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 anaesthetised, 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….


I read the first two books in the Washington Poe and Tilly series last year, and absolutely loved them, so have been anxiously waiting for book three. If you haven’t read the first two books, I would very very highly recommend, get to know Poe and Tilly from the start. You won’t regret it if this is the genre you love. Poe and Tilly have very fast become my favourite characters.

Mr Craven, I really do have to salute you, as this was the best in the series so far. Full of the usual gripping drama, it’s Christmas, when two fingers are found in three different locations, two in the font of a church, two in a secret Santa hidden in a mug wrapped up, and the final two found in Fiskins Food hall, mixed on the meat counter nestled between the sausage rolls and black pudding, the other thing linking each set of fingers is #BSC6, which the team have no idea what it means, the fingers have all been removed using different tools, its only a short time later that a body is found, that of William Teasdale, despite this and managing to find out who the other fingers belonged to, it’s up to Poe and Tilly to work out what the three people had in common if anything, and where could the bodies be? Who has done this? Just as they think they have caught the person responsible, Poe gets a call from an FBI agent, who fills him in on a few things that she believes are linked to his case. However, she isn’t having a lot of joy herself, and has been sent away from her usual role. So who is The Curator? who is paying him? And what is the endgame. As Poe and Tilly desperately try and work this out, someone else is in grave danger, and it could be someone close to home. This book is gripping from start to finish with some twists and turns that will keep you guessing. The last 20% my heart was pounding, as I read into the early hours of the morning unable to put the book down until it was finished.

The relationship between Poe and Tilly just gets better, with them bouncing off each other, each fiercely protective of the other. Some absolutely brilliant one liners from each character had me chuckling in the middle of the night. If Tilly feels that Poe is in danger she is there like a shot and vice versa. Poe breaks a full rules in here but hey, he really does need to at times. The character Estelle Doyle as pathologist also adds some more humour, as she manages to make Poe blush, and squirm, with some actions and comments. Although she is the best pathologist there is, and is very good at what she does. Set in Cumbria and the surrounding area, not only using the NCA but also the Cumbrian police in the investigation. With DI Stephanie Flynn as Pope’s immediate boss, Superintendent Jo Nightingale overseeing the whole operation

I now can’t wait for book four in the series, only a year to wait! This is an absolute ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read, without a doubt, great characters, great plot, humour, engrossing, gripping, crime what more could anyone who loves this genre want.

I would like to thank #netgalley and #LittleBrown for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.

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