I have completed Mo Hayder's Poppet and I can't help but wonder where she's been all my life. This is the first book I've read by Hayder but the sixth in her highly acclaimed Jack Caffery series. Jack Caffery is a detective for the Bristol Major Crimes Investigation team and is tasked with investigating the disappearance of a high profile model named Misti. While on the other side of town, an insane asylum is being haunted by something, or someone, named The Maude. A little man that sits on the chest of someone to kill them. Eventually, Caffery is asked to assist in helping the asylum locate a recently released inmate from Beechway Psychiatric unit who's crime resembles those of the unexplained deaths of a recent patient.
Poppet begins with the creepiest scenes read in a long time and I'm sure fans of the macabre will be satisfied. Hayder instantly pulls the reader in and does not let go. Although it eventually turns into more of a crime novel, Poppet does not veer far away from the graphic descriptions that are necessary to maintain the suspense. The best place to sustain the creep factor is throwing the crazy patients into the mix who all have their issues. Serious issues.
There are alternating views in this novel between those of Caffery, AJ, and a couple other central characters. AJ is the senior nursing coordinator and is becoming undone with the haunting that is happening around the psychiatric unit. After some investigating of his own, he asks Caffery to help find the missing inmate who may, or may not, be responsible. AJ is a well developed character and his background story makes him even more endearing.
This being Jack Caffery's sixth appearance, I'm sure there is a lot about him the reader will not know but I do feel that he was still well developed. It's obvious from this novel he cares about his job yet he is also willing to do some shady things to protect the people he cares about. I'm interested in finding more about his past in this series. I want to know what led him to make the hard decision he is faced with regarding the Misti case.
After all, Poppet is a must read for fans of Deborah Crombie or Karin Slaughter. Initally, the weird cover sparked my interest but Hayder's engrossing writing kept me interested. Fans will not be disappointed in Poppet. ****