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Wolf Paperback – January 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
Super fantastic suspense thriller chiller -- this was so creepy and good that I could not bear to put the book down even to watch the Olympics last evening. I read it cover to cover, sitting down with it after dinner, and then finishing the last few words at nearly midnight.
The narrative is told from alternating points of view and involves several plot lines, some continuing from the beginning of the series as Jack wrestles with his personal demons while also trying to solve what, at first, seems to be the pointless exercise of finding the owners of a little dog that the Walking Man has been entrusted with. Jack only agrees to do this so that the Walking Man will tell him what happened to Jack's brother Ewan who disappeared from his London home when he was just a boy -- taken by a pedophile and never found.
Meanwhile, a wealthy family is battling terror as they are held hostage and tortured in their large secluded hilltop mansion - The Turrets. Oliver and Matilda Anchor-Ferrers, in their sixties, are spending a holiday in Somerset Mendips, down from their main residence in London, as he is recovering from valve replacement surgery. They've brought their daughter, Lucia, with them as she is back living with her parents after her latest failure in work and relationships. She's completely broken and has been in and out of therapy because of a horrible event that occurred 15 years prior -- the murder of a young couple in the woods nearby.Read more ›
I've been reading Hayder since Birdman was published. I was really excited to find a woman who wrote hard-edged crime fiction without delving into rom-crom (sorry for that made up word, but you know what I mean - really a romance built around a crime of some kind. more Nancy Drew than Michael Connelly). I thought Birdman and The Treatment were two of the best crime books I'd ever read - linking Jack to Penderecki was gruesome and haunting, and the crimes themselves were gut wrenching (thinking The Treatment especially here). Hayder didn't hold back on any punches; she went straight for the kidneys and kept hitting until you were spitting up blood.
+++++++++MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD, BUT NOT ABOUT PLOT, JUST OVERALL SERIES+++++++++++++++
But now the whole Penderecki thing is just wrung dry. Jack has become a caricature: the hard drinking loner who would be fired in the real world for his on-the-job cowboying. Readers have known what happened to Ewan from a few books ago, so it's not really a spoiler. Let me just say that Jack finally finds out, and it's anticlimactic.
Also, while I'm at it, for one of the kidnappers to be completely inexperienced in the realities of crime work was implausible. And the father imagining a faceless Jack (as John) was just silly, and silly doesn't work in this kind of a book.
++++++++++++++++++NO FURTHER SPOILERS+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I'm not interested in the secondary character with the stupid name (Flea - oh how edgy! is she 12?) as a romantic interest, and I'm definitely not interested in The Walking Man as more than a rarely-used device, so when I see references to him as "the xx book in The Walking Man series" it gives me the nopes.Read more ›
Dark is mostly what Mo Hayder does best, occasionally with a touch of supernatural and mysterious. In her universe, the protagonists tend to be brooding, depressed, and damaged, and harbor many secrets. Good things don't come to them, they don't have a sympathetic spouse at home or cheerful sidekick to share their burdens. And it seems like they get more bad luck than good, and most of the people who could help them are more than a little screwed up too.
The bulk of the story is a sort of hostage situation where two unknown antagonists have trapped a family in their house, with seemingly no goal other than to torment them. The family members are tough and smart enough to survive and get out the faintest cry for help... a plea that the omnipresent walking man picks up and brings to caffery.
The ending is a genuine surprise, a nice twist to cap off a mostly slow-paced book where the focus is mostly away from Caffery and his plodding efforts.
My only complaint is that the walking man shtick is getting a little old... the mystery behind him is gone, his passive-aggressive relationship with Caffery is tiring, and now he's mostly a plot device... the guy who initiates the quest in this case, or just a foil for Caffery to bounce his thoughts off of. I kind of wish the author would just do something with this character... have him lose it, kill him off, whatever.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first 50 pages or so are intriguing but what follows is ridiculous premise with a contrived ending sandwiching 300 pages of sadism and yet another depressed (though not... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bebop
I liked this book for the most part and there were a lot of twists, turns and surprises in the end. However, it was hard to believe that Lucia's former boyfriend would someone end... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mystic by the Lake
I'm not completely comfortable with the story line or the multiple highly graphic descriptions of sadistic attacks on the family. Excellent writing, best read in the light.Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
While I have read other books by Mo Hayder and enjoyed them, this book was way too disturbing for my tastes. I chose not to finish reading it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Christine Woodward
A good read with lots of twists and turns. Keeps you engrossed. Became a little pedestrian at the end but all in all very enjoyable.Published 8 months ago by Maureen M. Solomon
Love the author, Mo Hayder! I have read several of her books. I have read all of the Jack Caffery series, this one was one of the best! I was surprised with the ending. Read morePublished 8 months ago by A.B.