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Friday, 10 April 2015

‘Wolf’ By Mo Hayder

Published (USA) by Grove Press,
May 6, 2014.
ISBN: 978-0-8021-2250-6 (HB)
(UK) Bantam Press, 
April 24, 2014.
ISBN: 978-0-5930-6818-2 (HB)
The first several pages are in the third person, with pov being that of Amy, a five-year-old with verbiage typical of a child that age (a bit disconcertingly).  Early on the reader is given hints about a place deep in the woods near Litton, Somerset, in the West Country of England, where a gruesome murder took place 14 years before in a place then called The Donkey Pitch, known as “the Wolf murders,” the details of which are perhaps better left unspecified.

The story begins with a home invasion of a wealthy family living in a very isolated area less than a mile from The Donkey Pitch, in a home called The Turrets; the husband, 64, who has recently undergone serious heart surgery, his wife, 60 years old, and their daughter, a young woman in her late 20’s, are terrorized.  As the author says, “there is even more to this story than meets the eye.”  Much more.

The chapters throughout are quite brief, and primarily alternate the pov from that of the hunter, DI Jack Caffery, to the hunted.  In this newest novel to feature this protagonist, Caffery, now in his mid-forties, has never married or had children, and here is growing philosophical, thinking back to more innocent times.  There is a theme of “what it’s like to have someone you love go missing.  Not knowing.  Day after day after day - - it’s hell on earth.”

About three-quarters of the way through the novel, matters take an OMG turn that left this reader stunned, after which the suspense grows exponentially.  But I was totally unprepared for the twist with which the author brings the book to a conclusion.  Although the clues are there if one is prescient enough to discern them, it is still a stunning climax to this engrossing, and highly recommended, novel.
Reviewer: Gloria Feit

Mo Hayder  was born 1962. She left school at fifteen, and has worked as a barmaid, security guard, film-maker, hostess in a Tokyo club, educational administrator and a teacher of English as a foreign Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. She is the author of eight novels.  Mo Hayder lives just outside  Bath, England with her partner, Bob Randell (retired police sgt of Avon & Somerset Police Underwater Search Unit), and her daughter.

Ted and Gloria Feit live in Long Beach, NY, a few miles outside New York City.  For 26 years, Gloria was the manager of a medium-sized litigation firm in lower Manhattan. Her husband, Ted, is an attorney and former stock analyst, publicist and writer/editor for, over the years, several daily, weekly and monthly publications.  Having always been avid mystery readers, and since they're now retired, they're able to indulge that passion.  Their reviews appear online as well as in three print publications in the UK and US.  On a more personal note: both having been widowed, Gloria and Ted have five children and nine grandchildren between them.

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