The Treatment

by Mo Hayder | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 3/12/2020
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, March 12, 2020
Got this ex-library hardcover from Better World Books, for another release copy; it's the second in the "Jack Caffery" series, following Birdman.

Turns out this one's even worse than the other Hayder books I'd read, regarding the horrible nature of the crimes and the heart-wrenching, nightmare-inducing details. Home invasion, harm to children, protracted torment - it'd be hard to find real-world nightmares that aren't part of this plot. It's well-written and involving, but oh, is it painful... You have been warned!

[Minor - I think - recap-related spoilers follow; nothing huge, IMO, but if you don't like ANY spoilers, stop reading now!]

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I'd like to insert another warning here. I read the series out of order, with this one the last that I read even though it's the second in the series. One of the running themes of the series is that detective Caffery has long-standing issues about the disappearance of his brother when they were children; the boy was never found, and while Caffery's certain that a neighbor, a pedophile, was the one responsible, he can't find useful evidence. In the later books Caffery still hopes to learn his brother's fate, painful as the knowledge might be, just to remove the uncertainty, and of course I assumed that this meant the reader couldn't know it either - but to my surprise, this book reveals that fate, though it won't be 'til the end of Wolf that Caffery will discover this. I actually found it more impactful to learn it this way, and while I can't quite recommend reading the series out of order just for that, I can say that it hits a lot harder...

Anyway. This story opens with the discovery that a family has been held captive in their own home for days, the adults handcuffed in different rooms and left without food or water. And their young son is missing... Caffery and his team go into emergency-search mode, with heat-sensing gadgets and helicopters and everything, but fail to find the boy or any suspects - until it's too late. (There are so many near-misses here that it's very hard to take, for the characters as well as for the reader. Yeesh!)

While investigating the case, Caffery becomes more certain that the perpetrator has been planning this for a long time, and will undoubtedly do it again - and, in fact, another family does fall victim, with the reader getting to see their experiences in alternating chapters, while the police have yet to locate them.

As the scene shifts between Caffery's investigations, flashbacks to his brother's fate, and the appalling experiences of the latest current-day victims, the tension escalates, making me wonder if I really wanted to turn the page to see new horrors or if I could bear to stop and never know what happened. (Sound familiar, that "never know" bit? Yeah. The author likes to play with that.)

Utterly harrowing from start to finish - and as if it weren't enough, the author deliberately adds a few too many close calls, which the reader is aware of even when the characters are not. Very, very emotionally wrenching story. While the later volumes do deal with some appalling crimes, none of them are as awful as the ones in this book - so if you can get through this one, the others should be a piece of cake {wry grin}.

[There's a 2014 Belgian film based on the novel; looks like the characters' names have been changed, but I don't know whether the plot works out differently.]

The series continues with Ritual.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Released 1 wk ago (3/19/2020 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I'm sending this to BCer J4shaw in Idaho, as part of the US/Canada wishlist-tag game. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by wingJ4shawwing at Boise, Idaho USA on Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Received this book as part of the 2020 USA & Canada Wishlist Tag Game.
Thank you GoryDetails, you put me onto author Mo Hayder with an earlier Tag of her debut novel. I look forward to reading this one.

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