So this is the third DI Caffery novel and it did not hold what has been promised. I read Birdman and The Treatment and personally consider the latter one of the most gripping and shocking books I've ever read in this genre. However, Ritual doesn't hold up to the first two books.
Surprisingly I couldn't get into it. The story is based on Muti killings, which are occasions of murder and mutilation associated with some traditional cultural practices, in Southern Africa. More correctly known as medicine murder are not human sacrifice in a religious sense, but rather involve the murder of someone in order to excise body parts for incorporation as ingredients into medicine and concoctions used in witchcraft.
Hayder made the protagonists characters quite insignificant and halfhearted which is sad. Caffrey had a complicated character before but this time he seems to be just inanimate. Still suffering and stuck in feelings of revenge for his lost brother he's still some sort of searching for him and seems to be lost.
Flea's in a similar situation, having lost her parents in a diving accident, they both find a connection to each other which isn't really significant to the plot or deeper mentioned.
However, Hayder got a bit back to her former writing through switching to the poor boys suffering before and after loosing his hands. The descriptions is intense, similar to those in The Treatment but far away from being that graphic and hurting.
All in all I am not happy with the whole story. I caught myself putting the book to the side in the midst of the ending where the book should have been at it's highlight, just to play a cheap game on my laptop.
this one lived on my night table for many months, having stopped and started it time after time. While I like the characters of Jack and Flea, it simply did not hold my interest.