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This it the second novel featuring Detective Jack Caffery, however I haven’t read the first one. There are some references to the first, but there is also enough back story that you are not lost. I’m not sure if I’ll read Birdman but I have requested it from the library so we’ll see. This book opens with the imprisonment of a family and the abduction of their eight year son. Caffery’s brother was abducted at about the same age as this young boy, his brother was never found, the similarities in the event make this case difficult for Caffery since he has to try to solve the case and deal with his inner turmoil.
The way this book is written we know what the criminal is planning and even who the next victims will be, we don’t know who the criminal is. Although the story is primarily told from Jacks’s viewpoint, we also get glimpses of what is going on with other people, eventually all these little parts come together. The ending is ironic and heartbreaking, but inevitable considering the people involved.
I liked this book but I did not like the ending, however with the characters Mo Hayder has created any other ending would not have worked. It would have given the ending a thrown together feeling which many readers would object to. Since I don’t want to give anything away I will leave it at that.
There are some disturbing elements in this story, it deals with the sexual abuse of children and child pornography and child murder which may upset some people. I though the writing was good, even with the dark subject it was written in a way that did not sensationalize it. The author keeps the feeling and actions of the people realistic although there is one part that is a little unnerving. The plot is solid, there are many threads started which are woven together during the story so that by the end they are all wrapped up, and the characters stay true to their created personalities. The story takes place in England and so there were some expressions and procedures that were foreign to me but it was not enough to effect my enjoyment of the book. I would recommend this book, but please take note of the warning above.