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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daring, suspenseful and memorable thriller
I wasn't sure at the time of reading this if there was such a thing as a Jack Caffery 'Series', as The Treatment is only the second and at the time of its publication (2001) there was no specific information about a third, but one thing's for sure: You should read Birdman first - this sequel will simply make more sense if you know what has gone on before in the tortuous...
Published on 23 Feb 2010 by OEJ

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but an utterly depressing read
I bought this book initially because I like psychological crime thrillers. I have a degree in psychology (and work in mental health) and enjoy the characterisation of "imperfect" characters who are neither black or white but shades of grey, as most humans are. This book was extremely well written and constructed with a clever and shocking twist at the end but blimey, its...
Published on 4 July 2007 by Moonchita


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daring, suspenseful and memorable thriller, 23 Feb 2010
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Treatment: Jack Caffery series 2 (Paperback)
I wasn't sure at the time of reading this if there was such a thing as a Jack Caffery 'Series', as The Treatment is only the second and at the time of its publication (2001) there was no specific information about a third, but one thing's for sure: You should read Birdman first - this sequel will simply make more sense if you know what has gone on before in the tortuous life of DI Caffery. Also, the relationship between Caffery and his girlfriend is important, and the pivotal points of that require a knowledge of their history of one year earlier. So these excellent novels should be regarded as Part 1 and Part 2, and it is strongly recommended that you read them in the right order. As things have turned out, the third in the Caffery series Ritual came out in 2008, so there was a seven year wait.

The author builds her second story around another touchy subject, that of organised paedophilia, but unlike that of the previous novel - necrophilia - it doesn't quite occupy the reader's central thinking in the same potentially off-putting way. That's not because Hayder dilutes the narrative in any way (she certainly doesn't) but because she builds upon the character development of Jack Caffery so faithfully that we are inclined to believe that this man really exists, we know what makes him who he is and we sympathise with him for the pain he's been through and continues to suffer. The twist, if it could be called such, is the ending - I'm sure that many readers will expect the nice and happy ending that Caffery deserves, especially as it is being built up for us out of the sight and mind of Caffery himself, so that we know something priceless that he doesn't. Hayder is confident enough to avoid the twee ending that, on reflection, would have been out of sorts with the mood and direction of both novels.

For me, the only oddity throughout the tale was the credibility of Caffery's immediate superior, a lesbian Detective Chief Inspector who seemed inclined to defer to Caffery's judgement throughout, and whenever they were out in the field together she tended to come over as a junior partner in spite of her well-drawn independent personality. This though is undoubtedly one of Hayder's greatest strengths : characterisation. Every single character is as individual as they are meant to be, when they talk they talk in their own specific style and not in the style of the writer (if that makes sense!), so that whenever any two characters are in conversation we know who is talking simply by the choice of words. This is a rare skill, in my opinion. In the majority of other novels, characters may be tall or short, black or white, male or female but there is often a sameness to their personalities especially when conversations are taking place; it can appear that everyone talks in much the same way, with similar attitudes, even similar accents. Mo Hayder stands above her peers in this regard, among others, in having an ability to draw pictures of people who are all unique in their own way. I am sure that this is a result of hard work and research on the part of the author and she should be commended for it.

As for tension, suspense and emotion, The Treatment has it all and more. It's a story that, as with Birdman, raises many questions along the way (typically "what the hell's going on?") and while I was keen to discover the answers, I didn't want the story to end. Usually I read books in short snaps, maybe two or three chapters at a sitting, but with The Treatment I devoured it in two days. I was thinking about it even when I wasn't reading it. It's memorable, it's moving and it may even be considered a landmark if only because it stands tall within a densely-occupied genre in possessing those strengths while very few others do. The subject matter is dark and unpleasant, at times shocking in its clarity and really not best suited to the younger reader; if books were given censorship ratings as films are, then this one would without question carry an 18 certificate.

As one who reads constantly, usually in the genre of crime fiction, I find that there are only a handful of books that I can describe in detail a year or two after having completed them. Both Birdman and The Treatment will not be forgotten in a hurry, and each one might be one of those rare examples of stories that I will want to read more than once. Mo Hayder has a unique talent and, provided you have a stomach for the emotions that her writing will surely stir within you, I recommend this tale very strongly. You have been warned.....
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but an utterly depressing read, 4 July 2007
This review is from: The Treatment (Paperback)
I bought this book initially because I like psychological crime thrillers. I have a degree in psychology (and work in mental health) and enjoy the characterisation of "imperfect" characters who are neither black or white but shades of grey, as most humans are. This book was extremely well written and constructed with a clever and shocking twist at the end but blimey, its a bleak read! I almost stopped reading it several times because I just couldn't take the graphic and detailed descriptions of rape and torture which appear regularly throughout the book. The only reason I picked it back up again was because curiousity got the better of me and I wanted to know what would happen at the end. As a result I ended up skimming past the bits I found particularly uncomfortable. I also found that the author protrayed a somewhat contrived characterisation and environment of the lead character- his young brother had been snatched as a child and brutally raped/attacked by a paedophile, his girlfriend had been brutally raped and attacked by someone and he investigates rape and murder cases for his job- phew!- If I was him, I think I'd be on the prozac by now!! This just all felt a bit too unrealistic. I won't go into the plot as it has already been described by others, but it is a very dark and depressing story which doesn't really show anything but the dark and perverted side of life. I found there to be no light relief or even positive happenings to lift the story from its deep dark hole which I felt was a shame as life consists of both good and bad. When I finished this book I felt emotionally drained and quite low in mood actually. So, all in all, I felt this book was well-written but I don't think I'll be reading any more by this author, its just too much to take after a day at work!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 5 April 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Treatment (Paperback)
If you are a fan of crime novels then I recommend that you read this book. This was one of those books that you will get through very quickly, because you always want to know what is on the next page!! There are some good twists in the plot and it really draws the reader in. A word of caution, the storyline includes child murder and paedophilia so not very suitable for young readers. However, using these as themes the novel manages to touch a nerve in the reader.
Those who have borrowed the book from me have enjoyed it just as much as I did. This book incorporates some storylines from one of Mo Hayders other books (The Birdman) so you may wish to read that first, i didnt!!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must read this!, 2 Feb 2006
This review is from: The Treatment (Paperback)
This book is a real page turner, but I agree with the other reviewer that you should read Birdman first.
It touches on a really sensitive issue and Mo Hayder handles the terror which can go on behind closed doors in a manner which is readable yet grotesque. The reader starts to feel insecure about their own securities, which is a skill of a talented authour.
Whilst branded as a crime thriller, this is probably more scary than any Stephen King book you will ever read; for a start it is English, and the domestic suburbian bliss will be very common to many readers; more so to those with young children. Mo builds up this bliss and then shatters it.
Forget your Patricia Cornwell, be converted; read Mo Hayder.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good grief! This is truly nasty., 8 July 2006
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Treatment (Paperback)
The rather demure-looking Mo Hayder writes somewhere on the cusp between crime fiction and grand-guignol horror, and has produced one of the most hideously grotesque novels I have ever read.

As a scarily plausible insight into the mind of a sadistic, psychotic paedophile, it is undeniably, a very competent achievement.

As entertaining fiction though .... well I'm not so sure. I felt no satisfaction in actually finishing the book, which made me feel like some guilty voyeur at the scene of something extremely nasty.

This is unremittingly grim stuff. If you like a happy or even a satisfying ending, I would give this a wide berth.

Horror buffs, even the most jaded, should certainly find something in here to melt their butter.

Me? I felt like I needed a bath afterwards.

Beware!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wish I hadn't read it., 3 Jan 2014
This review is from: The Treatment: Jack Caffery series 2 (Paperback)
This was a deeply depressing read, the worst happens on every occasion but one, and even that is not a total success for the characters involved, but even that is not the worst. The worst was the realisation that I was reading about child abuse as entertainment. This is a nasty book - I won't read another by this author.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking follow up, 18 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Treatment (Hardcover)
I read the page turning Birdman and thought it was an excellently pacey and plotted thriller but rather too gruesome and explicit in its almost enthusiastic description of the violence suffered. I couldn't wait for The Treatment to see how Hayder's work is developing, more than any other factor. It's another page turner and much more engrossing than some other British authors produce - I actually put down another book half way through to read and finish The Treatment. When I realised we were going into the realms of paedophilia with Caffery's current case, I thought I may find it too gross, but Hayder didn't get as involved in the description of the violence here, as she had with the rapes and killings in Birdman, thank God. (Thankyou Mo for leaving something to the imagination or at least giving us the option.) Ending on a Caffery cliffhanger, it's obvious we are heading for a series here, so it will be interesting to see how the main characters develop further: Caffery, Rebecca and Sounness. Both books appear impeccably well researched, although The Treatment still suffers from - but much less so - a tendency to to litter the narrative with odd facts as an aside, almost to say 'look how well I've done my research'. The Treatment is also one of the best edited books I've seen in a while - not littered with typos, as so many seem to have these days. This is an extremely well produced piece of work of which Mo Hayder can be proud. The story's good, the plot's good, the writing's good and it did not disappoint me - a well crafted novel. I'm not sure I like visiting these dark places, but an excursion through a book is an ever interesting eye opener. I am looking forward to the next one.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not in front of the children, 31 Dec 2006
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Treatment (Paperback)
I'm not sure if there's such a thing as a Jack Caffery `Series', as The Treatment is only the second, while the third - Throwing Down the Bones - won't be published until the end of the year, but one thing's for sure: You should read BIRDMAN first. There at least two good reasons: the first is that if you read The Treatment you will almost certainly want more from Mo Hayder and your enjoyment of Birdman would be lessened if you read it after this one. Secondly, The Treatment will simply make more sense if you know what has gone on before in the tortuous life of DI Caffery. Yet another reason can be sourced from the important relationship between Caffery and his girlfriend, the pivotal points definitely requiring a knowledge of their history of one year earlier. So these excellent novels should be regarded as Part 1 and Part 2, and it is strongly recommended that you read them in the right order.

The author builds her second story around another touchy subject, that of organised paedophilia, but unlike that of the previous novel - necrophilia - it doesn't quite occupy the reader's central thinking in the same potentially off-putting way. That's not because Hayder dilutes the narrative in any way (she certainly doesn't) but because she builds upon the character development of Jack Caffery so faithfully that we are inclined to believe that this man really exists, we know what makes him who he is and we sympathise with him for the pain he's been through and continues to suffer. The twist, if it could be called such, is the ending - I'm sure that many readers will expect the nice and happy ending that Caffery deserves, especially as it is being built up for us out of the sight and mind of Caffery himself, so that we know something priceless that he doesn't. Hayder is confident enough to avoid the twee ending that, on reflection, would have been out of sorts with the mood and direction of both novels.

For me, the only oddity throughout the tale was the credibility of Caffery's immediate superior, a lesbian Detective Chief Inspector who seemed inclined to defer to Caffery's judgement throughout, and whenever they were out in the field together she tended to come over as a junior partner in spite of her well-drawn independent personality. This though is undoubtedly one of Hayder's greatest strengths : characterisation. Every single character is as individual as they are meant to be, when they talk they talk in their own specific style and not in the style of the writer (if that makes sense!), so that whenever any two characters are in conversation we know who is talking simply by the choice of words. This is a rare skill, in my opinion. In the majority of other novels, characters may be tall or short, black or white, male or female but there is often a sameness to their personalities especially when conversations are taking place; it can appear that everyone talks in much the same way, with similar attitudes, even similar accents. Mo Hayder stands above her peers in this regard, among others, in having an ability to draw pictures of people who are all unique in their own way. I am sure that this is a result of hard work and research on the part of the author and she should be commended for it.

As for tension, suspense and emotion, The Treatment has it all and more. It's a story that, as with Birdman, raises many questions along the way (typically "what the hell's going on?") and while I was keen to discover the answers, I didn't want the story to end. Usually I read books in short snaps, maybe two or three chapters at a sitting, but with The Treatment I devoured it in two days. I was thinking about it even when I wasn't reading it. It's memorable, it's moving and it may even be considered a landmark if only because it stands tall within a densely-occupied genre in possessing those strengths while very few others do. The subject matter is dark and unpleasant, at times shocking in its clarity and really not best suited to the younger reader; if books were given censorship ratings as films are, then this one would without question carry an 18 certificate.

As one who reads constantly, usually in the genre of crime fiction, I find that there are only a handful of books that I can describe in detail a year or two after having completed them. Both Birdman and The Treatment will not be forgotten in a hurry, and each one might be one of those very special and rare instances of stories that I will want to read again. Mo Hayder has a unique talent and, provided you have a stomach for the emotions that her writing will surely stir within you, I recommend this tale very strongly. You have been warned.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Well written but depressing, 9 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Treatment: Jack Caffery series 2 (Paperback)
I always enjoy a good thriller, and this was well crafted and well written, but oh my word it was depressing and graphic. It had far too much pedophilia and a pretty sick twist on pedophilia at that. I do not recommend this to mothers of young children at all, there are other thrillers out there that will give you a good plot and plenty of suspense without such gruesome details. The obsessive cigarette smoking, by all the characters, got a bit much, too! I wish I could 'unread' it...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mo at her best, 10 Sep 2004
By 
Alan Darwin (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Treatment (Paperback)
Gripping from the off and impossible to put down! The subject matter may be disturbing and horrific but Mo keeps you hooked until the very end. The plot twists and turns and keeps you guessing right until the thrilling climax. I have recently purchased Birdman but not had chance to read it yet.. but if its as good as The Treatment I'm in for a treat !
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The Treatment: Jack Caffery series 2
The Treatment: Jack Caffery series 2 by Mo Hayder (Paperback - 8 Nov 2008)
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