British author Mo Hayder transfixed chiller fans with a stunning portrait of a psychopathic killer in her popular debut novel, "Birdman" (1999).
With "The Treatment" she turns her attention to pedophilia, and recounts villainy in stark forensic detail.
Jack Caffery, the jaded, street-wise detective from Hayder's previous work, returns to investigate a heinous crime which very much reminds him of an event in his own childhood.
It is a warm, beautiful summer in South London when a young couple, Alek and Carmel Peach, are found bound and near death in their home. They have been savagely beaten, but even more frightening is the disappearance of their young son, Rory.
Caffery pulls out all stops in his attempt to find the missing boy. The detective is torn as past memories and the present crime seem to converge in his mind.
When the child's butchered body is discovered, South London is turned upside down in an effort to locate the sadist capable of such an offense.
Grisly at times? Yes. Suspense filled and impossible to put down? Also yes. "The Treatment," a bestseller in England, will surely win more fans for Hayder in the colonies.
- Gail Cooke