Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Poppet by Mo Hayder

I never judge a book by its cover. I don't even notice it. All that matters to me is the author's name and synopsis. But this is definitely a book to be judged by its cover. Scary cover? Scary story!

The beginning is very disturbing. Even considering that it is a delusion of a mentally ill person. And 'The Maude', is one of our nightmares. The tightness in chest, the difficulty to breathe, not able to get up, struggling with semi-consiousness. Do I even continue!

Already delusional mental patients report the presence of 'The Maude', a dwarf ghost, who prompts them to self-harm. Series of disturbing happenings leading to at least two deaths, disturbs the usually unperturbed AJ, coordinator at this Mental Asylum. AJ is the short for Average Joe, he is one of our main leads. The other lead is of course the series protagonist DI Jack Caffery. Will AJ with the help of Jack Caffery overcome the nightmare? AJ poking at these events takes us on a nightmarish journey into the life of a mentally disturbed teenager who killed his parents brutally.

The first few chapters were very disturbing. I do my reading mostly before sleep, I had fitful sleep the couple of nights I read it. I was even considering abandoning the book, which I rarely do. But there was something that made me read it. I love scary or horror movies, but reading horror stuff is never my thing, because my imagination is more scary than someone else's as in watching a movie. That said the story moves into the thriller mode from the horror stuff.

The parallel plot involves the investigation into a missing person case which looks like a continuation from previous novel. I haven't read any other books in the series, I wonder if that is the reason that I couldn't be interested in the parallel plot. About the main plot, there were too many clues and quite early on I zeroed on the perp, which was a bit of a let down for a mystery. But there were other surprises and Mo Hayder manipulates our feelings for the characters quite adeptly. A Chilling thriller!

P.S. It is told in present tense if you care about such things. 


Marce said...

This sounds amazingly disturbing. I really want to read Mo Hayder and this one is calling me, maybe I just go for it and then track back.

Great review.

srivalli said...

This is disturbing. My sister finished Gone yesterday and felt that was disturbing too. I think these books work well as standalones, but there is a central thread running through the series I think. Go for it Marce! Thanks for stopping by!

TracyK said...

This is an author I have wanted to read, but I have always been put off by the "disturbing" elements. I have heard that her books are very good, so I will have to try one of them. Based on your review, I guess I know not to read one of them right before bed. Great review, tells me just what I want to know.

srivalli said...

Thanks Tracy for stopping by! I think her books, at least Poppet and Gone, are disturbing because they deal with things that we are scared of in real life. Playing with our deepest fears!