Book review: Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder

Mo Hayder’s books should come with a small phial of whiskey sellotaped to the spine; every one I’ve read (the excellent Jack Caffrey series and the brutal Tokyo) is an exercise in dark prose, superb characterisation and roller coaster plot lines.

Hanging_Hill Hanging Hill manages about one-and-a-half out of the three on that score. The story was good (though perhaps a little plodding in places) but seemed to be missing a lot of the edgy and stark prose of the Caffrey series.

Hayder’s writing is usually a lot smoother too, relying less on exposition and more on punchy dialogue and well-crafted action scenes. I wondered if the story is being aimed toward a possible TV drama, which would explain why the story lacked much of the edginess of her earlier work. If that’s the case then it would make one hell of a series; the characterisation is still top notch.

All in all, I was a bit disappointed with Hanging Hill, but then I do hold Mo Hayder to a much higher standard than other shock thriller writers I happen to read.

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