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Poppet Paperback – April 8, 2014
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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 an alternate Paperback edition.
*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 alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
It took me a couple of chapters to get into this book. Another book sitting on my kindle for almost a year and I didn't remember why I bought it. But, I ended up loving this book. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed reading from both Caffery and AJ's points of view. By the time I was halfway through the book, I didn't want to put it down. And I had no idea what twists were coming until it was almost too late.
This is book 6 in the Jack Caffery series. I had no idea until after I finished reading it. I'm not sure if I will end up reading more of the Jack Caffery series or not. I still have a lot of other books on my TBR list.
Adults who enjoy suspense thrillers and crime novels. There is a bit of gore, but nothing too overwhelming.
The characters are believable and you never find yourself backing up because you forgot who someone was. This is the first Mo Hayder book I've read and it became obvious that I should be reading the books in series as there is one side story that, to me, didn't fit or have any seeming relationship to the main story. I kept wanting it to tie in somehow, but it never did. So, in the end that bit felt like a waste of time. (Again, my fault for not reading the series).
About three quarters of the way through you work out what is going on - I'm not sure if that's intentional on the part of the author, but its pretty obvious. Otherwise this was a good, fairly quick read.
The brief chapters aid the novel's fast pacing along and the spine-tingling imagery makes this book sure to offer nightmares (especially for those who find dolls - or the titular poppets - creepy) if set aside just before bed. The Maude makes for an intriguing urban legend that adds to the tension quite exponentially. This dark mystery fits in nicely with the rest of the series and though its intensity doesn't quite match those of the earliest novels, it is still an intriguing and tense read. Hayder's plot twists unpredictably and the ending comes in a breathless - and surprisingly satisfying (almost uncharacteristically uplifting) way. Hayder's rather sinister imagination continues to prove as engrossing as ever. I am looking forward to the seventh installment in the series, Wolf (Jack Caffery).
Most recent customer reviews
Never knowing where it is going next.
What a ridiculously twisted mind.