A Jack Caffrey thriller from “easily today’s best writer of visceral and elemental horror . . . guaranteed to creep out even the strongest of heart.” (Booklist, starred review)
In her eerie and hair-raising thriller Skin, Mo Hayder trails her two unforgettable protagonists as they race to staunch a rising tide of blood in a sweltering port town.
When the decomposing body of a young woman is found, the wounds on her wrists suggest an open-and-shut case of suicide. But Jack Caffery is not so sure. Other apparent suicides are cropping up, and they all have a connection to Elf’s Grotto, a nearly bottomless network of flooded quarries just outside the city. Caffery begins to suspect a shadowy and sinister predator, someone—or something—that can disappear into darkness and slip into houses unseen. Working alongside Caffery is rough-and-tough police diver Flea Marley, but while pursuing her investigation, she stumbles upon something far too close to home that no one—not even Caffery—can help her face.
Skin is a penetrating dissection of family, friendships, and the evil that can tear them apart—or bind them together. Devious and disturbing, it introduces one of Hayder’s most horrifying villains yet.
“Hayder is not a subdued writer. Her characters are almost as chilling as the horrors that they are investigating.” —The Times (London)
Det. Insp. Jack Caffery of Bristol's Major Crime Investigation Unit looks into the case of Misty Kitson, a footballer's wife who vanished from rehab, in Hayder's chilling thriller, which picks up a few days after the grisly climax of 2008's Ritual. Caffery is distracted by the apparent suicide of a young man who he's convinced shows signs of mutilation similar to the victims of muti, the African black magic that figured in the previous book. Meanwhile, Sgt. Phoebe "Flea" Marley, a police diver, is busy exploring a series of flooded quarries in search of a missing woman, but her mind is elsewhere, too: the discovery that her brother, Thom, plays a vital role in Misty's much publicized disappearance. After two more alleged suicides, Caffery isn't sure if he's imagining a connection to muti, or if the answer is closer to home but no less deadly. Hayder captures the claustrophobia of Flea's dives in unsettling detail and continues to build on her two damaged heroes.