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by Mo Hayder
Doubleday, February 2002
352 pages
ISBN: 0385496958

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

'The Treatment' sees the return of DI Jack Caffery. A member of AMIP, the Metropolitan Police's murder squad, Caffery is called out to investigate the kidnap of a young boy. Once there, things go from bad to worse. The family had been held prisoner in their homes for days, beaten and badly dehydrated. The case takes on alarming similarities to events in Jack's own life and soon he is thrown into one of the most shocking cases in his career.

'The Treatment' is one of the best books I have read in a long time. The plot is excellent, innovative and intriguing. It is rare for me to feel disturbed through reading a book, but with this one, I distinctly felt unsettled. The book mixes murder with paedophilia and could certainly be described as graphic and shocking. Nevertheless, I wholeheartedly enjoyed it.

Hayder succeeds in confusing the reader throughout with a series of plot twists. Each time that I was sure I had worked out what was going on, she threw in another surprise and increased the mystery and suspense even more. The ending was interesting and again, certainly not what I was expecting. The guilty party is a frightening, yet compelling character and the inclusion of documents to show how his mind works was also an excellent idea.

'Birdman', Hayder's first novel was excellent, but 'The Treatment' surpasses it. Hayder has succeeded in creating a powerful, frightening and utterly enjoyable read. She clearly has a bright future in this field and I sincerely look forward to reading her next novel. Highly recommended. --

Editor's Note: This review is based on the UK edition, which is, as always, available from Crime in Store (CrimeBks@aol.com) for GBP 9.99

Reviewed by Luke Croll, June 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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