3.5 stars I have such mixed feelings about this one. It started off great, and what Mo Hayder does extremely well is to build up tension and create me...more3.5 stars I have such mixed feelings about this one. It started off great, and what Mo Hayder does extremely well is to build up tension and create memorable characters. This story is also filled with a lot of twists and turns, some of which I thought were too convoluted and involving human behavior that wasn't entirely convincing, but others that were also really intriguing and offering genuine surprises. The payoff was good, (view spoiler)[in that that little witch gets what's coming to her (hide spoiler)] but I do wish it had felt a bit more emphatically satisfying. A little more time wrapping that up probably would have let us revel in the climax more.
As someone who revels in the previous books in this series, as well as in Karin Slaughter and Chelsea Cain and other thrillers, I'm no stranger to boundary-pushing extremes of human behavior and violence, but what's portrayed here felt mostly like shock-value material rather than stuff that really gets to you. It's terrible and violent and traumatic on paper, yes, but I didn't experience the kind of visceral reaction I normally would with descriptions and writing and character development that truly put me inside a character's head and made me care about them (or made me fascinated by them, in a killer's case).
I'm glad, however, that we finally, FINALLY get more of the overarching story arc involving Jack's brother that was so riveting in the first two books. It's been 13 long years since the second book The Treatment, the last time any significant developments have occurred--we've known about Ewan's fate for a long time (I still think about that haunting final scene), but Jack never did. But to have this major storyline relegated to a relatively minor role in this book, particularly in a book already stuffed full of perhaps too many details and characters, and with the additional "mystique" distraction of The Walking Man, felt unnecessarily cruel and did not allow for it to be infused with nearly as much poignancy and guilt and regret as it should have been. I know this will change him--I just hope that in the future Caffery books, it's in the kind of meaningful way that we saw in the first two brilliant books in this series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I actually liked this. It skips over emotional development and takes a lot of shortcuts and side trips and backtracking with the plot, but it kept my...moreI actually liked this. It skips over emotional development and takes a lot of shortcuts and side trips and backtracking with the plot, but it kept my interest and I was surprised by how things turned out for some of that characters.
Best enjoyed the way you would a historical romance. Don't expect it to be deep, but it is very entertaining.
Clever and thought-provoking, and an interesting change of pace for an author mostly known for dark, gothic stories. (It's so nice to see the humorous...moreClever and thought-provoking, and an interesting change of pace for an author mostly known for dark, gothic stories. (It's so nice to see the humorous, pleasant side we've gotten to know through his interviews!)
While the ending was a bit less complex than I expected, I love everything I've read by this author and this book is no exception.