I could not wait to get my mitts on a copy of The Craftsman. I love Sharon’s work so when Sam Eades at Trapeze chose to send me a copy I was absolutely over the full moon, so a big thank you goes to her.
‘Devoted father or merciless killer? His secrets are buried with him.
Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried… ALIVE.
Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.
Did she get it wrong all those years ago? Or is there something much darker at play?’
Firstly I have to comment on the Dear Reader letter from Sharon. I love these as sometimes they can add a depth to the fictional tale you are about to read. I see Sharon’s passion in a subject, and it gives me a snippet of what a time and place was once like – Pendle Forest, 1612. It makes me want to know more and it makes me appreciate Sharon as not only an author, but as a person, as in that letter she reveals a part of herself I didn’t know was there.
We begin with a funeral. A funeral of someone we don’t know much about – ‘loving husband, devoted father, merciless killer’. This is quite clearly a man who has done sometime wrong in the past, although people have turned up to his funeral, albeit there are no flowers in sight. Has this man been punished enough, and people are bidding their goodbyes? The question is should he have been punished at all? We are about to find out…
Sharon is the Queen of her trade. Crime writing is in her bones and it sure as heck shows. She creates an intoxicating, disturbing, wonder of a tale full of pure oomph. Sharon refers to herself as the slightly weird girl at the back of the class, but I tell you what, give me weird any day when you can plot and build novels such as this. She is pure class.
Sharon knows her stuff on how to set a scene through the use of the written word and realistic descriptions. It has you vividly imagining where each character is and what they are doing. It helps the book flow well and the storyline gain pace until you are completely lost in the pages.
I loved the set up of the whole ‘then’ and ‘now’. We gain an understanding of what crimes were committed in the first place, and we can see what Florence was like as a character back then, being younger, fresher and female. The latter being a big point as people didn’t take women officers seriously back then – how times have changed. We also see how they might have got it all so horribly wrong…
I could feel the passion, the research and the imagery that has gone into the workings of this novel. I could sense the hours poured into it and the hard work that has made it what it is. This is such fascinating reading from a witchcraft point of view, on top of being a mesmerising storyline. You have no clue where it is going to go.
It is out soon and you must add it to your reading pile.