|About the Book|
Easily the best of Mo Hayders Jack Caffery thriller/police procedural series (at least through books #1-5), Gone (the fifth installment) simultaneously amps up the creep-out factor while dialing back the gore a few notches. Ms. Hayders end-product is is truly an unputdownable nail-biter that has cemented my opinion of her craft.A huge caveat to the Hayder-uninitiated: this series must be read in order for maximum enjoyment. There are a few evolving back stories (involving Inspector Jack Cafferys personal demons stemming from the abduction of his younger brother by a pedophile thirty years prior, and a peculiar relationship with a sergeant/diver of the Underwater Missing Persons team, Flea Marley) that you will completely be lost with if you start in the middle of the series. (Even those lured in by hearing Gone was an Edgar Award winner, youd best start at the beginning with Birdman and work your way through the series- otherwise the crucial backstory will be lost upon you.)This installment started out dangerously similar to the gruesome second one (The Treatment, a novel I could barely stomach.) In the outskirts of Bristol (SW England), Cafferys team, while investigating a carjacking by a Santa Claus mask-wearing suspect, realizes the perp might be a serial nonce (a paedophile stalking victims with children in tow). As the investigation advances, Cafferys team keeps being stymied by the perps actions consistently running counter to a pedophiles predictable psychological profile.There were a few times in this series where it seemed Ms. Hayders direction seemed unfocused, unsure of where she wanted this series to go. Several times I considered abandoning it altogether, but persistence has paid off: Gone, with a taut, chilling story (while tantalizingly advancing the backstories) has got me permanently in Ms. Hayders clutches. I cannot wait to read the next two installments, Poppet and Wolf, to see what else she has in store.