A quiet residential street in south London.
A husband and wife are discovered, imprisoned in their own home. Badly dehydrated, they've been bound and beaten. He is close to death. But worse is to come: their young son is missing.
When Detective Inspector Jack Caffery is called in to investigate, the similarities with events in his own past make it impossible for him to view this new crime dispassionately.
And as he digs deeper - as he attempts to hold his own life together in the face of ever more disturbing revelations about both his past and his present - the real nightmare begins ...
One of the most frightening books I've ever read... Hayder's gory insights into the dark side are compelling
Chilling... the book is surprisingly hard to put down. The plot develops with satisfying unpredictability; the characters are compellingly drawn... its final twist a bravura savagery
Bleak, powerful... The Treatment is cleverly plotted and Caffery is a believable creation
Mo Hayder's debut, Birdman, was deservedly an unqualified success... and Hayder has lost none of her descriptive expertise along the way
There is no better example of a contemporary masterpiece than Mo Hayder's The Treatment. Whether she's exploring social issues such as homelessness and child abuse or just scaring the bejeezus out of you, Hayder spins a tale that feels like a razor slicing apart your soul. The plotting is extremely disciplined, the sort of structure to which all authors should aspire, and the story is a searing dark tale that makes you bolt up in bed during the middle of the night, wondering if that sound you heard was the cat, or Death dragging its sickle across the floor