Penzler Pick, November 2001: When Mo Hayder's first book, Birdman, was published last year, it caused a lot of talk in the industry. Nobody could deny that Hayder was a talented and formidable writer, but her serial killer was so repugnant to many readers that it was felt that only those blessed with the strongest stomachs could endure the entire book. Those who stayed with her ultimately agreed that they were rewarded with a deep and complex story from one of the best young writers around.
In Birdman, Hayder introduced us to her very troubled detective, Jack Caffery, and in The Treatment Caffery is back with very few of his problems solved. Alas, the case he is about to tackle will only make his job and his private life even more difficult. Called to a house which abuts Brockwell Park in South London, he finds Alek and Carmel Peach, prisoners in their own home and suffering from beatings and dehydration. Worse, their young son, 9- year-old Rory, is missing. When the boy is found dead, the trail seems cold and Caffery realizes he not only has another unspeakable murderer on the loose but also one who will tap into Caffery's own history and deepest conflicts.
While Caffery is trying to make sense of what went on at the Peaches' house, another couple and their son also have been imprisoned in their home. Time is running out for all of them, and we cannot help but read on anxiously as Caffery carefully puts the forensic evidence together and uses his knowledge of the darkest parts of the human mind to come up with the solution before it is too late.
While creating one of the most depraved villains in mystery fiction, Hayder packs a punch with an ending that is as shocking as it is inevitable. Beware! This is not for the faint-hearted.
these are creepy creepy mystery/thrillers and leave you always a little... NO A LOT... unsettled
Sequel to Hayder's "The Birdman" once again featuring Jack Caffery, a complex and interesting character. Caffery is not a knight in shining armor, he has demons from his past that haunt him, especially in this case of child abuse and murder. The action in the book is intense, as is Jack's relationship with his girlfriend, Rebecca who is also dealing with her own past, as featured in "The Birdman". This is a book that will satisfy lovers of both procedural and psychological mysteries.
Chilling. By the middle of the book I was very anxious but I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. While this is a departure from my usual reading material, I definitely want to read more from this author. I've already ordered several more to keep me busy far into the night. Very well written and highly recommended.
Excellent story of a missing boy.
Couldn't get into it. It gets rave reviews though.
This is an unbelievably creepy story about murdering pedophiles in London. If you have any aversion to this topic, I warn you DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! It is very graphic and disturbing.
The mystery of who commited these crimes and how they were done is really intense. It definitely grabs your attention and keeps you wondering but the creepiness factor had me putting this book down periodically to regroup. But I found myself wondering and would pick it up again.
Other than the subject matter, the only thing wrong with this book is that it is written by a British author who used British idioms which are totally undecipherable to us Yanks. Quite a few times I found myself guessing as to what they were talking about. For example: "Let's have a shufti at the park." What the hell does that mean? This is a murder mystery after all, so it isn't like the cops were going for a walk in the park. Rather irritating.
some crimes are heartbreaking, others are unspeakable.
I've read a couple of Hayder's other books including the first in the Jack Caffery series, Birdman
. I read Birdman
a few years ago so don't remember a lot about it other than it had a quite horrific antagonist and included some very disturbing and gory details. However, I don't think it could match the amount of graphic and disturbing descriptions included in this outing. The book focuses on pedophilia and pedophiles and starts out with the discovery of a couple who had been held captive while their young son was abused by an unknown attacker. The book also is interspersed with Caffery's obsession to find out what happened to his brother, Ewan, who disappeared when he was about 8 years old. He is certain that a neighbor named Penderecki, a pedophile, was the one responsible but it was never proven. But then Penderecki dies and leaves Jack some clues which leads to a female pedophile that may have been involved in Ewan's disappearance and abuse. (This book does give some details into what happened to Ewan and I know in subsequent novels, Jack is still trying to find out answers). The main storyline, however, is about the "troll" who commits unspeakable atrocities on families and their young sons. As I said, this was a very disturbing and compelling read that may not be for everyone but I'm sure I will continue with this series. I would also recommend Hayder's The Devil of Nanking
that I read last year.