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Poppet Paperback – April 8, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (April 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080212108X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802121080
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hayder's new thriller, book six in her series featuring Det. Insp. Jack Caffery, finds the London homicide cop haunted by the events of a previous case. Perhaps because of this, the novel focuses on a second protagonist, AJ LeGrande the newly minted head nursing coordinator at a high-security psychiatric hospital in Bristol, who is beginning to suspect that the facility's patients have been tormented and brutalized by a former patient. Both Caffery and LeGrande are rich, conflicted characters, and as the plot shifts from one to the other, the narration provided by Steven Crossley, though remaining coolly objective, changes in suitably subtle ways. His description of AJ's workspace has a moody, ominous quality, darkened by the presence of a rumored ghost, and patients such as a chillingly addled inmate called Monster Mother. Le Grande's home life is described with a brighter tone; he lives in a cottage with a beloved dog and a half-Jamaican aunt who cares for him. On the other hand, Crossley uses consistent, darkly terse narration for Caffery's sections of the book, lightened only slightly by the interplay with his assistant, Flea Marley. Eventually, LeGrande convinces Caffery to become fully engaged in the grim criminal doings at the hospital. And at that point, the narration quickens and becomes increasingly purposeful as the book races to its satisfying conclusion. An Atlantic Monthly hardcover. (Apr.) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Even the staff are losing it in Beechway High Secure Unit, a Victorian workhouse turned mental hospital where grotesque acts of self-harm have resurrected the legend of a terrifying ghost called The Maude. Senior nurse A. J. LeGrande suspects that a recently released patient was behind the incidents but delays action at the request of clinical director and love interest Melanie Arrow. When he finally does decide to call Detective Jack Caffery (last seen in Gone, 2011), will it be too late? Meanwhile, ongoing tension between Caffery and police diver Flea Marley builds to a simmer as Caffery decides it’s time for them to bring the bones of a missing girl to light. The internationally best-selling, Edgar-winning Hayder continues her stunning run of form, blending horror and procedural as few others can, undergirding the seemingly supernatural with carefully engineered plots and (mostly) explainable events. The pace is more slow-burn than rapid-fire, but the atmosphere of mounting dread will keep readers engrossed. An added bonus here is the way Hayder shows people in a part of England (jam- and cider-making hippies on the overgrown outskirts of Bristol) rarely featured in the crime fiction that washes up on our shores. Nightmarishly good. --Keir Graff --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Great story with enough of a twist and well developed characters.
For the love of books
So if you haven't, then start at the beginning and read through- her books are worth every minute!!
LL3820
The plot twists and turns like any good mystery should and leaves you guessing right till the end.
Annette Gisby

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By misplaced cajun on May 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Something evil stalks the halls of Beechway psychiatric hospital - or so the patients and some of the staff believe. They call it the Maude and say that it's the spirit of a woman who once worked in the hospital years ago. When a patient dies unexpectedly, rumors of the Maude begin circulating once again. For AJ LeGrande, it begins as an inconvenience and a difficulty in keeping the wards staffed on overnight shifts. It soon becomes something worse, though, when AJ starts to suspect that there might be some truth in the rumors. But AJ doesn't believe the Maude is anything supernatural. In fact, he believes the Maude could actually be one of Beechway's recently released patients. AJ approaches Jack Caffery in hopes the detective might be able to begin a quiet inquiry. It would be bad for Beechway and its staff if it was discovered they'd released someone who is a danger to society. For Caffery, the case begins as a nuisance but quickly intrigues him. And it's an opportunity to take his mind off the other issues that have been plaguing him of late.

This latest from Hayder is another installment in her long running Jack Caffery series It's just as dark and somewhat gruesome as the others, so do be prepared. It's also not one I'd recommend using as a starting point with the series, though I will say that it's entirely possible. Hayder is a master plotter in my humble opinion. She always seems to be two steps ahead, something the reader will only realize in continuing further into the series.

Poppet can essentially stand on its own but the book picks up in the aftermath of the previous installments so parts of the plot do rely on events that have taken place in past titles.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Annette Gisby on April 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Mo Hayder is an author who delves deep into the darker recesses of the human psyche, and how much darker are the psyches of patients in a mental hospital, some of them there because they have committed horrendous crimes?

AJ, the head psychiatric nurse doesn't want to know why the patients are here, he doesn't want to know what crimes they may have committed to get incarcerated at Beechway, he treats them all with dignity and respect, no matter what they may have done in the past. When the patients start worrying about being haunted by something called 'The Maude', AJ wants to get to the bottom of things, but things go from bad to worse, with deaths and disfigurements of patients. Is there really something otherworldly that is responsible for the deaths or is the answer somewhere closer to home?

This is the sixth Jack Caffrey book, but don't worry if you haven't read any of the others, this works well as a stand-alone novel and I would say that AJ was our main protagonist here, with a few cameo roles from Jack.

The plot twists and turns like any good mystery should and leaves you guessing right till the end. It's been a long time since I've read a mystery where I hadn't guessed the twist a mile away, here I didn't and I was so pleased to be surprised!

AJ was a wonderful, sympathetic character, trying his best to care for his charges in the face of budget cuts, lack of staff who refused to cover the night shift and an old building that is crumbling around them. I adored AJ's Aunt Patience, who always made him a big breakfast whenever he got home, no matter what time of day it happened to be.

I loved the book, but it took a while to get into the flow of it because it was written in the present tense.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mister Aloha on June 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a huge, huge fan of Mo Hayder's "Walking Man" canon of novels, featuring Detective Jack Caffery, SGT Flea Marley, and, of course, "The Walking Man" himself. This book was disappointing to me. First of all, Walking Man does not even appear at all! Secondly, unlike her previous books, Ms. Hayder seems to have demonstrably eased off on the descriptive usage of her usually-enthralling horror and mayhem, which I found to be a real negative. Thirdly, while Jack and Flea are still intriguing protagonists -- and their love/hate relationship is becoming more and more fascinating -- the other characters (including the evil antagonists) were not particularly interesting, IMHO. Mo is still a sensational author, and I will always buy and read her books. This one, however, fell short of my usual expectations of her writing.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. August on June 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've recently discovered Mo Hayder and started with the Ritual/Skin/Gone trilogy. Hugely impressed - definitely NOT run-of-the-mill American crime writing. I particularly like how she doesn't wrap everything up in a nice, neat package at the end.

Hayder continues her fantastically disturbing writing in Poppet. The beginning was so uncomfortable that I actually had to put it down for a day before I went back to finish it. It's too bad that the reviewers who complain about "not enough Jack" can't get beyond the fact that Hayder writes non-formulaic, original stories. I frankly don't want a "Jack Cafferty" series a la Spenser or other predictable, familiar plots. I hope Hayder continues to explore the strange and bizarre minds of her anti-heroes in her future novels.
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