Mo Hayder ranks right up there with Stephen King for me.
Something evil stalks the halls of Beechway psychiatric hospital - or so the patients and some of the staff believe. They call it the Maude and say that it's the spirit of a woman who once worked in the hospital years ago. When a patient dies unexpectedly, rumors of the Maude begin circulating once again. For AJ LeGrande, it begins as an inconvenience and a difficulty in keeping the wards staffed on overnight shifts. It soon becomes something worse, though, when AJ starts to suspect that there might be some truth in the rumors. But AJ doesn't believe the Maude is anything supernatural. In fact, he believes the Maude could actually be one of Beechway's recently released patients. AJ approaches Jack Caffery in hopes the detective might be able to begin a quiet inquiry. It would be bad for Beechway and its staff if it was discovered they'd released someone who is a danger to society. For Caffery, the case begins as a nuisance but quickly intrigues him. And it's an opportunity to take his mind off the other issues that have been plaguing him of late.
This latest from Hayder is another installment in her long running Jack Caffery series It's just as dark and somewhat gruesome as the others, so do be prepared. It's also not one I'd recommend using as a starting point with the series, though I will say that it's entirely possible. Hayder is a master plotter in my humble opinion. She always seems to be two steps ahead, something the reader will only realize in continuing further into the series.
Poppet can essentially stand on its own but the book picks up in the aftermath of the previous installments so parts of the plot do rely on events that have taken place in past titles. And considering I'm such a huge fan of Hayder's work and this series in particular, I always suggest that anyone interested start at the beginning.
The series titles in order are:
Poppet starts slow and quickly intensifies, building to an almost frantic pace. Hayder is a guaranteed keep you up all night read any time and Poppet is certainly no exception, so lock your doors and settle in. You're in for a fantastic and creepy ride!