The Treatment (Jack Caffery Series #2)

The Treatment (Jack Caffery Series #2)

by Mo Hayder


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Hayder’s second novel after the hair-raising Birdman , The Treatment brings Detective Jack Caffery back to investigate the abduction of a little boy, a crime with disturbing parallels to Caffery's own troubled past.

In a quiet residential area in London, a couple is discovered bound and imprisoned in their own home. Savagely battered and severely dehydrated, the worst revelation is yet to come: their eight-year-old son has been abducted. But when the body is found and forensic evidence turns the case on its head, revealing disturbing parallels to events in Detective Caffery's own past, he realizes he's dealing with much more sinister forces than he'd anticipated—and finds it increasingly difficult to maintain his professional distance. As the evidence mounts and Caffery struggles to hold his own life together, the case hurtles toward a shocking conclusion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802146137
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 07/17/2012
Series: Jack Caffery Series , #2
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 260,189
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

MO HAYDER is the author of the critically acclaimed Birdman (Doubleday). She lives in London, England.

Read an Excerpt


July 17

WHEN IT WAS ALL OVER, DI Jack Caffery, South London Area Major Investigation Team (AMIT), would admit that, of all the things he had witnessed in Brixton that cloudy July evening, it was the crows that jarred him the most.

They were there when he came out of the Peaches' house — twenty or more of them standing in their hooded way on the lawn of the neighboring garden, oblivious to the police tape, the onlookers, the technicians. Some had their beaks open. Others appeared to be panting. All of them faced him directly, as if they knew what had happened in the house. As if they were having a sly laugh about the way he'd reacted to the scene.

Later he would accept that the crows' behavior was a biological tic, that they couldn't see into his thoughts, couldn't have known what had happened to the Peach family, but even so the sight of them made the back of his neck tingle. He paused at the top of the garden path to strip off his overalls and hand them to a forensics officer, pulled on the shoes he'd left outside the police tape and waded out into the birds. They took to the air, rattling their petrolly feathers.

Brockwell Park — a huge, thrown-together isosceles of forest and grass with its apex at Herne Hill station—rambles for over a mile along the boundary of two very different parts of South London. On its western perimeter, the badlands of Brixton — where some mornings council workers have to drop sand on the streets to soak up the blood — and, to the east, Dulwich, with its flower-drenched almshouses and John Soane skylights. Donegal Crescent lay snug up against Brockwell Park — anchored at one foot by a boarded-up pub, at the other by a Gujarati-owned corner shop. It was part of a quiet little council estate, rows of fifties terraced houses bare to the sky, no trees in the front gardens, window frames and doors painted chocolate brown. The houses looked on to a horseshoe-shaped piece of balding grass where kids skidded their bikes in the evening. Caffery could imagine the Peaches must have felt relatively safe here.

Back in his shirt sleeves, grateful for the fresh air outside, he rolled a cigarette and crossed to the group of officers next to the Scientific Support Command Unit's van. They fell silent as he approached and he knew what they were thinking. He was only in his midthirties — not a senior-rank warhorse — but most officers in South London knew who he was. "One of the Met's Young Turks," the Police Review had called him. He knew he was respected in the force and he always found it a bit freaky. If they knew half of it. He hoped they wouldn't notice that his hands were trembling.

"Well?" He lit the cigarette and looked at a sealed plastic evidence bag a junior forensics officer was holding. "What've you got?"

"We found it just inside the park, sir, about twenty yards from the back of the Peaches'."

Caffery took the bag and turned it over carefully. A Nike Air Server trainer, a child's shoe, slightly smaller than his hand. "Who found it?"

"The dogs, sir."


"They lost the trail. At first they had it — they had it good, really good." A sergeant in the blue shirt of the dog handlers' unit stood on tiptoe and pointed over the roofs to where the park rose in the distance, blotting out the sky with its dark forests. "They took us round the path that scoots over the west of the park — but after half a mile they just drew a blank." He looked dubiously at the evening sky. "And we've lost the light now."

"Right. I think we need to speak to Air Support." Caffery passed the trainer back to the forensics officer. "It should be in an air-drying bag."

"I'm sorry?"

"There's blood on it. Didn't you see?"

The SSCU's dragonlights powered up, flooding the Peaches' house, spilling light onto the trees in the park beyond. In the front garden forensics officers in blue rubberized suits swept the lawn with dustpans, and outside the police tape shock-faced neighbors stood in knots, smoking and whispering, breaking off to huddle around any plainclothes AMIT detective who came near, full of questions. The press were there too. Losing patience.

Caffery stood next to the Command Unit van and stared up at the house. It was a two-story terraced house — pebble dashed, a satellite dish on the roof and a small patch of damp above the front door. There were matching scalloped nets in each window, and beyond them the curtains had been drawn tight.

He had only seen the Peach family, or what was left of them, in the aftermath, but he felt as if he knew them. Or, rather, he knew their archetype. The parents — Alek and Carmel — weren't going to be easy victims for the team to sympathize with: both drinkers, both unemployed, and Carmel Peach had sworn at the paramedics as they moved her into the ambulance. Their only son, nine-year-old Rory, Caffery hadn't seen. By the time he'd arrived the divisional officers had already pulled the house apart trying to find the child — in the cupboards, the attic, even behind the bath paneling. There were traces of blood on the skirting board in the kitchen, and the glass in the back door was broken. Caffery had taken a Territorial Support Group officer with him to search a boarded-up property two doors down, crawling through a hole in the back door on their bellies, flashlights in their teeth like an adolescent's SAS fantasy. All they found were the usual homeless nesting arrangements. There was no other sign of life. No Rory Peach. The raw facts were bad enough and for Caffery they might have been custom-built to echo his own past. Don't let it be a problem, Jack, don't let it turn into a headfuck.

"Jack?" DCI Danniella Souness said suddenly at his side. "Ye all right, son?"

He looked round. "Danni. God, I'm glad you're here."

"What's with the face? Ye've a gob on ye like a dog's arse."

"Thanks, Danni." He rubbed his face and stretched. "I've been on standby since one o'clock this morning."

"And what's the story on this?" She gestured at the house. "A wain gone missing, am I right? Rory?"

"Yes. We're going to be blowing some fuses on it — he's only nine years old."

Souness blew air out of her nose and shook her head. She was solid, just five foot four, but she weighed twelve stone in her man's suit and boots. With her cropped hair and fair, Caledonian skin she looked more like a juvenile dressed for his first court appearance than a forty-year-old chief inspector. She took her job very seriously. "Right, the assessment team been?"

"We don't know we've got a death yet. No dead body, no assessment team."

"Aye, the lazy wee bastards."

"Local factory's taken the house apart and can't find him. I've had dogs and the territorials in the park. Air Support should be on their way."

"Why do ye think he's in the park?"

"These houses all back onto it." He pointed toward the woods that rose beyond the roofs. "We've got a witness saw something heading off into the trees from number thirty. Back door's unlocked, there's a hole in the fence, and the lads found a shoe just inside the park."

"OK, OK, I'm convinced." Souness folded her arms and tipped back on her heels, looking around at the technicians, the photographers, the divisional CID officers. On the doorstep of number thirty a camera operator was checking his battery belt, lowering the heavy Betacam into a case. "Looks like a shagging film set."

"The unit want to work through the night."

"And what's with the ambulance? The one that almost ran me off the road."

"Ah, yes — that was Mum. She and hubby have both been trundled off to King's. She'll make it but he hasn't got a hope. Where he was hit —" Caffery held his palm against the back of his head " —fucked him up some." He checked over his shoulder then bent a little nearer to her, lowering his voice. "Danni. There're a few things we're going to have to keep from the press, a few things we don't want popping up in the tabloids."

"What things?"

"It isn't a custody kidnap. He's their child — no exes involved."

"A tiger, then?"

"Not a tiger either." Tiger kidnaps meant ransom demands and the Peaches were not in an extortionist's financial league. "And, anyway, when you look at what else went on you'll know it's not bog standard."


Caffery looked around at the journalists — at the neighbors. "Let's go in the van, eh?" He put his hand on Souness's back. "I don't want an audience."

"Come on, then." She hefted herself inside the SSCU's van and Caffery followed, reaching up to grip the roof rim and swing himself inside. Spades, cutting equipment and tread plates hung from the walls, a samples refrigerator hummed gently in the corner. He closed the door and hooked a stool over with his foot and handed it to her. She sat down and he sat opposite, feet apart, elbows on his knees, looking at her carefully.


"We've got something screwy."


"The guy stayed with them first."

Souness frowned, tilting her chin down as if she wasn't sure whether he was joking or not. "Stayed with them?"

"That's right. Just . . . hung around. For almost three days. They were tied up in there — handcuffed. DS Quinn thinks another twelve hours and one or other of them'd be dead." He raised his eyebrows. "Worst thing's the smell."

Souness rolled her eyes. "Oh, lovely."

"Then there's the bullshit scrawled all over the wall."

"Christ." Souness sat back a little, rubbing her stubbly head with the palm of her hand. "Is it sounding like a Maudsley jobbie?"

He nodded. "Yeah. But he won't be far — the park is sealed now, we'll have him before long." He stood to leave the van. "Jack?" Souness stopped him. "Something else is worrying ye."

He paused for a minute, looking at the floor, his hand on the back of his neck. It was as if she'd leaned over and peered keen-eyed through a window in his head. They liked each other, he and Souness: neither was quite sure why, but they had both fallen comfortably into this partnership. Still, there were some things he didn't choose to tell her.

"No, Danni," he murmured eventually, reknotting his tie, not wanting to hear how much she guessed of his preoccupations. "Nothing else. Come on, let's have a shufti at the park, shall we?"

Outside, night had come to Donegal Crescent. The moon was low and red in the sky.

From the back of Donegal Crescent, Brockwell Park appeared to ramble away for miles into the distance, filling the skyline. Its upper slopes were mostly bald, only a few shabby, hairless trees across the backbone and at the highest point a clutch of exotic evergreens. But on the west slope an area about the size of four football pitches was thick with trees: bamboo and silver birch, beech and Spanish chestnut, they huddled around four stinking ponds, sucking up the dampness in the soil. There was the density of a jungle among those trees — in the summer the ponds seemed to be steaming.

At 8:30 p.m. that night, only minutes before the park was sealed off by the police, one solitary man was not far from the ponds, shuffling among the trees, an intent expression on his face. Roland Klare's was a lonely, almost hermitic existence — with odd tempers and periods of lethargy—and sometimes, when the mood was on him, he was a collector. A human relative of the carrion beetle, to Klare nothing was disposable or beyond redemption. He knew the park well and often wandered around here looking through the bins, checking under park benches. People left him alone. He had long, rather womanly hair and a smell about him that no one liked. A familiar smell — of dirty clothes and urine.

Now he stood, with his hands in his pockets and stared at what was between his feet. It was a camera. A Pentax camera. He picked it up and looked at it carefully, holding it close to his face because the light was fading fast, examining it for damage. Roland Klare had three or four other cameras back at his flat, among the items scavenged from skips and Dumpsters. He even had bits and pieces of film developing equipment. Now quickly he put the Pentax in his pocket and shuffled his feet around in the leaves for a bit, checking the ground. There'd been a heavy summer cloudburst that morning but the sun had shone all afternoon and even the undersides of the long grass were dry against his shoes.

Two feet away lay a pair of pink rubber gloves, large ones, which he slipped into his pocket with the camera. After a while he continued on his way through the fading light. The rubber gloves, he decided, when he got them under a streetlight, were not worth keeping. Too worn. He dropped them in a skip on the Railton Road. But a camera. A camera was not to be discarded lightly.

It was a quiet evening for India 99, the twin-engined Squirrel helicopter out of Lippits Hill air base. The sun had gone down and the heat and low cloud cover made the Air Support crew headachy: they got the unit's twelve fixed tasks completed as quickly as possible — Heathrow, the Dome, Canary Wharf, several power stations including Battersea — and were ready to switch to self-tasking when the controller came through on the tactical commander's headset. "Yeah, India nine-nine from India Lima."

The tactical commander pulled the mouthpiece nearer. "Go ahead, India Lima."

"Where are you?"

"We're in, uh, where?" He leaned forward a little and looked down at the lit-up city. "Wandsworth."

"Good. India nine-eight's got an active, but they've reached endurance, grid ref: TQ3427445."

The commander checked the map. "Is that Brockwell Park?"

"Rog. It's a missing child, ground units have got it contained, but look, lads, the DI's being straight with us, says you're a tick in the box. He can't promise the child's in the park — just a hunch — so there's no obligation."

The commander pulled away his mouthpiece, checked his watch and looked into the front of the cockpit. The air observer and the pilot had heard the request and were holding their thumbs up for him to see. "Good." He noted the time and the Computer Aided Dispatch Number on the assignment log and pulled his mouthpiece back into place.

"Yeah, go on, then, India Lima. It's quiet tonight — we'll have a look. Who are we speaking to?"

Table of Contents

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The Treatment (Jack Caffery Series #2) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
pen21 More than 1 year ago
Great writing. This is a excellent good dark mystery. Hayder really got me hooked on the series. I do recommend reading Birdman before The Treatment. I think I could get right into the plot of The Treatment because of what I had learned in Birdman about the main character Detective Jack Caffery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book may be even better than Birdman. Maybe b/c Hayder brings several of the characters from the first book into this one. I especially was interested in Caffrey's relationships with Rebecca and Penderecki, which added extra layers to the novel. My only complaint is the ending. So close! I wish this book had another 3 chapters or so...I really wanted that last story arc tied up. Oh well, so it goes.... Still a good read, especially if you've read Birdman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hayder is certainly one for writing a novel that just won't let up, and this one is no different. So utterly disturbing, you just need to find out who the killer is so you can put this nightmare down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books in the mystery/thriller genre that I have ever read, and I've read a lot of them. The ending is absolutely horrifying! I look forward to Mo Hayder's next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good, but way too overdone in the Oops, I almost got it department. A lot of writers use the idea of It's at the back of my mind but I can't get it, or If only he had turned right instead of left he would have solved the case. But she uses them ad nauseam. After a while I found myself asking Can't he remember anything, and How unlucky can one policeman be? Except for this flaw, which to me is fairly serious, it was a good yarn. Yes, I will probably buy the next one, but if she plays the same game again, I don' t know about the one after.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't say this isn't well written, but I believe this series has gotten entirely too dark for me. Warning: if you find Ruth Rendell too disturbing, stay away from this one. It will literally disturb your sleep, and not in a scary-good way but in a traumatically depressing way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mo Hayder is my favorite "new" author. I read Gone, and I've been gone every since. Every book I read is better than the one before.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my second mo hayder book and like Poppet, l just couldnt put it down. Fantastic!
JCB3 More than 1 year ago
First time reading this author - wonderful writer. What's I liked best about Hayder is in his ability to encourage his readers to come to their own conclusion(s) - a terrifying and poingnant novel that definitely adds a new element of shock  to the "crime/mystery" genre.
miss_dobie More than 1 year ago
Heart-breakingly brilliant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dark mystery/thriller that was hard to put down. The twisting plot was so carefully done. I just loved that there is just the right amount of description so the reader's brain gets the visual and is not lost in pages of words. There are a lot of non-American words that add to the reality of the book. Worth reading as long as you do not mind graphic, and I mean GRAPHIC, sexual and violent content. Very dark, difficult subject matters. I have to say I feel Mo Hayder cheated me with the ending. Great read though!
Annaparker63 More than 1 year ago
Great storyline and characters will keep you on the edge of your seat!
ATXSue More than 1 year ago
It was hard to put this down. The crime is truly gruesome, and while our hero, Jack Caffery, has his own problems directly related to the case, you just know he is going to catch his man, or at least you hope so. The unexpected ironic twists and turns keep you guessing. I am ready to read more of this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An intense ride, made all the more exciting with the author pulling some serious strings! On to book 3.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Possibly better than the first. I can't decide. I purchased the third book about halfway through this one. I will definitely be getting all of Mo Hayder's books. She is amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great, the best I've read in a long time. I am a Stephen King fan but this is so much better, very much like Thomas Harris. If this is your type of genre this book is fast paced and hard to put down.
mazda502001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hayder's first Jack Caffery book, Birdman, has to rate as one of my top favourites. This book is really good but not quite up to Birdman standard. Very realistic, chilling and dark and I just couldn't put it down.Back Cover Blurb:Midsummer, and in an unassuming house on a quiet residential street on the edge of Brockwell Park in south London, a husband and wife are discovered, imprisoned in their own home. Badly dehydrated, they've been bound and beaten, and the husband is close to death. But worse is to come: their young son is missing.When DI Jack Caffery of the Met's AMIT squad is called in to investigate, the similarities to events in his own past make it impossible for him to view this new crime with the necessary detachment. And as Jack digs deeper, as he attempts to hold his own life together in the face of ever more disturbing revelations about both the past and the present, the real nightmare begins.....
KLmesoftly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this when I was around 13, and can still trace elements of my occasional nightmares back to this book. It was very disturbing in a gratuitous/shock-value way, and though I found the book gripping, I finished it feeling like I'd finally gotten through an ordeal. It's the least enjoyment I've ever taken from a decently well-written novel. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone I like.
kylenapoli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hayder's books are truly, deeply dark -- in this case, also excellent and heartbreaking -- but I appreciate that she shows the real damage some people take in life and also the real resilience they may have. More, that sometimes damage and resilience are two sides of the same coin.
ct.bergeron on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is a perfect summer day in london's up-market brockweel Park. Yet, behind the elegant facade of one house, a man and is wife, have been taken prisonner in their own home and their young son as disappeared. But the final horror of their terrifying ordeal's still to be revealed... Called to investigate, Jack Caffery tries desesperatly to make sense of the meager clues found at the crime scene. But the echoes of a devastating disappearance in his own past make it impossible for him to view the crime objectively. And as Jack digs deeper, as the disturbing parallels between the past and the present mount, the real nightmare begin...
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A man and his wife are found handcuffed in their home, severely dehydrated, the man badly beaten, and the wife's hands nearly severed from trying to get free. This is not the worst of it though, they have an eight year old son and he is missing. Jack Caffery is on the case and as he hunts for the missing boy he can't help but be haunted by the long ago disappearance of his own brother.This story slowly escalates into the most disturbing book I've ever read. Mo Hayder is a master of this genre. I found the tension almost unbearable. I quickly realized on the first evening that I could not read this book at night if I wished to sleep peacefully. I often found myself setting the book down just so I could catch my breath and let my heart stop pounding. I literally could not read fast enough at times. The subject matter is perverse and unsettling in the extreme. As I read I often wondered if it would become too much for me but Hayder never crosses that line.The narrative switches between several points of view, keeping the tension taught and the reader on the edge. There are many twists and turns and this is an intricate plot with many reveals along the way. Any future book I read in this genre is going to be held up to Ms Hayder as an example of the best. This book receives my highest recommendation for those with the stomach and the nerves for it.
LisaDunckley More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd of the Jack Caffery series, and I liked it even better than the first! Once again Jack is called upon to solve a particularly horrific crime. This time it involves rings of pedophiles, and brings forward some of the story of what happened to Jack's little brother (unsolved disappearance, suspect is pedophile neighbor). Once again, the police detective solving and clues is very well done. The criminals in this book are horrific—the details about the ring of child abusers was terrifying. And finding out some of the back story of Jack's brother was very intriguing. These books are not for the squeamish—there are lots of gruesome details both about murders and about abuse of children. Without giving away any spoilers, I would say that if you like thrillers, detective novels or books about serial killers you will NOT be able to put this book down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm gonna try to do this without dropping any spoilers... There are some bits of the story line that turn out just as one would like, and others leave you hanging... That said, over all, I enjoyed it. Here and there the dialog gets lost and you're not sure who's speaking, but it's not a contiuous issue. I've been able to get into the main characters. I guess I'm going to have to get the next book in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago