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The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

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April 2018 Book of the Month

Deliciously and thrillingly creepy, The Craftsman is an intensely gripping, superb read. Thirty years ago Larry Glassbrook confessed and was imprisoned for a series of child murders. Florence Lovelady was at the beginning of her career when she was involved in the case, now Larry is dead, however hauntingly similar events start to surface. The first chapter has huge impact, a mystifying and unexpected blast hit me full on, and then gently faded into the background. Set in two time frames, with thirty years between them, the story is brisk, and I loved the fact that you are expected to keep up. Sharon Bolton balances the knife edge between reality and extraordinary with a beautiful subtlety. This is just so, so readable, once in, I didn’t want to stop, and found myself reading into the small hours, be warned though, reading at night doubles the chill factor. As I raced through the final few chapters, I almost didn’t want the journey to end, yet the last few words sent the most delightful icy goosebumps snaking down my arms. I highly recommend stepping inside the pages, just give yourself up to the glory of the The Craftsman... this I have no doubt, will be one of my favourite reads of the year. ~ Liz Robinson

If you like Sharon Bolton you might also like to read books by Val McDermid, Tess Gerritsen and Peter James.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Alexandra Harper - Williams - 'Creepy, dark and completely addictive – You won’t want to put it down!'
  • Nikki McMath - 'This has got to be the book that I have most enjoyed this year so far – it was so gripping that I read it in a very short time as I could not put it down until the conclusion.'
  • Nikki Whitmore - 'When the past you thought you'd buried comes back to haunt you...'
  • Susan Wallace - 'An excellent book by Sharon Bolton with a plot woven between past and present and an unexpected and very creepy ending. You must read this book.'
  • Adrienne Kinsella - 'A bone chilling, eerie crime thriller with a dark thread running through it. Set in a town with a history of witchcraft, three missing teenagers are found buried alive.'
  • Carol Peace - 'This is Sharon Bolton at her best with storyline that feels as though you are on an out of control train and just can't get off.'
  • Paul Garland - 'Set in the 60s and 90s, the story follows Florence, a policewoman in a northern town where children are disappearing. A tense, atmospheric tale around the characters and their location.'
  • Jennifer Stoddart - 'As always with Ms Bolton's excellently crafted plots, I thought I had worked it out and guessed the killer - I was wrong every time!'
  • Nicola Kingswell - 'A fantastic fusion of a novel - part murder-mystery, part supernatural thriller with an intelligent and tenacious heroine.'
  • Nicola Smith - 'The Craftsman is a gripping, thrilling, intense and utterly engrossing read which hooked me from page one and didn't let me go until the very end.'
  • Alison Bisping - 'Superb, captivating, full of twists and turns, red herrings, but, who is the killer?'
  • Rachel - 'In her latest novel, Sharon Bolton mixes dark magic, witchcraft, missing children and serial killers across two timelines. Skilfully weaving past and present this is a story that lingers.'
  • Sheila Dale - 'Sharon Bolton goes from strength to strength. The Craftsman is an excellent read and grips from the start.'
  • Kate Thacker - 'Sharon Bolton has such a talent and this one is up there with the best of her books.'

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

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?


'Filled with intrigue and suspense. The Craftsman is spellbinding.' Clare Mackintosh

'Sharon Bolton's army of fans will be storming bookshops for this one.' Belinda Bauer

'Sharon Bolton is an absolute master and I've read, and loved, her other books, but this is a whole new level. This is the work of a writer at the absolute top of her game. The Craftsman is an original, dark, and twisted tale and the words just sparkle on the page.' Niki Mackay

'A masterclass in the craft of writing. Fabulous, utterly unique storyline, that will effortlessly stand out in the crowd of thrillers. Also, it'll give you the creeps, and I don't say that lightly.' Helen Fields

'Utterly terrifying and gripping.' Sabine Durrant, author of TAKE ME IN

'I dare you to read it after dark. The Craftsman is a blood-chilling thriller that will cast a spell on you.' Mark Edwards, No.1 Kindle bestseller

'Grisly and compelling. I was so pleased to hear it's the start of a new series as it's top notch.' Sarah Hilary

'Sharon is a master of her craft. The Craftsman is an absolutely terrific crime novel that takes your darkest fear and makes it reality.' Elly Griffiths

'The Craftsman is a brilliant blend of rich crime thriller with a hint of the gothic. Dark, disturbing and with women who totally rock, with the Craftsman Sharon Bolton has proven herself to be a master Craftsman herself. Buy it. Read it. Tell your friends. Then sleep with the light on.' Sarah Pinborough

'Darkly gothic and brilliantly original, THE CRAFTSMAN will have you spellbound.' JP Delaney

'I was obsessed with The Craftsman, reading it every snatched moment I could. Pitch perfect creepiness, air punching female empowerment and sinister mysteries kept me hooked to the very last page.' Holly Seddon

'Sharon Bolton raises the bar with each new book. The Craftsman goes to some very dark places, and will have readers looking nervously over their shoulders with every page they turn.' Mick Herron

'Just finished The Craftsman and it is Sharon Bolton at her absolute finest. Beautifully dark and disturbing, I won't sleep well tonight.' Jenny Blackhurst

'The Craftsman is one of those rare books that hooked me on page one, and didn't let go until the final sentence. Engaging, compulsive reading. Sharon Bolton at her best.' Rachel Abbott

About the Author

Sharon Bolton (previously S. J. Bolton) is the author of six critically acclaimed novels: this is her seventh novel and features the popular DC Lacey Flint and DI Mark Joesbury. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year, the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the CWA Dagger in the Library. Sharon lives near Oxford with her husband and young son.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd May 2018


Sharon Bolton

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Trapeze an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


432 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Books of the Month
Crime / Mystery

Crime & mystery
Thriller / suspense
Horror & ghost stories



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