After a little break from reading about crime and murder, I’m back at it with Ritual by Mo Hayder. I found this book a little while ago in my big sis’s room and the cover plus title made me very curious! And of course, when I began reading it, I found out that it’s the third book in a series about DI Jack Caffery (when will I learn). Luckily, it didn’t matter and I enjoyed reading Ritual a lot!
Just after lunch on a Tuesday in April, nine feet underwater, police diver Flea Marley closes her gloved fingers around a human hand.
The fact that there’s no body attached is disturbing enough. Yet more disturbing is the discovery, a day later, of the matching hand. Both have been recently amputated, and the indications are that the victim was still alive when they were removed.
DI Jack Caffery has been newly seconded to the Major Crime Investigation Unit in Bristol. He and Flea soon establish that the hands belong to a boy who has recently disappeared.
Their search for him – and for his abductor – leads them into the darkest recesses of Bristol’s underworld, where drug addiction is rife, where street-kids sell themselves for a hit, and where an ancient evil lurks; an evil that feeds off the blood – and flesh – of others.
Wow, this wasn’t really my average crime read and that’s absolutely a good thing! Where most of the crime books I read still are a bit ‘goody-goody’ in my eyes, Ritual wasn’t. With this story you get your bookly overdose on separated limbs, blood, psychopaths and mystery. I noticed my face getting into its ‘grossed out’ state quite a lot while reading.
And that’s not all! Although there are two earlier books about one of the main characters, Jack Caffery, which I haven’t read yet, I think I got a pretty good view on him as a person and the troubles that he carries around. And you do not only get to know him well, but also ‘Flea’ and even the victims and the culprits quite a bit! I love books where there are different POVs, so you get to read all the sides to the same story.
The only downside to Ritual was, well, the ending. You get to read about the investigation and its progress for about 350 pages, where the tension builds and builds and builds and then! it’s over. At least, that’s what I think because the ending has one tiny path that leads off the high road and I kind of hope that the following books in this series will get back on that, since I’m really curious!
All of this makes me want to read the first two books as well, especially since I read their blurbs and they were already very … bloody.