Author: Mo HayderPublication Year: 2013
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Date Completed: Sept - 2013
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.