Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton  

The Craftsman - Sharon Bolton

I couldn’t have picked a better book for my second buddy read with Eva @ Novel Deelights. We both loved this book, and it contained so many discussion worthy points. Oh, and let me not forget to mention – The Craftsman gets all the stars, brilliant, just brilliant!


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?


I loved everything about this book! Let’s start at the beginning. I read an ARC copy of this novel, there was no title, it just began “Dear Reader” – I was gripped immediately, thinking it was Florence Lovelady addressing the reader, it was only when I got to the end, and saw Bolton’s name, I realised it was the author addressing the reader. I had, in fact, just read the Foreword, in which Bolton explained why she wrote this book. So, it’s accurate to say, I loved this book from the very first page!

I don’t want to recount the plot because you really have to experience this novel for yourself. It is incredibly atmospheric, eerie and gothic in the best and worst way. The best, because it’s such a good plot, extremely well told; and the worse way, it will unsettle the hell out of you! Some of the descriptive detail was just ghastly – once you’ve read this novel you will no longer view being buried alive as an irrational fear – it is a very rational fear, very rational, and one which Bolton has ingrained in me!

And I’m please to state, I now know the difference between a coffin and a casket – why does that matter you ask, it really doesn’t in the grand scheme of things, but I just find it a cool thing to know. Yeah, I’m morbid like that, and that’s why this plot was perfect – extremely dark in nature but so addictive. And good luck trying to predict the direct of this plot, not only does Bolton unexpectedly change its direction, but three quarters on the way through this novel I still couldn’t decide if Larry was a devoted father or a merciless killer, in truth, everyone was a suspect to me!

WPC Florence Lovelady was a brilliant character, I have to agree with my fellow reviewer, Annie @ The Misstery, her character had strong Jane Tennison vibes – a ‘newbie’ in the police force, somewhat naïve, but smart in her investigative skills; disliked by her male colleagues for being a woman in what they deemed a male field.

I loved the supernatural aspects of this novel, I always enjoy reading about witches because I find their history so interesting and Bolton incorporated it into her novel in a very real and believable way. There was no point during this entire read when my interest dipped, and the ending, well, let’s just say, the ending simply blew me away. I cannot begin to tell you how much joy I felt in my heart when I found out this book was the first in a trilogy!!! Immediately after finishing this book, I ordered a Hardback copy for my shelves, because I just need this book in my life in physical form! There’s only one thing left to say: go forth, and read The Craftsman, you won’t regret it!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon UK / Book Depository

*My thanks to the publisher (Orion Publishing Group) for granting me access to a digital copy of this title via Netgalley*

22 thoughts on “Book Review: The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton  

    1. When I read your review and saw you mention Tennison vibes, I got even more excited to read this one!
      (I still need to read Good Friday but it’s forever on loan at the library!)


  1. Aaaaagh need to read, need to read!! Glad you had such a brilliant buddy read with Eva and your review makes me so excited to read this! Are you a “lucky” buddy reader and everything you read with someone gets five stars? I ALWAYS want to buddy read with you in that case! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, well I can’t remember the last time I had a bad buddy read 😉 I’m currently buddying reading Six of Crows so if you see a five star review for that one, then yep, I have all the buddy reading luck! However, not so much in group readalongs, Six Four last month was awful but guess there needs to be balance, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

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