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Friday 2 December 2011

‘The Woodcutter’ by Reginald Hill

Read by Jonathan Keeble
Published by Whole Story Audio Books.
ISBN: 978-1-40746-569-2
(15 CD’s – 16.75 Hours playing time)

Wolf Hadda, rich and successful married to his childhood sweetheart, has everything he wants, but an early morning knock on his front door and that life is over.  Arrested and jailed, Wolf, is confused at exactly what has happened. Although he protests his innocence his family and friends desert him. Lashing out at all around him, he eventually makes a dramatic escape from the police station. But running blindly he is hit by a car and is badly injured and left in a coma. After a long period he slowly emerges from his coma.  With no money and no friends, deserted by his wife who it appears is to marry his lawyer, he is sentenced to a prison term and branded as a pedophile, Wolf eventually lapses into silence and settles to serve out his jail sentence. 

Despite many silent session over a seven year period with prison psychiatrists when Alva Ozigbo the new prison psychiatrist begins treating Wolf, he begins to open up to her and she becomes convinced that he is rehabilitated and should be released from prison on parole back to his rundown family home in Cumbria.

It is only at this point that the real story of Wolf emerges as we learn of his early life as the son of a woodcutter, and his rise to become Sir Wolf Hadda.  As we now come to know this man we ask did this man actually commit the crimes of which he was accused of, or was he set-up? More pertinently will Wolf seek out the person or persons that had him convicted of these heinous crimes – will he seek revenge?

This is a fascinating story that really draws one in.  A masterly stand-alone with some delicious twists, and a stunning climax.

Read expertly by Jonathan Keeble this is not to be missed.
Lizzie Hayes

Reginald Hill  was born on 3 April 1936, West Hartlepool, County Durham.  Author of the Dalziel & Pascoe and the Joe Sixsmith series.
Winner in 1995 of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement.

Jonathan Keeble has featured in over 350 radio plays, and is also the voice of Garath Taylor in the BBC Radio 4’s The Archers.


  1. Happy new year, Lizzie. I just found your blog and I agree this is a great book.

    1. Martin, Happy New year to you too.

      Yes, this book was an amazing journey for a man. RH knows how to write and draw one in.