Customer Reviews: Pig Island
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Showing 1-10 of 52 reviews(verified purchases). Show all reviews
VINE VOICEon February 21, 2016
Joe Oakes and Malachi Dove have known each other for years but the relationship was never a pleasant one. Joe is a journalist and he investigated Malachi and his cult in its early days. Malachi got into Joe's head and he barely escaped with his sanity. But Joe's article made the American Southwest too uncomfortable for Dove, and he and his followers disappeared.

Now Joe has a lead on Dove. It's rumored that he is the person behind the secretive cult on Pig Island off the western coast of Scotland. Not that people have seen him. No one sees the people on the island. There is just one supply boat that comes to the mainland occasionally. But people are getting curious and very uneasy. There are rumors of Satanic rituals. A video has been leaked that shows a humanoid figure with a tail lurching through the undergrowth. Joe's editor wants someone to find out what is going on, and Joe sees a chance for a book and to settle his score once and for all with Malachi.

Joe is given permission to visit the island. Once there, he finds a small group of people, no more than thirty or so and deep divisions between them. No one wants to talk about Malachi and no one wants to hear about the figure in the video. In fact, it's pretty obvious that no one wants Joe there at all. Before he leaves, he sets loose an evil that destroys everything in its path. Joe barely escapes, taking Dove's daughter, who has never seen civilization, with him. But the evil follows Joe, as it is rumored that Malachi also escaped. Who will win the ultimate showdown between the two men?

Hayder is one of the finest crime/suspense novelists currently working. Her series about Detective Inspector Jack Caffery is regarded as one of the premier series available. This is a stand-alone novel but it will give the reader uneasy nights and plenty of surprises along the way. This book is recommended for mystery readers.
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on September 6, 2010
Having just read The Devil of Nanking, I was excited to read Pig Island. it came as a complete disappointment. In Devil of Nanking the atmosphere, characters and plot line are strongly drawn, frightening and the tension is fantastic. Pig Island is the complete opposite. The premise of the book- a reclusive cult on a remote Scottish island at war with its founder and sightings of a strange "dimorphe" stalking the forests and beaches- is striking but the characters are so weakly drawn. The voice of the principal character Joe Oakes is totally unbelievable and the central plot event is dispensed with in a few pages with the rest of the book devoted to unnecessary subplots such as Joe's wife's infatuation with her surgeon boss and letters to her psychiatry. The police procedural is inane and two thirds into the book I gave up caring what the denoument would be. When it comes, rushed and compressed into a few paragraphs it seems pointless and arbitrary. Was the message of the book that Evil really does have a tail??? Very weak structure and characters, poorly thought out scenes, wooden dialogue, giant plot holes made the book tedious to read and made me question if it was the same author as the brilliant Devil of Nanking.
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on October 9, 2012
I was a big fan of Mo Hayder's book 'Skin'. I thought it was just great. But this book. I find myself skimming entire paragraphs and thinking, when, when, when, will something happen? It is slow and boring. I don't care about the characters and am quite annoyed at the lack of a bad guy. Yeah, I know, it's supposed to be scarier if you have to 'imagine' the bogie man, but this is ridiculous. I don't think I'll bother finishing it.
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on September 17, 2013
I had high expectations for this book -- I really enjoy Mo Hayder's Jack Caffery series, plus I love Scotland, so I thought the combo of Mo Hayder writing a stand-alone book set on a Scottish island would be a sure winner. But I didn't enjoy it. The writing is as good as ever, but the protagonist is hard to like and the plot didn't come together for me. That said, I did not see the twist at the end coming, and I do attribute that to the author's skill, not my relative lack of engagement in the book. I would recommend "Hanging Hill," a real super-duper thriller, or "Birdman," the first in the Jack Caffery series, to readers wanting to give Mo Hayder's books a try.
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on July 25, 2007
I didn't realize until I finished Pig Island that I had just read the strangest crime noir novel ever. Angeline is fiction's most bizarre femme fatale; a scheming beauty with a twist (or should I say 'tail'?). This novel doesn't always work, including, unfortunately, the ending, and it doesn't help that Oaksey is a character you find yourself rooting against, but Pig Island is worth a read to those looking for something a little odd.
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I truly don't understand the negative reviews of this book. I thought it was one of the best mystery/thriller novels I've ever read. The suspense just builds and builds and the ending is #$%&%#$ amazing! The characters are not all likeable but they do seem like real, multidimensional people. This book is DARK and disturbing and maybe that's why so many people didn't like it, but it's an excellent read. I could barely put it down!
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on August 27, 2013
Just like a low budget movie - the trailer is more impressive than the actual movie. After reading the book description - I was sold. I was sorely disappointed when reading the book and especially how it ended.
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on August 16, 2015
This book is as bad as her other books are good. Casual almost amateurish writing in spots with a convoluted and trite plot. The ending makes no sense in context to the rest of the novel. So bad it's weird.
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on August 16, 2014
Do I ever love a book that grabs me almost immediately. The kind of book that I
can barely come up for air until I'm done. Such a mood setter. Such a compelling
narrator voice. Creepy ambience & all sorts of warnings as Oaksey stubbornly
forges ahead despite all barriers & circumstances. You call out, "Don't do it. Go home," but he
persists, hardhead & obsessive man that he is, so determined to get his story. The last
book that gripped me like this was "The Exorcist" & that's been decades ago. Hey, Mo,
you are appreciated to the max.
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on November 29, 2012
I must say that I was expecting something grizzlier and more disturbing based on some of the reviews I read before picking this up. Alas, there's not much in the way of shock here, including the "surprise" ending.

I won't reiterate plot details, as those can be found aplenty elsewhere. I WILL agree with a previous reviewer that Oakesy is not a very likeable protagonist. In fact, just the opposite. I found myself wanting bad things to happen to him, along with his insufferable girlfriend. Also, the pacing is rather slow, and not in a way that effectively builds suspense. Frankly it feels as if Hayder is counting pages.

Another criticism I have is that the Malachi Dove character is grossly underdeveloped. We never really get a satisfactory explanation of his motivation. The same can be said of the cult itself. What are they actually doing on Pig Island? What is their underlying philosophical system? Without this motivation, their remote commune rings false.

I plan on trying one of Hayder's earlier books to see if the mediocrity on display is a fluke.
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