Ritual by Mo Hayder

Seargent Phoebe Marley, known as “Flea,” is an expert diver with the Bristol police force who discovers a hand in the harbor with no other body parts to be found.  After a second hand is found near the restaurant of a prominent African immigrant, Flea becomes worried about possible connections with an ancient African witchcraft that uses body parts for dark magic. Flea became familiar with these practices when she spent time in Africa after her parents died in a diving accident.   She finds it difficult to convince anyone in the police department that these rituals might have been carried to England, though. The two investigations eventually merge when the police detective Jack Cafferty discovers that the fingerprints from the first hand match a local heroin user and that he is not dead at all.

This gritty story is not for the faint of heart.  Between the violence of the drug world and the ritualistic killings, there are more grisly details than most would like to hear, including what happens to the human body when it spends too much time in water.  The descriptions of what it is like to dive into very deep water or in water that is so silty you cannot see your own hand are just plain creepy to me.  However, the characters are so compelling I could not put the book down. Jack Cafferty appeared in two of Hayder’s earlier books, Birdman and The Treatment, but in this new series he has moved to a new city and found a worthy counterpoint in the character Flea.  The series continues with Skin and Gone.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.


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