102. Ritual

Ritual by Mo Hayder
Third Jack Caffrey book

Pages: 410
Finished: June 4, 2008
First Published: Sept. 2008 (Canada)
Genre: thriller, mystery
Rating: 4.5/5

Reason for Reading: Next in the series. Received an ARC from Harper Collins Canada.

First sentence:

Just after lunch on a Tuesday in May and nine feet under water in Bristol's
'floating harbour', police diver Sergeant 'Flea' Marley closed her gloved
fingers round a human hand.

Comments: A severed human hand has been found in the harbour and Jack Caffrey is assigned to the incident. Thinking the hand has come off a suicide body he thinks nothing special of the case until he is told that the had was removed while the person was still alive. The case takes a new turn when the matching hand is found buried under the entrance of a nearby restaurant. In Mo Hayder's typical style she starts off slowly building the tension to an almost impossible to handle frenzy.

Hayder fans are going to find more of what they've come to expect from the Queen of Psychological Thrillers. This one is not quite so gruesome as the others but when the time comes Hayder knows how to pour on the gore and doesn't disappoint. Ritual takes you on a wild ride through severed body parts, diving accidents, torture, ritual mutilation, African muti (magic medicine) and a sadistic killer.

This book also takes the Caffrey character in a new direction. While he is still haunted by his past he is no longer obsessed with it as in the previous two books in this series. Caffrey's character develops and we're also introduced to a new character 'Flea' Marley, a woman with her own personal demons who I hope we will continue to see as a recurring characters.

I highly recommend this book and the whole series. Now I just have one more of her books to read and I certainly hope she will have a new one out for us in 2009.


  1. Eeek! I've still only read her first book. I've got The Treatment on the shelf and must get to it soon. You're making me anxious to get caught up with her books.

  2. Oh, you've got to read The Treatment! It's my favourite so far of hers, but it is an incredibly disturbing read.


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