Monday, September 16, 2013

Poppet; Mo Hayder

Title:  Poppet
Author: Mo Hayder
Publication Year:  2013 
Publisher:  Atlantic Monthly Press
Edition: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Date Completed: Sept - 2013
Rating: 4/5

Beechway High Secure Unit, a former, Victorian workhouse now a psychiatric hospital in Bristol, outside of London, is the setting for Mo Hayder's, Poppet.  Mysterious deaths, incidents of mutilation and self-harm are occurring on a much too frequent basis. Each incident seems to be tied to a power failure at the facility, but exactly what is causing these incidents no one seems to know. Could it be a patient that was released before his time, or could there be some truth to an old ghostly legend, referred to as The Maude, a dwarf-like, former matron of the facility?
Senior nursing coordinator, A.J. LeGrande is taking his time responding to these incidents.  Although the cases and the mayhem which resulted needs to be investigated, A.J. is being dissuaded by Melanie, the facility clinical director, from moving too soon and getting others involved.  When he finally does call Detective Jack Caffery in on the case, Jack is involved in another case trying to locate the body of 25 year-old, Misty Kitson, a model who had disappeared after leaving a rehab facility over a year earlier.
Readers who enjoy creepiness and crime fiction should enjoy this one. The eeriness of the psychiatric hospital was awesome and sent a chill around each corner and behind each door. I like that the story blended a bit of the supernatural along with the already disturbed minds of the mental patients at the hospital. The slow way that the reader learns more and more about one of the disturbed patients, Isaac, intensified the creep factor, yet for me, this story never felt like a horror fest.  I really loved A.J's character and the way he interacted with the patients and situations.
I really enjoyed the setup and the writing and the fact that it the story took place in the present, however, I think I would have gotten more out of this novel (6th in series) if I had read the other books featuring Detective Caffery first.  For example, I was lost with the intro of the missing Misty, and felt bored by the references to the case, her mother etc, but later realized that she surfaced in an earlier novel.  For me, the Misty subplot seemed to spoil this one just a little for me.  Despite that, I would definitely read more books by this author -- she is very good.. No nightmares for me either.


  1. The cover alone gives me the creeps. Maybe it's a good thing this is an eGalley so you don't have to look at it every time you pick up the book. Otherwise, I think I might actually like this one, although paranormal is not my usual cup of tea.

  2. I'm with Barbara, that cover is totally creepy. The book sounds good though.

  3. That cover haunts me.

    I had this one on my list but then saw that it's part of a series. I am not too good with series lately so I've been passing stuff up.

    I love mental hospitals though. Eeek!

  4. The cover intrigues me, and I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Diane.

  5. I have this one in my pile and keep meaning to read it, but haven't yet. Since we like a lot of the same books, I'll definitely give it a go.

  6. I must admit, the cover art genuinely scares me! So much so that I would not pick it up at a bookstore... glad the contents are good.

  7. Ugh! I just brought this book home, not realizing it was part of a series. It just was too creepy to not bring it home.

  8. Yeah, I have trouble getting past the cover. Interesting choice by the publisher? I doubt authors have final say. I'm glad you the author is one you enjoy though.

  9. She is an author I've been meaning to try, but only with the first of the series, of course.

  10. I've read only one book by Hayder but I really enjoyed it and want to read more. Your review made me want to read it her right now!! Looks like I will be visiting my library soon :)


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