Synopses & Reviews
"At the start of Hayder's superb third crime novel to feature Det. Insp. Jack Caffery (after The Treatment), Sgt. Phoebe 'Flea' Marley, a police diver, retrieves a severed hand from Bristol harbor. Without a corpse, the investigation stalls, until fingerprints identify the hand as belonging to Ian 'Mossy' Mallows, a known heroin junkie. While Caffery pursues the drug angle, Flea uncovers a possible connection to muti, a brand of African witchcraft and traditional medicine that incorporates body parts into its rituals. Digging deeper, Caffery and Flea discover that Mallows may still be alive and the men responsible may be using muti as a cover for even darker purposes. Meanwhile, Flea mourns the accidental death of her parents two years earlier while they were diving in a remote pool in Africa's Kalahari desert. Hayder vividly evokes torture and drug abuse, but the violence is never gratuitous. Readers looking for visceral thrills need look no further than this gritty English series. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Mo Hayder's previous novels The Devil of Nanking
and The Treatment
have ranked her among the most exciting and provocative thriller writers now working. In her latest, Ritual
, Hayder gives us a taut, chilling tale of clandestine occult practices, New Age medicine, and the drug underground, set in a hypermodern urban landscape challenged by colliding immigrant cultures.
Just after lunch on a Tuesday in April, nine feet under water, police diver Flea Marley closes her gloved fingers around a human hand. The fact that there's no body attached is disturbing enough. Even more disturbing is the discovery, a day later, of the matching hand. Both have been recently amputated, and the indications are that the victim was still alive when they were removed. DI Jack Caffery has been newly seconded to the Major Crime Investigation Unit in Bristol. He and Flea soon establish that the hand belong to a young man who has recently disappeared. Their search for himand for his abductorlead them into the darkest recesses of Bristol's underworld, where drug addiction is rife, where street-kids sell themselves for a hit, and where one of Africa's most disturbing rituals may be making an unexpected appearance.
The author of "The Devil of Nanking" delivers a taut, chilling tale of clandestine occult practices, New Age medicine, and the drug underground, set in a hypermodern urban landscape challenged by colliding immigrant cultures.