Mo Hayder Books In Order – Complete List

Mo Hayder was the famous British author of the Jack Caffery crime thriller series. The Birdman was her debut novel and it became almost an overnight success. It became an international bestseller right away, which is quite rare for an author’s first novel.

Here are the Mo Hayder books in order for her series and standalone novels. The Mo Hayder Walking Man series is also called Jack Caffey series.

Latest Mo Hayder Books

Bonehead, 2024

Jack Caffery Books in Publication Order

 Detective Inspector DI Jack Caffery is working with the Major Crime Investigation Unit in Bristol (UK)

  1. Birdman , 1999
  2. The Treatment, 2001
  3. Ritual, 2008
  4. Skin, 2009
  5. Gone, 2010
  6. Poppet, 2013
  7. Wolf, 2014
Mo Hayder Books In Order – Complete List

Standalone Novels in Order of Publication

Writing as Theo Clare

Should We Read the Mo Hayder Books in Order?

Having read all of Mo Hayder’s books in her Jack Caffery series, I suggest reading the series in order. The standalone novels can be read in any order you choose.

Reading them in order helps us witness Jack’s character development, and understand his motivations, struggles, and growth over time. However, probably the main reason is that there is a major sub-plot that is a running theme throughout the entire series which is best to follow from the first book to the last. Also knowing the backstory from the earlier books will make the later stories that much more real and interesting.

The Mo Hayder books are, truth be told, some of the more gruesome, disturbing and brutal crime mystery novels I’ve read. Some actually edge closer to horror rather than straight-up thrillers. And some of the things Caffery goes through could easily lead others to insanity. It’s worth reading the books to see what he does to keep himself sane while he is being pulled between his past and the present.

For example, without going into spoilers, one of the cases that haunted Caffery from the beginning is related to his brother. Parts of that old crime will be resolved in later books.

Mo Hayder Biography – About the Author

Mo Hayder Author of Jack Caffery series

Mo Hayder was born Beatrice Clare Dunkel in Essex in 1962, the daughter of two academics (her mother was an English teacher). Mo Hayder passed away on July 27, 2021.

As a child, she read many books, but she didn’t get the idea of becoming a writer until her late thirties.

Coming from a rather complicated family (her parents split up, she literally hated her brother when he was born, even tried to kill him by pushing him down the stairs – thankfully her grandmother got him), she left school (Loughton County High) before her 16th birthday, running away to London where she held various odd jobs.

At the age of 25, after a brief marriage, she moved to Japan where she worked as an English (as a foreign language) teacher and educational administrator, along with being a club hostess in Tokyo. This allowed Mo Hayder to finance writing her first book, Birdman

The Guardian called it  ‘first-class shocker’ and with good reason. It is gory, violent and quite disturbing, but oh so delicious to savor. It is the book that made me acquainted with the author, whom I’ve been following ever since.

The DI Jack Caffery series includes 7 books, with the latest one, Wolf, published in 2014.

While living in Japan, the author saw several people die in various ways over six weeks. This was also an inlet for her (maybe an unconscious one) to get ideas for some of the gruesome murders featured in her books.

After leaving Asia, she enrolled in Los Angeles in a filmmaking course. She got a Master’s degree from the American University in Washington DC in filmmaking, as well as a Master’s degree from Bath Spa University in the UK in creative writing.

Her standalone book and also her third novel, Tokyo, is loosely based on the place she’s been living for a while and some of her experiences there (e.g. with the Japanese underworld culture). Her book The Treatment, the second in the Jack Caffery series was made into a Belgian film with the title De Behandeling in 2014.


The author got the idea for her book The Poppet while watching Slingblade written by Billy Bob Thornton. Some of the earlier scenes featured patients in the mental institution, who were in for violent crimes, would enjoy remembering their crimes. Also, the doll (poppet) came about while Mo was walking around the voodoo shops in New Orleans.

In Wolf by Mo Hayder, the author departs somewhat from her usual style of crime investigation, this time making it personal for Jack Caffery. The Walking Man wants Jack to help with a case, and in return, he would give Jack additional information about Caffery’s brother. How can Jack say no to such an offer?

This is the one book which could be also read as a standalone since, except Jack and The Walking Man, none of the other regular characters appear. However, for the sake of learning more about Jack’s character, reading the Jack Caffery series in order is advisable.

Each of her novels became a huge hit, with wide acclaim all over the world.

Before her death, Mo Hayder was a full-time writer, living in South West England. She passed away in 2021 from motor neurone disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2020.

Mo Hayder Awards

  • The Devil of Nanking was nominated for the Dagger Awards Best Novel in 2004
  • Ritual was nominated for the Barry Award for Best Crime in 2009
  • Gone won the Edgar Awards Best Novel in 2012
  • Wolf won the Edgar Awards Best Novel in 2015


    1. There are no books in the Jack Caffery series after ‘Wolf’. Mo Hayder (one of the pen names the author used) was diagnosed with a serious illness in 2020 and died in 2021. Reportedly there will be a book of speculative fiction she labored on for four years posthumously published in 2022.

      1. The very last Mo Hayder book is released in May 2024, and it’s another standalone thriller.

  1. If Mo Hayder is currently a full time writer why have there been no new books since 2016 ?

    1. She did write a new book, The Book of Sand, which is the start of a new series, this year, but sadly she passed away so, sadly, there will be no chance of a Mo Hayder book ever again.

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