Hayder, Mo - 'Gone'
Jack Caffery is a detective based in Bristol, and in this book, he is searching for a car-jacker with a difference. Someone is stealing cars, with children in the back. Sometimes the children are returned, but sometimes not. But it is not as simple as it seems. The car-jacker is targeting particular families, and he seems to know all about them, including where they live, and their family backgrounds. What is his motivation, and will Jack find the two missing girls in time to prevent them dying?
As well as Jack, this book again features Flea, the head of the Avon and Somerset underwater search unit. She is back on form in this book, but still as determined and reckless as ever, following up possible clues on her own, and putting her own life at risk. The walking man, a tramp who was once a businessman, but lost his daughter to a paedophile, also makes an appearance or two, helping Jack to work things out.
The story itself is a pretty straightforward one. Jack has a peculiar knack for following up clues that gradually move them closer to finding the car-jacker step by step. The identity of the car-jacker is well hidden, the plot is well written and the clues are cleverly placed so that the reader is able to work out what is going one side by side with Jack. There is some nice use of sophisticated detection techniques that help to move the story along. And that's pretty much it. Mo Hayder is back on form with this book, and it's well worth a read.
Michelle Peckham, England