- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (May 14, 2013)
- ISBN-10: 0802121071
- Source: Publisher
AJ is a head nurse at Beechway, a high-level psychiatric hospital. Rather than focusing on the crimes that each of his patients have committed, AJ treats them each with respect and care. It’s hard to ignore their claims that the ward is haunted by “The Maude.” a short little dwarf of a creature that reportedly sits on the chests of her victims as they sleep. When cases of self-harm keep popping up – three resulting in death- AJ is determined to get to the bottom of it.
Meanwhile a patient, Isaac, has been released into the world. He was complicit in a horrible act involving his parents when he was a child. Unfortunately, his involvement with the other patients’ abuse isn’t realized until after his hasty release. AJ, against the knowledge of his supervisor, calls in Detective Jack Caffery to investigate. Do the crude doll-like effigies Isaac created have any correlations to the deaths? With AJ’s help, Caffery digs down to reveal cases of brutality that would terrorize even the most skeptical of minds.
A second parallel storyline follows this one, involving an unsolved case of Caffery’s. Fans of Hayder’s previous work (in this case, Skin) will be rewarded with this return to an old case. Unfortunately, readers new to the series might feel a little out of the loop. Without this second storyline, Poppet would most certainly serve as a great stand-alone to readers new to this author.
Hayder has quite the talent for producing one terrorizing read after another. Poppet is the sixth book in her Caffery series and it is recommended that readers do read them in order. Caffery’s evolution as a character is quite remarkable, something readers might miss out on if they start the series mid-way or at the tail end.
A truly chilling combination of horror and true crime, Poppet is a novel best read under the light of day with all your lights turned on, doors and windows locked. Delightfully chilling and highly recommended.