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Ritual (Jack Caffery #3)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  3,404 ratings  ·  287 reviews
A signature cocktail of gore and suspense fused with elements of the occult have made Mo Hayder a rising star on the mystery circuit. Her latest, Ritual, delivers all the thrills her growing fanbase has come to expect. Just after lunch, police diver Flea Marley closes her gloved fingers around a human hand. The fact that there is no body attached is disturbing enough-until ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Penguin Books (first published 2008)
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I'm sorry to say that Ritual was a disappointment for me.

Mo Hayder hit two grand slams with Birdman and The Treatment. These were two crime thrillers that stood out from such a thickly saturated genre. Quite the feat for a new writer on the scene.
My gushing reviews on these:

What made these great was how successful she was at engaging the reader
in not only the storyline of the crimes at hand, but the personal struggle
I've really been on a Mo Hayder kick lately -- and I must be getting used to her, because this book didn't disturb me nearly as much as the other ones. Ritual is the third to feature Detective Jack Caffery, and this time Hayder has skipped ahead a few years, moved him out of London, and introduced a great new character, police diver Phoebe "Flea" Marley. The discovery of a pair of hands -- sans body -- kicks off an investigation that involves drug addicts and ancient rituals from Africa. As usua ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I don't really know how I would classify this book when it comes right down to it. I mean there is an idea/plot for the story behind it all. That said the bulk of the book concerns everybody's emotional baggage.

The book opens with the promise of a mysterious story...once it gets around to actually opening...with a disembodied hand discovered in a deep murky pool of water where visibility is almost zero.

Our introduction to the book had been about one of the odd deep sinkhole pools of water in the

I'm not sure why everyone seems to think this book's so great. I found it very boring and very hard to get through. Reading it felt more like a task than a fun passtime. I tried, but I was unable to read this in its entirety.
So far, my least favourite of the Jack Caffery series.

The stories starts with a hand being found at the Bristol harbour and soon we have Caffery investigating. Somehow he's left London and moved to the west. As the investigation goes on, and with the help of Sargeant Phoebe 'Flea' Marley, Caffery stumbles on a scheme of human body parts trafficking that is being used in connection traditional African medicine, also known as 'multi'.

Yes, there are the usual Hayder elements in this story. It is da
Mo Hayder's return to the Jack Caffery series is a mixed bag. Definitely not on par with the hyper-gory Birdman or the disturbing The Treatment, it relocates Caffery to Bristol where along with a new soon-to-be recurring series character, police diver Flea Marley, he investigates the discovery of a severed human hand in the harbour.
The key problem is, the plot which is interesting though hardly outstanding hardly needs Caffery, who could have been substituted by any Detective. Marley's own bagg
The Wee Hen
I had the hardest time finishing this book. I only made myself read the whole thing because I made the mistake of BUYING it instead of getting it from the library and I am too cheap to not finish a book I buy. I didn't like one detective at all and the other I had a hard time feeling anything for. It's not like I only read cozies but this was just way too gruesome, vicious, nasty and horrible for me. Just more gore than I really need from a mystery. It barely even felt like it was set in the UK ...more
After reading Birdman and The Treatment I was really disappointed with this one.

Jack Caffery has now relocated to Bristol for a fresh start and we meet police deep sea diver, Flea, a character that seems to have taken central stage pretty much. It was almost as if Caffery has taken a supportive role here as we learn an awful lot about Flea. In fact, it doesn't pick up anything at all about Jack's brother which was surprising, though maybe it does in later books, I don't know.

The story begins by
I had high hopes for this book as it continues the character in the author's first 2 books (Birdman and The Treatment) which are some of my favorite all time reads.
This one started off well but the second half was not as compelling and it left me feeling frustrated re the lack of storyline to explain the details of the events between this book and the previous one.
As in the previous books the main character (DCI Jack Caffrey) has his own things going on which make a subplot to the current crime
While Ritual was certainly much better than The Treatment, and I absolutely devoured it in a number of days, Hayder still hasn't quite found the hard-hitting perfection she found in her debut, Birdman.

Jack Caffery has returned but in a different setting. There are unresolved threads from his previous life in London which aren't dealt with, and all the characters we'd become invested in are replaced by Caffery's new object of affection with almost no mention of the police force at large.

While the
Shannon Hollinger
Mo Hayder never ceases to amaze me with her ability to push the boundaries, to make the reader uncomfortable yet still yearning for more, leaving them unable to put the book down as they lose themselves in the world she's created for them. A master of creepy and suspense, the pages ooze with sinisterness and, best of all, unpredictability.
A Mo Hyder é fabulosa. Adoro o Inspector Jack Caffery. É humano, com impulsos que, por vezes, colidem com o que se espera de um policia. Há passagens difíceis de ler, mas não conseguimos parar porque queremos saber sempre mais.
Dec 27, 2014 Richard rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
This is another excellent read, the third in the Jack Caffrey Policeman. The book clearly cemented Mo Hayder's status as she has gone on from strength to stregth. I really like the introduction here of two central characters, 'Flea' Marley and The Walking Man who various hold this plot together and look set to influence matters further. Marley is a counter-point to Caffrey and has an equally troubled background, indeed they are somewhat thrown together in this investigation and there is scope fo ...more
Hmm. Okay I felt this was definitely a step away from the last Jack Caffery book, but I'm just not sure if it's a step forward, or simply just a step to the side.

First and foremost, I have to say Hayder writes really compelling mystery plots. I love the central plots of her books. I love her writing, I love her dialogue, and I love how unapologetically guttural she gets. My issues stem from her main characters that I just don't like.

Jack. Oh Jack. I really want to like you. I want to root for y
While I enjoyed this one (I might generously round it up to 3.5 stars), it comes across as a transitional novel. In an afterword, Hayder admits that after The Treatment, the second of her Jack Caffery mystery novels, she had grown tired of her protagonist. So in Ritual it makes sense that Caffery, while ostensibly the main character, shares the spotlight with a new character, Phoebe "Flea" Marley, a police diver forced upon him by the circumstances of the book's grisly case. As with her first tw ...more
Mo Hayder wrote two of my favorite crime novels of recent years — Birdman and The Treatment, both of which married the British police procedural to something so dark and gruesome and impossibly heartbreaking that I honestly imagine it impossible not to be affected by their impact. Since then, I've read several of her other novels, which have succeeded to varying levels... and Ritual, I fear, may be the least effective one yet. It treads ground familiar to those who've read Birdman or The Treatme ...more
As other reviewers have said, this is not Mo Hayder's best work. The first ¾ of the book went very slowly. I was confused often by the religious beliefs from Africa, the mystical things characters felt they were seeing, the deaths of Flea's parents, and her weird brother. The Walking Man seemed to come out of no where, and I think I missed something there. The story seemed to pick up when Flea and Caffery started to investigate together. In typical Hayder fashion, there were sick, twisted, creep ...more
Hayder is a good author, She creates a story from many strands. This was not my favorite book of hers.
This is a really poor Mo Hayder book that gets off to a tortuously slow start. The characters names are awful: Flea, Mossy and Skinny...seriously? I kept getting Skinny confused with Dobby, the house elf in Harry Potter. I'm not squeamish, but I admit I skipped over the entire sections where The Walking Man's describes his crime in lurid detail. I don't see the point that Ms. Hayder is trying to make, other than to shock, by going into such graphic detail. I liked Birdman a lot, but I can't say ...more
Didn't enjoy this one as much as the earlier Jack Caffery novels. I found it quite difficult going for the first two-thirds. Not a hard read, but not really holding my interest.

That all changed nearer the end though, where the action really steps up a gear and some of the gorier parts became quite hard to stomach. By the end of the book I was a little disappointed it had finished.

That last part really redeemed the series for me and I went straight off to download the next novel. Hopefully this
Gord James
This is the third Jack Caffrey book and by far less violent then the other two. Jack is still tormented by his brother's disappearance some 30 years ago, but angrier. He is investigating a mutilation case where only two hands are found. The story gets really interesting because not only does he have to find out who the hands belong to, but also who did it. It was a little disappointing to see that Jack has become even more negative and aggressive. I am looking forward to reading more Jack Caffre ...more
This is the third book in the Jack Caffrey detective series, and not a very successful book. There are some good moments in this book, but there are too many threads and POVs we are following and it just doesn't all hang together correctly. In fact, part of the problem is how she tries to bring all the threads together at the end - it just goes beyond reasonable belief. The other odd part was that Jack is no longer the main character in the story - now 'Flea" Marley is and her whole background h ...more
Simone Sinna

There is some masterly writing here; despite actively disliking Jack Caffery through most of this book, I still wanted to keep reading, and really liked it (best of the 3). He’s still on about his missing brother (whose demise we found out about in book 2 but he doesn’t know) but not as much, but he’s a self destruct course and it was hard not to wish he’d hurry up (using prostitutes was probably the deciding negative for me; I mean the man can’t maintain a friend let alone a relationship).
So w
2.5 at best. i really wanted to like this book. i loved 'birdman'- it was a good story, with interesting characters. it made me excited for the next installment - 'the treatment'.
in 'the treatment', we could've done without caffery's girlfriend. she was a distracting pain in the ass and dragged the story down, but it was still a decent story and i was pleased with the ending (don't want to spoil it).

this book on the other hand, could've been so much better if it hadn't even incuded jack caffer
What happened, Mo? If I hadn't read her two previous novels with Jack Caffery I probably would have liked this one. But she has lost her feel for Jack. The way she writes about him is different. He seems stiff and wooden now. I understand that in the intervening years life has been hollow for him, but I think it is more than that. And the whole Walking Man character seems like a cheap device.
Maggie Kiely
I purchased this as an audiobook. I previously read a Mo Hayder book and found it enjoyable. Yet this one was extremely boring and uninteresting. The story line was very thin and the characters of Flea and Caffery ... well to be honest I couldn't have cared less. There were sideline stories regarding the death of Flea's parents and the fate of her brother which had no bearing on the story. These accounts proved of so little interest they could have been excluded by careful pre publication editin ...more
I loved the first two Jack Caffery mysteries, BIRDMAN and THE TREATMENT. This one, the third, sees DI Jack Caffery in Bristol where he's transferred from the Met in London. He's running away from his demons of the old cases that involved the disappearance of his brother years ago. Now, he finds himself in a case with Sergeant Flea Marley, a police diver who discovers a pair of hands in the Bristol Harbor that eventually lead to African witchcraft and blood sacrifice.
Flea is running from her own
Gale Stanley
Pig Island was disappointing. I was thrilled to see that Ritual: A Novel brings back DI Jack Caffery in a chilling tale of occult practices and the drug underground. He and the other main character, police diver Flea Marley, each have their own set of baggage which they keep bottled up and reveal to each other in bits and pieces. On to SKIN...
Jitka Jitulisko
Tak Jackovi je zase o nějaký ten pátek víc. Po případu pečovatele se rozhodl odstěhovat z Londýna na menší město, do Bristolu. Potřeboval změnu, utéct od stínu Ewana. Ale i zde má své zvláštní přání. Hledá Chodícího může. Má pocit, že by mu mohl pomoct.

Tady se setkává s Blechou, která je vedoucí týmu potápěčů. Tato mladá žena má svůj temný příběh. Před více jak rokem ji zahynuli při potápění rodiče. Voda je jejím domovem. Cítí se v něm líp než na souši. Je zvláštní, má své kouzlo. Její chování V
I had wondered about the long gap between The Treatment and this third novel and according to the end notes Mo Hayder decided to drop Jack Caffrey as a character but then when she came to write The Ritual, which she thought was going to be the first of a new series starring police diver Flea Marley, when Jack popped into her consciousness and she elected to reintroduce him here away from London.

From the opening pages I adored Flea and was also glad of the move to the West Country as well as seei
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Mo Hayder left school at fifteen. She worked as a barmaid, security guard, film-maker, hostess in a Tokyo club, educational administrator and teacher of English as a foreign language in Asia. She has an MA in film from The American University in Washington DC and an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University UK.

Mo lives in Bath with her daughter Lotte-Genevieve.

* Jack Caffery
More about Mo Hayder...

Other Books in the Series

Jack Caffery (7 books)
  • Birdman (Jack Caffery, #1)
  • The Treatment (Jack Caffery, #2)
  • Skin (Jack Caffery, #4)
  • Gone (Jack Caffery, #5)
  • Poppet (Jack Caffery, #6)
  • Wolf (Jack Caffery, #7)
Birdman (Jack Caffery, #1) The Treatment (Jack Caffery, #2) Gone (Jack Caffery, #5) The Devil of Nanking Poppet (Jack Caffery, #6)

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