The Buried is the sequel to The Craftsman by thriller author Sharon Bolton. Or is it? Yes, The Buried is a sequel but it is also a prequel to the same book. Both books have a dual timeline of 1969 and 1999, switching back and forth between the two. Both stories are intertwined and The Buried fills in missing pieces and continues the story. If that sounds confusing, it really isn’t, although I would say that you definitely have to read The Craftsman first and if you already have, re-read it before reading The Buried (as I did) to refresh your memory of the story – you certainly won’t be disappointed.
The Craftsman followed WPC Lovelady in 1969 and her hunt for a serial killer who killed children by burying them alive. She eventually arrested her landlord and town undertaker Larry Glassbrook for their murders. But 30 years on and secrets remain.
The Buried starts in 1999 with the discovery of a very deadly secret and four skeletonised bodies of children in the grounds of Black Moss Manor. Whilst Larry is being laid to rest old crimes are being discovered and this time they need to be dealt with fully.
Florence Lovelady is back in the Lancashire town of Sabden, in the shadows on the infamous Pendle Hill (home of the Pendle witch trials in 1612) but will she be able to finally uncover the full horrific truth?
Overall, The Buried is an excellent sequel/prequel to The Craftsman. It expands on the original story adding in missing details, explaining secrets and adding in a new investigation and focuses more on the mysterious Craftsman and the Pendle witches.
Florence Lovelady is no longer WPC Lovelady, she has reached the highest ranks in the Metropolitan Police in London and is the highest ranking serving female police officer. When her old enemy and child killer dies in prison she returns to Sabden for his funeral with the words of Larry ringing in her ear that there is still something going on that still needs investigating. With a clear cover-up in progress and then her son abducted, Florence has come to the attention of The Craftsman once again and this time she has to do everything she can to stop them and will require the help of her friends and fellow witches to defeat an evil that has never gone away.
The Buried is an excellent story, bringing in the legend of the Pendle witches and weaving them into the tale. Whilst the story has plenty of practicing witches and seeing the dead the story is about a group of powerful people that have been committing all too human heinous crimes in the town for over 30 years.
The story has a dual timeline, going back to the events of 1969 and the new events of 1999. You do really have to have read The Craftsman to understand what is occurring as it goes back to the same timeline and same story. This new story is intertwined with the events of The Craftsman, with the two stories blending together very neatly and becoming one larger story.
With themes of murder, elements of child abuse, prejudices of the time (1969) around woman in the police force and attitudes in general towards woman, there is a lot going on but it is all woven together extremely well and makes for an excellent story and a very interesting well-written and exciting read.
The Buried is an exciting tension packed read that slowly unravels its secrets before coming to a conclusion that bulldozes along at pace. As a reader, you are always second-guessing who is doing what, who might be involved and for what purposes until all is revealed in a satisfying conclusion.
Sharon Bolton is an excellent author, and The Buried delivers a story of dark tension that is set in the present and the past and delivers the entire story with ease whilst never becoming confusing. A wonderful story of secrets, witchcraft and murder set in a small town in the shadow of Pendle Hill.
An excellent enjoyable and chillingly tension-packed read.
RRP: £16.99 (Hardback) / £8.99 (Paperback) / £4.99 (Kindle)