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
*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.