  I never mind this as it’s the story of how we get to this point that makes it exciting in my reads.  Making her past and the story of how it all came out the creamy, bloody filling between the present day environment was genius and I really enjoyed the not going back and forth but getting a more full feel and staying within a certain timeline.

Good lord these kids.  I feel bad for the ones that disappeared and went through what they did – boy did Bolton gave us a detailed account of one of them that sent shivers through my spine.  But these other kids – what is it with small towns?!?!

A well crafted novel bringing us the small town creepy fill laden with witchcraft and secrets.

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

Just in time for Halloween, we get a story of witchcraft, serial murder that involved burring children alive, and now a copycat killer. Last year I read DEAD WOMAN WALKING and loved it, so I was anxious to see what Bolton had in store for us this time. Holy crap, this one was incredible! The perfect amount of eerie, creepy, and completely engrossing. Despite this being a larger book for the thriller genre, I flew through this in two sittings.

The book begins with a funeral. Convicted serial killer Larry Glassbrook, who spent 30 years in prison for his crimes, is being laid to rest. To say the community hasn’t forgotten the horrors he committed would be an understatement. Florence Lovelady, who was responsible for convicting and locking up Glassbrook, returns to the small town. History soon begins to repeat itself when children go missing. Is this simply the work of a copycat killer? Or did Lovelady lock up the wrong man 30 years ago?

This went back and forth between 1999 and 1969. I love this approach to these types of thrillers. We get gaps filled in as we go and Bolton does a fantastic job showing us the parallels between the investigations. There is no doubt that Bolton knows how to weave an intricate, yet easy to follow, thriller. The characters were well-developed and she set the scene perfectly without rushing it or drawing it out. The pacing is fast and consistent throughout the book and I enjoyed the witchcraft element. It wasn’t overwhelming and it wasn’t overdone, just enough to add to the atmosphere of the story.

Overall, I would have to agree with many other readers out there, this is one of my top reads for the year so far! If you’re a fan of Bolton already, then what are you waiting for? If you’re looking for the perfect fall thriller, then this should be at the top of your TBR.

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