my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

February 4th, 2012

#5 – Hanging Hill

Oh, Mo Hayder. I’ve told anyone who’ll listen that Mo Hayder is my favourite thriller writer. While, yes, sometimes there are gruesome aspects to her novels, but they are just so damn well written that even when the words make me cringe, I’m impressed by them. Hanging Hill is a standalone novel, written outside of her current series, The Walking Man books, and while there are familiar aspects to the story (a tough-as-nails cop; family conflict; great villains), this is one hell of a mystery.

First, let’s examine the set up: two sisters, recently reconciled, sit on a bench outside of a funeral. The reader (ahem, me) makes an assumption, it’s one you’re led right into like a fly to a sticky trap, about the funeral’s protagonist, if you will, and Hayder expertly unravels bits and pieces throughout the novel until you get to the shocker of an ending — and are stunned by itsĀ  final pages.

Sally’s recently divorced working as a cleaner and trying to raise her daughter while she stubbornly refuses to accept their new living conditions. Sally’s sister Zoe, with whom she’s been estranged for the better part of her life, works as a detective in Bath. Their paths rarely cross until a series of crimes find them embroiled in a situation that proves without a doubt that blood is thicker than water. They both make bad choices. They both need to face the consequences but the harrowing ways they end up still alive and closer than ever on that park bench make for great reading. Honestly, they do! And the ending, well, don’t even get me started — I didn’t see it coming, had to read it through a couple of times just to make sure I understood, and then I cursed Hayder for ending it the way she did because, like I said, it’s more than a little shocking. Awesome.

One Response to “#5 – Hanging Hill”

  • Barbara says:

    Can you please tell me who did it? Myself and two of my friends have read it but at the end did not know who the culprit was and it is so frustrating not knowing. I two read it through a couple of times and each time came to different conclusions. Please help.


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Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

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