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Ritual (Jack Caffery #3)

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,337 Ratings  ·  342 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Jul 27, 2012 Bill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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
Jan 16, 2009 Kendra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 23, 2012 Natazzz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, mystery, crime

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.
Jul 03, 2015 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I’m completely honest I did not enjoy Ritual as much as I enjoyed The Treatment. Don’t get me wrong it is another great book but I wasn’t pulled in as deep as I was in the second Jack Caffery novel.

As with the first two Jack Caffery novels, this is a book filled with twists and turns. The criminal aspect, as with The Treatment, was wonderful. It was a brilliant idea, a story you can really get into and feel creeped out by. In terms of the Jack side of the story I was somewhat tentative. At fi
Feb 08, 2015 Cat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2015
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
Jan 23, 2015 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 11, 2012 The Wee Hen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 14, 2013 Andrea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2013-reads, kobo
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
Nov 23, 2009 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-liked
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
Nov 11, 2012 Judi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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
Dec 27, 2014 Richard rated it really liked it
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
Jun 07, 2013 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 19, 2011 Twobusy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 19, 2015 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As other reviewers have said, this is not Mo Hayder's best work. The first 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, creepy ...more
Jun 15, 2012 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, crime, british
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
Jul 15, 2013 Gord James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 09, 2015 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Third in the series and DI Caffrey moves to Bristol where the discovery of an amputated hand in the harbour leads him into the world of African rituals and drugs. He is assisted by a police diver who has personal connections to the crime. As an easy bank holiday read i enjoyed it but it didn't quite have the tension of The Treatment or Birdman and from what I've read the later books don't match the earlier ones but I will continue as Caffrey is an interesting detective and I am enjoying his stor ...more
Apr 09, 2012 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ingrid Fasquelle
May 01, 2015 Ingrid Fasquelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Après Birdman et L'homme du soir, Mo Hayder nous livre la troisième enquête de son personnage fétiche, l'inspecteur Jack Caffery.

Le livre s'ouvre sur la découverte d'une main tranchée, repêchée au fond des eaux du port de Bristol. Le sergent de police Phoebe Marley (surnommée Flea) dirige l'équipe de plongée. Elle va mener l'enquête avec l'inspecteur Caffery. L'intrigue flirte avec le milieu de la drogue et des toxicomanes avant de trouver de sombres ramifications dans des superstitions africain
Sep 13, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-inglaterra
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.
Sep 05, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hayder is a good author, She creates a story from many strands. This was not my favorite book of hers.
Mar 23, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Three years have passed since the events in The Treatment, and Jack has moved to Bristol for a change. He still doesn't know what we, the readers, know concerning his missing brother Ewan, but Jack no longers feels magnetized to the places Ewan could be.
None of this stops him from being the miserable creature he is, and he is quickly turning into a Class-A jerk.

We are introduced to new characters, namely Sgt. "Flea" Marley, a professional diver who seems to be in charge of this case while batt
Feb 16, 2015 Noramk2 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2014 Simone Sinna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Dec 04, 2014 Kimberly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Vivi Vocat
This book digs very deep into the horrors that human beings are capable of doing to each other, but much to my surprise, it was a letdown. The story seemed very disconnected and in many instances didn’t make much sense. (Probably it would if I read the previous installments.)

The in my opinion rather unconvincing plot leads to an even more unconvincing conclusion, but before that becomes weird to the point of me not caring about it anymore.
And talking about weird… The main characters Flea and Ca
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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)

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