Thursday 18 February 2016

Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder

Hanging Hill
Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder

There are few things that I love more than being curled up under a blanket on a rainy day enjoying a large cup of tea and a good mystery. However, lately I haven’t had much luck finding a compelling who-dun-it until I stumbled upon Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder. This engrossing British mystery details the lives of two estranged sisters brought together by the horrific murder of a teenage girl.

Sally and Zoë Benedict couldn't be more different. Sally is a recently divorced housewife trying to make ends meet. She has always been a bit of a dreamer, soft spoken and used to letting others direct her life. Zoë, on the other hand, is a hard-as-nails police detective. Fiercely independent, with a sarcastic biting wit, Zoë has convinced herself that she needs nothing and no one in her life. I enjoy reading about characters that are flawed, and Sally and Zoë certainly fit the bill. They go through life like most of us do; just trying to do their best with the cards they have been dealt.

When Sally`s teenage daughter gets into trouble, Sally finds herself short of cash and time. With no one to turn to, Sally takes an offer against her own better judgement. It`s a decision that will have unimaginable and disturbing consequences in everyone`s lives. In the meantime, Zoë investigation into the murder of a teenage girl brings back ghosts from her past that promise disaster for her future.

This is the first Mo Hayder book I`ve read, and so far, I`m quite impressed. Hayder has the rare talent of setting up a scene in such a way that the reader can not only visualize the scene but become immersed into it. Warning, this mystery is not for the faint of heart. Although Hayder is not filling pages with gore, she doesn`t shrink from gruesome details when the moment calls for it. This book had me cringing, but also laughing at parts, biting my nails and even shedding a tear or two. And the ending made my jaw hit the floor. I recommend this book to fans of gripping mysteries and dark thrillers filled with memorable characters.

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