A murder leads detective Jack Caffery into England’s drug underground in this “brilliant, dense, scary” crime thriller in the Edgar Award–winning series (The Globe and Mail, Toronto).
Nine feet under water, police diver Flea Marley closes her gloved fingers around a human hand. The fact that there’s no body attached is disturbing enough—until the discovery of the matching appendage a day later. Both hands have been freshly amputated, and there are indications that the victim was still alive when they were removed.
Newly seconded to the Major Crime Investigation Unit in Bristol, DI Jack Caffery soon establishes that the hands belong to a young man who has recently disappeared. As Caffery and Marley search for the rest of the victim—and for his abductor—they journey into the darkest recesses of Bristol’s underworld, where drug addiction is rife, street kids sell themselves for a hit, and a disturbing occult ritual may be making an unexpected appearance.
“Hayder . . . moves to another level in this spellbinder. With characters so complex, so fascinating that they could populate a dozen novels . . . Definitely one of the best crime novels of [the year].” —The Globe and Mail
“Ritual moves from the eerie and dangerous to the downright ferocious as steadily as an oncoming train . . . You’re going to love the ride.” —Jack Ketchum, author of The Lost and The Girl Next Door
“Superb . . . Hayder vividly evokes torture and drug abuse, but the violence is never gratuitous. Readers looking for visceral thrills need look no further than this gritty English series.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Hayder . . . outdoes herself, flip-flopping the supernatural and the explainable like a cycle of poison and antidote that will remain with the reader long after the final page.” —Booklist, starred review
Als Detective Inspector Jack Caffery nach durchzechter Nacht seinen Rausch ausschlafen will, klingelt das Telefon: Auf einem Brachgelände in der Nähe der Themse wurden die Leichen von fünf Frauen gefunden. Die Obduktion ergibt, dass Caffery und seine Kollegen es mit einem Serienkiller zu tun haben, den sie den „Vogelmann“ nennen. Vier der fünf Opfer, so zeigen erste Ermittlungen, waren drogenabhängige Prostituierte, die niemand vermisste. Und ihr Mörder scheint schon bald gefasst: Für Cafferys Kollegen Diamond ist klar, dass ein schwarzer Drogendealer die Frauen auf dem Gewissen hat, Polizei und Bevölkerung können aufatmen. Doch Caffery verfolgt eine ganz andere Spur. Gegen den Widerstand seiner Vorgesetzten und obendrein im Kampf mit privaten Problemen ermittelt er weiter. Erinnerungen aus der Kindheit holen ihn ein, Erinnerungen an seinen Bruder, der eines Tages beim Spielen spurlos verschwand und möglicherweise ermordet wurde. Obwohl die beiden Fälle offenbar nichts miteinander zu tun haben, kann Caffery den Gedanken an die damaligen Ereignisse nicht mehr abschütteln. Seine Suche nach dem mysteriösen „Vogelmann“ führt ihn schließlich in das Dog and Bell, ein Pub, in dem die Opfer ihre Freier suchten. Hier lernt Caffery auch die Malerin Becky kennen, die Bilder von den Mädchen im Dog and Bell malt. Caffery ist schon bald von Becky fasziniert, und sie ist es auch, die ihn auf die Fährte des Mörders bringt. Doch dann fehlt von Becky plötzlich jede Spur...

A “profoundly creepy and creepily convincing thriller” of religious fanatics and hoax debunkers from the Edgar Award–winning author of Hanging Hill (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
Journalist Joe Oakes makes a living exposing supernatural hoaxes, but when he visits a secretive religious community on a remote Scottish island, everything he thought he knew is overturned.
Following the trail of a strange creature caught briefly on film, so deformed it can hardly be human, Oakes crosses a border of electrical fencing, toxin-filled oil drums, and pig skulls to infiltrate the territory of the groups’ isolated founder, Malachi Dove. Their confrontation, and its violent aftermath, is so catastrophic that it forces Oakes to question the nature of evil—and whether he might be responsible for the heinous crime about to unfold . . .
This latest entry from the acclaimed British author of the Jack Caffery novels “taps into the current fascination with all things supernatural and questions our assumptions about a number of subjects, from faith healing to cultish religious groups and society’s definition of evil” (Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review).
“[Hayder] remains one of our most adventurous, unpredictable and ambitious writers.” —The Guardian
“Hayder offers both a riveting story and a nuanced, distinctly modern look at secrecy and publicity, belief and skepticism, normal and taboo, (in)sight and blindness.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“An adventurous, edgy, literate writer.” —Kirkus Reviews
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