M W Craven's picture

M W Craven

UK flag

aka Mike Craven

Although he was born in Cumbria, Mike Craven grew up in the North East before running away to join the army when he turned sixteen. After training as an armourer for two and a half years, he spent the next ten travelling the world having fun. In 1995 he left the army and completed a degree in social work, with specialisms in criminology, psychology and substance misuse. In 1999 he joined Cumbria Probation Service as a probation officer, working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later, he took the plunge and accepted redundancy to concentrate on writing. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals.

Between leaving the army and securing his first publishing deal, Mike found time to keep a pet crocodile, breed snakes, survive cancer and get married. He lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne, and his springer spaniel, Bracken.

Genres: Mystery
M W Craven recommends
Dead Man's Prayer (2016)
(DI Frank Farrell, book 1)
Jackie Baldwin
"British crime fiction has a rising star. DI Frank Farrell is flawed, layered and utterly compelling. The plot is intriguing, the supporting characters well-rounded, and the psychology of Catholicism is subtle and effective. A great read."
A Wanted Man (2017)
(Ben Braken, book 1)
Rob Parker
"One of the UK's finest thriller writers."
Lucifer Falls (2018)
(DI Charlie George, book 1)
Colin Falconer
"Dripping with authenticity. Packed full of characters you genuinely care about . . . An absolute triumph."
The Plotters (2018)
Un-su Kim
"In a terrifying, not unimaginable dystopian Seoul, guilds, plotters and assassins jostle for supremacy . . . Violent, clever and funny, I loved it!"
Blood for Blood (2019)
(Ziba Mackenzie, book 1)
Victoria Selman
"Ziba MacKenzie is tough, smart and funny—I loved her!"
Flowers Over the Inferno (2019)
(Teresa Battaglia, book 1)
Ilaria Tuti
"Teresa Battaglia is one of the most interesting detectives to emerge in recent years; flawed but full of heart, sarcastic yet still commanding loyalty from her team. Flowers over the Inferno is an astonishing debut."
To the Lions (2019)
(Casey Benedict, book 1)
Holly Watt
"Tightly plotted, frighteningly plausible and packed with insider-knowledge, To the Lions is an astonishing debut. Holly Watt has written something really special."
The Nudge Man (2019)
(Harry Vaughan, book 1)
Keith Nixon
"Packed with the author’s trademark wit, The Nudge Man is a seriously good, mind-bendingly twisty novel, and cements Nixon’s place among the upper echelon of British crime writers."
The First Lie (2019)
A J Park
"Where nothing is as it seems, The First Lie is twisty, layered and compelling. A genuine page-turner, A.J. Park has a big future in British crime fiction."
The Man on the Street (2019)
(Jimmy Mullen, book 1)
Trevor Wood
"Intricate, expertly paced with a shocking conclusion. The dialogue is on-point, the narrative is flawless and Jimmy is a character you root for from page one. Believe me when I say this, Trevor Wood has a bright future in the world of crime fiction. Simply superb."
Alice Teale is Missing (2019)
H A Linskey (Howard Linskey)
"Alice Teale Is Missing is my kind of book. With exemplary prose and relentless plotting, Linskey puts shocking small town secrets under the microscope with superb results. The fresh-faced Beth Winter and the misanthropic Lucas Black are a pairing that shouldn't work but absolutely do. Dogged and intuitive, they are beating heart of this story and I can't wait to see where Linskey takes them next."
Nine Elms (2019)
(Kate Marshall, book 1)
Robert Bryndza
"Bryndza is my type of author and Nine Elms is my type of book. Twisty, dark and layered with a protagonist you root for from page one, this is a superb start to what promises to be another stand out series."
Beast (2019)
(Six Stories, book 4)
Matt Wesolowski
"Disturbing, compelling and atmospheric, it will terrify and enthral you in equal measure."
Payback (2020)
(DI Charley Mann, book 1)
R C Bridgestock
"A compelling story with a procedural authencity that few authors can match."
Curse the Day (2020)
(Michael North, book 2)
Jude O'Reilly and Judith O'Reilly
"Relentlessly plotted with a blistering pace, Curse the Day is a sharply drawn, gleefully witty conspiracy thriller. Tackling tomorrow's nightmare today, this is a superb novel."
The Hunted (2020)
(Hunted , book 1)
Gabriel Bergmoser
"With echoes of Deliverance and Battle Royale, the Australian outback-set The Hunted is a truly terrifying, breathlessly exciting novel. It gut-punches you in the first few pages and doesn't let you recover until the final, thrilling climax. An extraordinary book."
The List (2020)
Carys Jones
"Compelling, unsettling and utterly addictive, The List got deep under my skin as I read it in a single sitting."
Midnight at Malabar House (2020)
(Malabar House, book 1)
Vaseem Khan
"A compelling mystery set in a fascinating period in India's tumultuous history. Inspector Persis Wadia, the India's first female detective, is gutsy, stubborn and ideally suited to navigate both the complexities of a murder in Bombay's high society and the politics of a police force that want to see her fail. A stunning start to brand new series from one of the UK's finest writers."
Dead Perfect (2020)
(Maggie Jamieson, book 3)
Noelle Holten
"Nobody understands the criminal mind better."
People of Abandoned Character (2020)
Clare Whitfield
"An astonishing book set in a Victorian London plagued by Jack the Ripper. Whitfield's narrator is Susannah, an ex-nurse who rushed into a rapidly souring marriage with a wealthy surgeon and starts to believe that her husband might be Leather Apron himself. I'd be amazed if it isn't dominating the shortlists come next year's awards season."
End of the Line (2021)
(Porter and Styles, book 4)
Robert Scragg
"British Crime writing at its finest."
The Art of Death (2021)
David Fennell
"A stunning start to what promises to be a fantastic new series. The Art of Death is layered, twisty and so deliciously dark. A hero for our age; DI Grace Archer is fierce and relentless, intuitive and driven, yet underneath the mask she wears, she's also surprisingly vulnerable and just a little bit damaged. I can't wait to see what she gets up to next."
Everything Is Beautiful (2021)
Eleanor Ray
"Eleanor Ray has perfectly captured how it feels to not quite fit in."
Anthrax Island (2021)
(John Tyler , book 1)
D L Marshall
"Uncomfortably well researched and brimming with pace, Anthrax Island is that rare thing: a thoughtful and intelligent thriller. Absolutely brilliant."
The Dying Squad (2021)
(Dying Squad, book 1)
Adam Simcox
"Fresh, inventive and funny, The Dying Squad is superbly plotted and packs an emotional heft rarely seen in a debut."
We Know You Remember (2021)
(High Coast, book 1)
Tove Alsterdal
"Atmospheric, immersive and utterly compelling."
A Fatal Crossing (2022)
Tom Hindle
"With twist after gut-punching twist, A Fatal Crossing really is an ingenious thriller. Highly recommended."
Twelve Secrets (2022)
(Ben Harper, book 1)
Robert Gold
"Twelve Secrets is rather special. So clever, so engrossing, a genuine 'just one more page' kind of book."
The Echo Man (2022)
(Major Crimes, book 1)
Sam Holland
"Sam Holland has created one of the most disturbing, shocking serial killers in recent memory. Superbly plotted with compelling protagonists, it's dark, twisted, and utterly brilliant."
Fatal Hate (2022)
(DC Mel Cotton Crime, book 2)
Brian Price
"This is high quality crime writing. Recommended."
Dead Rich (2022)
G W Shaw
"I've been a fan of William Shaw for a long time now, but even by his high standards Dead Rich is an extraordinary book."
Bad for Good (2022)
(DS Jo Howe, book 1)
Graham Bartlett
All I Said Was True (2022)
Imran Mahmood
"Imran is probably the most exciting crime fiction author in the UK right now and All I Said Was True is further proof of that. The dual narrative is exhilarating, the plot complex and layered, the writing is perfect and the narrator's voice is somehow both unreliable and trustworthy. Superb stuff."
Dark Objects (2022)
(Laughton Rees, book 1)
Simon Toyne
"It's intelligent, insanely paced and brimming with fresh ideas - I doubt I'll read a better book this year."
World War Zero (2022)
(Adventures of Marah Chase, book 1)
Jay Stringer
"Fun from start to finish. Half Indianna Jones, half The Da Vinci Code. Fast paced, intricately plotted and laced with the author's trademarks: characters you quickly care about, razor-sharp dialogue and laugh out loud moments. Recommended."
A Long Shadow (2022)
(Antonia Conti Thriller, book 1)
David Beckler
"A Long Shadow is a terrific, high-octane crime thriller with a frighteningly plausible plot. Antonia Conti is a superb creation - fierce, dogged and loyal - and I can't wait to see what she gets up to next."
The House in the Pines (2023)
Ana Reyes
"The House in the Pines has a great hook, a beautifully painted central protagonist and a genuinely creepy villain. I loved it. Superb."
In the Blink of an Eye (2023)
Jo Callaghan
"In the Blink of an Eye is fresh, innovative and very very clever. Flawlessly paced, plotted and researched, it's laugh out loud, heart-achingly sad and doesn't have a dull moment. I raced through it. Simply sensational."

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