Admittedly, I had not heard of the prolific Sharon Bolton before blind buying The Craftsman.
Billed as a thriller with similarities to Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs, this is an ambitious piece of work which doesn’t quite work.
For its opening chapters, we work within the present day, as a seasoned, and a now successful female police officer is brought back to an old stomping ground after a number of years for the funeral of a notorious child killer.
Based in the North of the United Kingdom, everything is not what it seems in this small town though.
Where Bolton succeeds is in building tension and mystery doing these early chapters before we venture into the past and things go from believable to not-so-believable in the flash of a pan.
By the end of the middle act, any tension built up has been evaporated for a fairly ludicrous plot with too many and twists to keep up with.
Without warning, we are thrust back into the present day and given how jarringly different the previous two acts are from each other, it makes it quite hard to get back into.
Having said this, Bolton does create some compelling characters, which despite the tonal unbalance of the narrative, manages to keep our interest until the finale.
The Craftsman should be commended for taking chances, with some landing better than others.
The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton is available now in Paperback and Amazon Kindle.