cover image Poppet


Mo Hayder. Atlantic Monthly, $25 (400p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2107-3

In Edgar-winner Hayder’s enthralling sixth thriller featuring Det. Insp. Jack Caffery of the Bristol Major Crime Investigation Team (after 2010’s Gone), Caffery stubbornly clings to a missing person case as he gets drawn into fatal abuses at Beechway High Secure Unit, a psychiatric hospital. Jacqui Kitson is pressing the police to find her grown daughter, Misty, a model who disappeared a year-and-a-half earlier. Caffery knows what happened to Misty, but he’s protecting someone, an unusual stance that plays out in tantalizing fashion. Strange events are unfolding at Beechway, where belief in a monster called “The Maude” is growing among increasingly hysterical patients and staff members. A patient who goes missing is eventually discovered buried nearby. Another dies after self-harming, while a third gouges out his eye. When a severely disturbed patient is released, the terror spreads from hospital to village. Hayder’s sharply drawn characters, major and minor, and her psychological acumen combine for a frightening and convincing read. Agent: Jane Gregory, Gregory & Co. (U.K.). (May)