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Edgar Award-winning and internationally best-selling author Mo Hayder returns with a terrifying thriller set in a high-security mental health ward.

Mo Hayder is renowned for conjuring nightmares that sink under the skin, and in Poppet she has delivered a taut, unbearably suspenseful novel that will not let readers go. Something is not right at Beechway psychiatric unit. First one resident turns violently to self-harm, then another to suicide—both recalcitrant patients with no prior history of self-directed violence. Whispers between the inmates have traveled to the staff that the place is being terrorized by a creature called The Maude. Clinic higher-ups dismiss this as superstition, but the surviving victim certainly saw something. Staff nurse AJ LeGrande calls on Detective Jack Caffery to investigate. And what of the drawing the dead woman left behind, showing the creature wearing the sweater of a recently released patient? Seamlessly plotted and profoundly chilling, Poppet will keep readers glued to the page long after lights out.


‘Mo Hayder’s blend of grisly Gothic and warped sexuality…makes for compulsive reading.’ Mark Sanderson, Sunday Telegraph, 10.03.13

‘Hayder’s sharply drawn characters. major and minor, and her psychological acumen combine for a frightening and convincing read.’ Publishers Weekly, 25.03.13

‘Dipping into Poppet when the house was silent and the rain was spattering against the windows probably wasn’t a good idea: The book oozes sinisterness from the first page. …high-wire tension, which never wavers’ Entertainment Weekly, 01.05.13

‘Hayder’s rich psychological portraits of her characters and their sorrow over past loves and past deeds outshine the gore of the early scenes and makes “Poppet” a compelling mystery that will cause fans and new readers alike to ponder not just who did it, but why.’ Los Angeles Times, 17.05.13

“I will confess up front that I wasn’t even a tenth of the way through Poppet and I was terrified…. Poppet is a shocker, though delightfully so. Poppet will have you placing Mo Hayder on your must-read list, if she wasn’t there already.” –  Joe Hartlaub,, 24.05.13

Mo Hayder left school at fifteen. Gifted with intelligence, determined to shape her own future she worked as an actress...