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The Treatment
by Mo Hayder

Published: 2012-07-17
Paperback : 352 pages
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Hayder’s second novel after the hair-raising Birdman, The Treatment brings Detective Jack Caffery back to investigate the abduction of a little boy, a crime with disturbing parallels to Caffery's own troubled past.

In a quiet residential area in London, a couple is discovered bound and ...
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Introduction

Hayder’s second novel after the hair-raising Birdman, The Treatment brings Detective Jack Caffery back to investigate the abduction of a little boy, a crime with disturbing parallels to Caffery's own troubled past.

In a quiet residential area in London, a couple is discovered bound and imprisoned in their own home. Savagely battered and severely dehydrated, the worst revelation is yet to come: their eight-year-old son has been abducted. But when the body is found and forensic evidence turns the case on its head, revealing disturbing parallels to events in Detective Caffery's own past, he realizes he's dealing with much more sinister forces than he'd anticipated?and finds it increasingly difficult to maintain his professional distance. As the evidence mounts and Caffery struggles to hold his own life together, the case hurtles toward a shocking conclusion.

Editorial Review

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. --Otto Penzler

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