Poppet by Mo Hayder
Poppet by Mo Hayder

I love Mo Hayder. My friend introduced her to me by lending me Pig Island, a book which made me shudder and look over my shoulder, and then I read Skin and a couple of others and loved them.

So when Poppet came out, I was very excited about reading it. I didn’t get an advance copy of this one, I went and bought it from the bookshop like a normal Kindle-hating person. I read it a couple of nights later, tucked up in bed with my cat, reading by dim lamplight in a room filled with creepy puppets, cauldrons and pieces of material that occasionally waft from side to side.

In other words, it should have been scary. It wasn’t. This was disappointing.

It’s a shame, because I think that actually I’ve maybe just read too many Mo Hayder books already. Perhaps if this had been the first book of hers I’d ever read, I might have found it terrifying. As it was, I guessed every twist. And not late on, either, but from the moment each thing (or character) was introduced. I guessed the twist with the dolls as soon as they were described. I guessed the twist about The Maude as soon as we were introduced to the character. And so on.

But then, to be fair, I do have the kind of mind that decides to run ahead and try to solve things, and often,  by the time I’ve read a few of someone’s previous books, I can work out what their twists will be. Sometimes I try to switch this off, but have you ever tried switching off your own mind? It’s difficult.

If you haven’t yet read any of Hayder’s books, or if you don’t obsessively try to guess twists when you’re reading (but then why would you read crime thrillers… nevermind), then you should definitely read this one, because I’m about 80% sure that it’s actually a very good book and my mind is just being a bitch.

If you’ve read a lot of hers already, you’ll probably guess what’s going to happen, but it was still an enjoyable, recommendable read. I’ll be buying her next book as well, and hopefully won’t work out quite as much of the story so early on.

Verdict: