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 . . .
This is such a great series and Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are back again as the wonderful complimentary duo in the author’s third book. The start of the novel gave me an immediate jolt with a crime that was happening before my own eyes, giving me an utter feeling of powerlessness. But what is it exactly that is being performed? In the next chapters there are different sets of the same body parts found at different places accompanied with a cryptic message (ah I think you’ll get the gist now) and it gets even more mysterious when it turns out these belong to more than one person and also, the colorful pathologist Estelle Doyle finds them to be extracted with different tools and post as well as ante-mortem. Intrigued yet?
If you think the previous novel (Black Summer) was baffling (it had an opening chapter that stays fresh in my mind btw) then you’ll be happy to hear The Curator is just as brain spindling this time with absolutely no discernable pattern to connect the crimes in the current investigation. And yet, there is, of course. It was a thrill to follow Poe, Bradshaw and their boss Flynn and see them take the meandering path towards The Curator.
I wish I could talk to you about all the new, nifty things I learned about in this book that can give away someone’s involvement in a case but sadly, I can’t. I’ll give you one thing though, I’ll tell you the bottom line of it all… it’s actually thanks to Edgar (Poe’s dog) that the case is cracked open, you’ll see when you read it, it made me smile that he was the unintentional instigator. It’s all in the details and Poe is always paying attention to the details, I love him for it!
All the books in the series have plotlines that you can sink your teeth in and that pose such great mysteries. They let you forget about the world completely. They take you to places and cover subjects you never imagined reading about and, ah before I forget, I even managed to finally have an answer to the eternal Chicken or the Egg conundrum. The question was answered in two seconds flat by the ever so brilliant Tilly of course.
Overall I can say that the whole of the series is wonderfully intoxicating, I love the complexity of the cases and the plot is always clever and air-tight. I can’t believe we have to wait another year for the next novel but it’ll be well worth the wait I’m sure.
Why didn’t I give 5 stars then you ask? I have no idea, I might as well. I’m rounding it up anyway on all platforms that don’t allow half points. Truthfully, I don’t think anything can top my appreciation for the previous novel’s promise of someone being dead AND alive. I also had an inkling about The Curator believe it or not (I had two people in mind) so I wasn’t entirely surprised. I was astonished however by how it all ended, I certainly didn’t see that coming!
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.