These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Review: Hanging Hill

Hanging Hill Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been meaning to read this one for so long.

I’m a big fan of Mo Hayder’s Jack Caffery series. He is one of my favourite police officers. The books sit up there in my favourite police procedurals. I’m crossing my fingers regarding what will come next. Due to this, I’ve spent a long time wanting to read one of Hayder’s standalone novels. Of the three – The Devil of Nanking, Hanging Hill, and Pig Island – this one always stood out to me the most. I was going to pick it up no matter what, but one day there was a nice surprise for me at work.

To raise money for the charity, there was a book sale. Many books were sold, but many were left over. Thus, I went for a rummage through the boxes of left over books. There was much squealing, as it seemed every crime fan in Aberdeen had donated their books to the charity. There were so many big names to hunt through. My pile grew bigger and bigger. Paperbacks and hardbacks were added. Included in the pile was Hanging Hill. It was probably one of the biggest squeals. What caused more squealing, however, was when I was informed the books were even cheaper now that I was working my way through the unwanted pile after everyone had gone home. In the end, I managed to get this wonderful read for less than two percent of the original price.

What. A. Bargain.

I didn’t get down to reading it straight away, though. Despite all of my excitement, I tried to work my way through the other books on my shelf. Then there were releases that I was too excited to ignore. It was bumped down my to-read list, but in the end it worked its way back up. I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I needed to know what happened. I needed to know if Mo Hayder’s standalone novels were as good as her Jack Caffery novels.

Based upon Hanging Hill, I can safely say Mo Hayder excels in the standalone novels.

I’ll be reading the other two books – The Devil of Nanking and Pig Island – of course, just to make sure, but I have no fear. The woman is on my list of favourite authors for a reason, and whether she is adding another book to her Jack Caffery series or whether she is writing a standalone, it seems as though she is capable of pulling you into the story.

As always, Mo Hayder writes a dark tale. Hanging Hill isn’t as dark as some of her Jack Caffery novels, but the darkness is still there. This is no cosy mystery. This is a gritty tale of human nature. Whilst the crime is always there in the background, quite a lot of the story is dedicated to showing the darkness of the characters. It shows how humanity can be at its best and its worse at the same time. It shows how darkness and light can go together. It shows how there is so much more to a person than you know. So many connections, so many things unknown. It is a great read, all the while with the mystery underneath as more and more is being added to the criminal aspect of the story.

Honestly, I could say so much. Hayder really has created something wonderful here. The characters are complex. The mystery is intriguing. The story is dark. You’re given everything you want. Well, maybe not. The ending is a cliffhanger. Not in the sense that you don’t get all your answers: you know who is to blame for what – but certain events are left… well, open. It was a great way to end the story, yet I know some will be annoyed by the way it came about. The only thing that annoyed me was the fact that I sort of saw it coming. Not the specifics, but I knew something was going to happen regarding certain characters. There were too many red flags for me to ignore, but I was still pleased by the way it played out.

Overall, a great read. I certainly need to pick up those other two standalone novels so I can complete my Mo Hayder collection.

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