"The fertility of Hill's imagination, the range of his power, the sheer quality of his literary style never ceases to delight." —Val McDermid, author of Fever of the Bone
In a stand-alone psychological thriller from acclaimed mystery master Reginald Hill, a mysterious ex-con returns to his remote childhood home on a deadly hunt for revenge. Combining the chilling atmospheres of Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs, the narrative ingenuity of P.D. James’s The Private Patient, and the compelling characterizations of Hill’s own Dalziel and Pascoe series, Hill delivers a frightful, fast-paced study of suspense at its most sinister in The Woodcutter.
British author Hill (The Stranger House) combines an edgy tale of betrayal and revenge with the trappings of a modern-day fairy tale in this sly, enchanting stand-alone. Wilfred "Wolf" Hadda, the poor but ambitious son of a Cumbrian woodcutter, has waited five years to marry Imogen, whose father, Sir Leon, employs Wolf's father as head forester, in order to fulfill the three tasks she demanded: become socially polished, get an education, and amass a fortune. Now Sir Wilfred Hadda and head of an international corporation, he's dumfounded when he's arrested, charged with child pornography and fraud, and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Has he been framed? Of course. At the core of this engrossing tale are the missing five years in Wolf's youth (rumor has it he was kidnapped by fairies) and how they relate to his ingenious plans for revenge. A lovely yet skeptical prison psychiatrist ("Elf") and a shrewd vicar are some of the strong characters that complement the fast-paced, unpredictable plot.
Read straight through over two days....could not put it down!
Agree fully. This was first nonfiction book I read since college--what a stunner! I'll bet that there are other great books from the late Mr. Hill.
Excellent, suspenseful book
This was the first book I've read from Reginald Hill. Could not put it down. Well crafted, full of literary references and lovely, challenging British words (the iPad built in dictionary was most helpful).
Powerfully developed, very human characters, the strong, the weak, the good and the evil, populate this book.
I fully intend to start at the beginning and catch up on Mr. Hill's other books.