My Rating 4 / 5
The Treatment has been my ‘bath book’ for the past few weeks and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve been a big fan of Mo Hayder’s work since I was introduced to it by a colleague. Be warned though, it’s not for the faint hearted!
The Treatment follows DCI Jack Caffrey as he finds himself embroiled in a disturbing case
That involves a kidnapped child and a family held hostage in their own home. Fans of Hayder’s previous books will be aware of the history or Caffrey and his brother Ewan and this element is explored in much detail in this book.
Hayder does a brilliant job of describing Caffrey and the complex relationships he has. He is both likeable and obnoxious and vulnerable yet strong. I’ve read a couple of Hayder’s books out of sequence and I would say that really, you need to start Caffrey’s story from the beginning to really understand what makes him tick, and why he behaves as he does.
Hayder’s books often explore quite dark elements of humanity human nature and the very dark side of the criminal underworld. The Treatment is no exception. It explores a topic that most people would do anything to avoid and I’ll admit that there were section I struggled to read and had to skim read, due to the graphic and disturbing nature of the story. However, Hayder does so as sensitively as can be done, given the subject matter.
Caffrey commits his own sins, and as a reader it’s hard to not cast judgement on his behaviour. However, you can’t help but feel some sensitivities towards him, and you wonder how many others would respond in the same way when the culprit is finally caught. Caffrey is a deeply flawed individual, but Hayder makes him likeable and you do find yourself empathising with him, despite his behaviours and flaws.
The Treatment is a complex story dealing with disturbing subject matter. My only complaint was that the element of the story with Stephen didn’t feel completed enough to me, but perhaps this is covered in a future DCI Caffrey story.