This grisly tale of a family held hostage cements Hayder’s reputation as a queen of terror. Caffery is pitted against a chillingly evil villain whose brutal actions are both physical and psychological. Several skillfully interwoven plotlines culminate in a shocking ending. Readers also learn a little more about the fate of Caffery’s brother. A must-read for those who like their thrillers dark and gritty.
A vagrant known as the Walking Man finds an injured dog whose collar carries a scrap of paper the says “help us.” He manipulates Detective Inspector Jack Caffery to search for the dog’s owners by promising information about Caffery’s brother, who’s been missing for more than 30 years. As Caffery canvasses the area with the dog, he learns of a sensational double-murder that occurred nearby 14 years ago. Meanwhile, a local family has been taken hostage. The father is determined to record all the clues he can because he believes the hostages will be killed and his family’s torture is related to the earlier murders. (ATLANTIC MONTHLY PRESS, Apr., 352 pp., $24.00)