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3.47  ·  Rating details ·  269 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
The thrilling prequel to the bestselling Skull Session, published for the first time in the United States.

The New Jersey State Police had started calling him Howdy Doody, after the famous TV puppet of the 1950s. Three people killed in northern New Jersey, then three in Manhattan and another in the Bronx, in a thirteen-month period. And all of them hung up with strings atta
Paperback, 448 pages
Published July 11th 2005 by Bloomsbury USA (first published October 15th 2001)
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Rating details
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Aug 27, 2007 rated it did not like it
PUPPETS (Thriller-New York-Cont) – Poor
Hecht, Daniel – Standalone
Bloomsbury, 2005-Paperback
Det. Mo Ford is called to a murder scene where the victim has been strung up like a puppet. The scene is identical to past murders. The only problem is the killer is in prison. Is this a copycat or someone on the inside with access to detailed information?
*** Warning: animals and humans are tortured in this book. But that's not why I rated it "poor." It's because I figured out, almost from the beginning, w
Mar 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jody
Shelves: fiction, read-2008
One of those "couldn't put it down toil the end" books.
Puppets is a fast, intriguing story bolstered by real substance in its study of the dodgy things governments do...Combined with the mind games of a classic manhunt and a splash of romance, it's got pretty much all you could ask for.
Brian O'Leary
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
good start, good main characters, but way too drawn out.
Edwin Wassink
Spannend, maar soms wat langdradig. Einde toch wel verrassend.
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I started strong with this book. The cop that pushes the envelope, failing at his marriage, and the dynamic of working with the FBI on these (copycat?) Howdy Doody murders had me excited to forge ahead. And I did; I read about 150 pages in a couple days while juggling life-always a good indication-but then I stalled out. I felt forced to get through it just to finish. I wanted to skip ahead. I had some good guesses who the killer was-but to be honest, by the time I got there, I really didn’t car ...more
Cecily Kyle
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: uno
An interesting novel but one that is a little drawn out for me. The imagry, especially with the animals, is a bit disturbing so the book is definitely not fr the faint at heart. I liked the story but there was just too much filler and it took way too long to get to the final climax when we basically know who did it half way through the novel. Meh!
Rogue Reader
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Scary scary serial killer. Re-reading and then will move the book along
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: detective
"Puppets" looks and reads like a typical detective novel at first, with atypical characters: a detective named Mo has to find who has been imitating an already imprisoned murderer in his district, aided by a psychologist who is very smart and cunning and already in on the entire case. Together they form a very good team but seem up against a series of very difficult situations.

However, the novel isn't typical: the characters are very well written, each with their own voice and thinking patterns.
Tim Titolo
Jan 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Puppets, by Daniel Hecht, is a prequel to his popular Skull Sessions. Focusing on detective Mo Ford, the plot is about an investigation into human experiments from the Vietnam war where humans were neurologically programmed to be killers. The mystery of who is the bad guy is revealed in the final pages.

Leading up to the mystery revealed, Hecht engages us in issues from government secrets, the life of a lonely detective, and light romance.

I have just finished reading the third Hecht novel. The la
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
What can I say, I like this guy's writing even though I never would have heard of him if it weren't for picking up one of his books at a dollar sale on

Truly messed up, sickening book. In the first thirty pages or so there is a scene that hit me pretty hard and frightens me to think either this author thought it up, or something like this has happened n real life for him to take and use literary license on.

I was also truly surprised at the end. You know how they say when readi
Sep 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BoekenTrol by: person who works at the publisher's office
I got a signed copy :-)

A very nice thriller :-) Kept me reading, guessing who the puppeteer might be. I think that was the objective of the author, but sometimes I know who did it long before the story ends. Not in this case, however, and that is what I liked mose.
The subject however is quite gruesome: changing people into murderers, experimenting on dogs. I don't want to imagine that practices like that really do exist, but to be honest, I wouldn't be very surprised if they did under the autho
Deb W
Aug 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zune
This is my first non-Cree Black of Hecht's titles, and I admit that parts of it left me squeamish -- large parts, but I think that was the point. Hecht twists and contorts his readers' minds as he does his characters. I'm not an expert on the psychological thrillers, but his Skull Session came highly recommended and I wanted to read this prequel first. I'm glad I did, but the content was disturbing. :(
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Daniel Hecht is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. The characters are well developed and the scenes so clearly painted that you feel you are right there in the story. Since this tale is about a detective Mo Ford trying to unravel a string of killings, that's not always a comfortable place to be. The fact that the evidence points to someone within the law enforcement system, so neither you or the detective know just exactly who to trust, makes for a real page turner.
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Not as compelling read as skull session, but this story has more tension to it. A more straightforward thriller, but very intelligent and interesting.

Mo Ford's character from Skull Session is resurrected here, and while the character is obviously the same, the stories are totally not connected. But I do like Mo Ford, and I am finding myself in a similar situation in my life, so that was also nice.
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
Rather a confusing book. A bit too convoluted with the involvement of many agencies and lots of different vendettas and agendas going on around the murder investigation.

A frustrating ending. There seems to be a growing number of books that are ending like this. I don't like it, not in this genre.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Eh. I've read his other books and liked them much better. This one was pretty formulaic. Also, if you're a dog lover, you definitely won't like it. Actually, I think it's okay if you just skip this one and read his other ones. Also, the Kindle version suffered from poor editing.
Gary Scott Gebert
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A crime drama with all the twists and turns to keep you turning the pages. Detective Ford teams up with a beautiful psychologist to uncover a string of grizzly murders that become close to home as they unravel the maker of puppets.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gelezen-in-2016
Spannend genoeg om te blijven boeien, maar behoorlijk langdradig op sommige momenten. Sommige stukken 'scannend' gelezen omdat de vaart er anders behoorlijk uitraakte, voor mijn gevoel. Eind was toch nog verrassend
Elizabeth Moffat
First one of Daniel Hecht's I have read, apparently it is a prequel to Skull Session and will definitely be adding that to my list! Enjoyed the story and the intense focus on all the characters rather than just the crimes.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Although sometimes dark and dealing with the unsettling subject of a serial killer, this book still managed to build likable characters with believable dialog. Hecht combines a study of the dark human psyche with an added bonus of government conspiracy.
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed and it was Daniel Hecht ever going to write another book?!?
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Awesome suspense/crime novel. Maybe one of the best I've read.
Marty Fried
I can't remember the book, but I found it on my list of audiobooks that I listened to years ago.
Lisa Greer
Apr 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
I couldn't get into it, knowing the fate of Mo already!
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I prefer the Cree Black books.
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2012 marked it as to-read
New Jersey
Oct 03, 2008 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
Mary Marshall
rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2017
Christopher Money
rated it really liked it
Sep 03, 2017
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I was born into an artist's community founded in 1946 by my parents and their friends in the wilds of Westchester County, N.Y. Surrounded by these individualistic yet communalistic bohemians, I saw artists in every discipline working their magic, and could not help but follow in their footsteps.

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