06 December 2022

Dead Ground


By M. W. Craven


A 2022 Top Rated Read

Detective Sergeant Washington Poe is in court trying to prevent eviction from his beloved Cumbrian croft home when an urgent police matter requiring his full attention arises. A man lies dead in a backstreet brothel; his body brutally beaten. As Poe and civilian analyst Tilly Bradshaw delve deep into the victim's background, they discover more questions than answers — what is the link between the dead man and a bank robbery three years earlier where nothing was taken? And why was an ornament placed at the murder scene stolen by someone on the police team?

I absolutely love this series and can't recommend it highly enough. The plots are always multifaceted and so well-written. Poe and Tilly are fantastic characters who elevate the books to a whole new level. She's a socially awkward intellectual and he's a hardened detective; yet they're the perfect combination. Their banter is at times hilarious and you warm to them immediately.

Dead Ground, the fourth book in the series, was yet another thrilling read. With a twisty plot loaded with red herrings, I was gripped from beginning to end. I'm really looking forward to book five, The Botanist.


  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Constable
  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Author: M. W. Craven
  • Genre: Crime, Thriller


Detective Sergeant Washington Poe is in court, fighting eviction from his beloved and isolated croft, when he is summoned to a backstreet brothel in Carlisle where a man has been beaten to death with a baseball bat. Poe is confused - he hunts serial killers and this appears to be a straightforward murder-by-pimp - but his attendance was requested personally, by the kind of people who prefer to remain in the shadows.

As Poe and the socially awkward programmer Tilly Bradshaw delve deeper into the case, they are faced with seemingly unanswerable questions: despite being heavily vetted for a high-profile job, why does nothing in the victim's background check out? Why was a small ornament left at the murder scene - and why did someone on the investigation team steal it? And what is the connection to a flawlessly executed bank heist three years earlier, a heist where nothing was taken . . .

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