I thought I would do a different post tonight and review the book that I have just finished reading, Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder.
This was one of those type of books that would have had me up until the early hours finishing off and it would have been had it not been that gripping that I couldn’t put it down all day yesterday and so only had a couple of chapters to read at bedtime!
Let me start by saying that Mo Hayder is one of those authors that have got a very special something and writes with such disregard for what is “acceptable” in murder/mystery/crime/thriller type novels. She pushes the boundaries with her stomach churning descriptions and you learn to accept there are not necessarily happy endings and neat little tied up loose ends at the end of her books.
This one is no exception.
Hanging Hill is a stand-alone novel, has a couple of “main” protagonists and the story has got several plot strands that weave together to give a plot that is out of this world. We begin with the disappearance of a teenager, Lorne Wood, which is being discussed by a couple of mothers of Lorne’s friends. The police investigate the disappearance and discover her murdered body near a canal but they have no clue as to who would kill her or why. The main police character, Zoe, is a bike-riding, leather loving rock chick with a chip on her shoulder the size of a whole potato field. She has the potential to become a bit of a cookie-cutter maverick cop but the character is saved by some skillful storytelling that reveal her flaws and vulnerabilities in such a believable way that you can’t help feeling sorry for her.
The bumbling police department employ the services of a profiler, a young and squeaky clean blonde bombshell called Debbie who says they should be looking for a schoolboy. Zoe is the only one who goes against the grain and sets off on a path to prove them all wrong.
There is plenty in the story to keep the reader guessing and even when you think you know where things are heading you are constantly surprised by the twists and turns in the plot. We have more killing, the gruesome disposal of a body, rape, a family reunion, shattered trust, coming of age for a group of teenagers, spying, war crimes….blimey there’s so much in it you wouldn’t believe me if I gave it all away!
I could see this being made into a film or a TV series no problem, and I’d love to see what happens to the characters after the book ends. I don’t want to give anything away but there is DEFINITELY room for a part 2 or 3 to this one.