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The Woodcutter: A Novel Hardcover – August 2, 2011
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“Evokes the spirit of storytellers from Dumas and Dickens to Jeffery Deaver and Jeffrey Archer.” (Wall Street Journal on The Woodcutter)
“Devilishly clever British crime writer….A nifty plotter who switches points of view and locales often enough to keep the tension on the upswing.” (Chicago Tribune on The Woodcutter)
“Offers vivid characters, an intricately constructed but nimble narrative…and enough tasty crumbs of information to lure us deeper and deeper into a fairy tale that has gone horribly wrong.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch on The Woodcutter)
“[A] tour de force.” (People magazine on The Woodcutter)
“Sly, enchanting…[with] strong characters that complement the fast-paced, unpredictable plot.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
‘There’s nothing drab about this dark and compelling novel.” (Kirkus Reviews on The Woodcutter)
“He’s lost none of his sardonic wit, punch and complexity… The result is an epic, unbeatable mystery.” (Financial Times)
“Another gem from the creator of Dalziel and Pascoe. Rich characterisation, sparkling dialogue and wry humour flavour the text. . . . Verdict: exquisite” (Herald Sun (Australia))
“An outstanding novel of force and beauty.” (The Times (London))
“There is something of the fairytale about The Woodcutter, a big, fat mystery which has the enduring power of a myth. . . . The heights of the Dalziel & Pascoe series aside, Hill has never written a better book.” (The Evening Standard (London))
“Hill’s plotting…is brilliant, the jokes first-rate, the prose supple: it’s his humble awe at the power of the English language that enables him to be a minor master of it.” (Daily Telegraph (London))
“A consummate yarn spinner, Hill draws on myth and metaphor to embroider this tightly crafted tale.” (The Age (Melbourne))
“His storytelling is always bewitching, his turns of phrase wonderful. . . . The Woodcutter is as much literary as crime novel, but always a page turner.” (Keighley News (England))
“Reginald Hill’s books are as good as crime fiction gets and this one is as good as he gets.” (Literary Review)
“Hill combines an edgy tale of betrayal and revenge with the trappings of a modern-day fairy tale in this sly, enchanting stand-alone.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
Wolf Hadda’s life has been a fairy tale. From his humble origins as a Cumbrian woodcutter’s son, he has risen to become a hugely successful entrepreneur, happily married to the woman of his dreams.
A knock on the door one morning ends it all. Universally reviled, thrown into prison while protesting his innocence, abandoned by friends and family, Wolf retreats into silence. Seven years later, prison psychiatrist Alva Ozigbo makes a breakthrough. Wolf begins to talk, and under her guidance he is paroled, returning to his family home in rural Cumbria.
But there was a mysterious period in Wolf’s youth when he disappeared from home and was known to his employers as the Woodcutter. And now the Woodcutter is back, looking for the truth—and revenge. Can Alva intervene before his pursuit of vengeance takes him to a place from which he can never come back?
The Woodcutter is a treat that both lovers of the Dalziel and Pascoe series and newcomers to the always masterful work of Reginald Hill will devour.
Top Customer Reviews
As with the best of the mystery/suspense genre, Hill concocts close-on studies of the human condition, using a puzzle or dire situation as a backdrop to wonderful effect, over the course of a veritable bookcase full of works. His Dalziel and Pascoe procedurals are his most popular, having spawned a British television series of almost equal popularity, while his Joe Sexsmith titles are somewhat lighter in tone but still wonderfully written. Then there are his stand-alone works, of which his latest may be his finest.
THE WOODCUTTER can be daunting in size, but is easy on the eye while challenging (in the best possible sense) to the mind. It is a very modern book in setting --- the lion's share of it takes place in the year 2017 --- but it is, at its base, a fairy tale. The story's focus is a gentleman named Wolf Hadda --- to become known as the Woodcutter --- who is literally born next door to the manor rather than of it.
Wolf, the son of a groundskeeper, falls in love while still a teenager with the young Imogen, the modern-day equivalent of the princess in the Cumbrian castle. The two have a love affair that gets broken up by their parents. Imogen --- rather coldly, at that --- charges Wolf to perform three tasks if he is to win her heart. Wolf goes away for three years, does what he's been told, returns a very changed and accomplished adult, and marries his heart's desire.Read more ›
But Reg was no one-trick pony. Given the appeal of his odd-couple series, it's all too easy to overlook Hill's other writing, in particular his fifteen standalone novels written over a period of forty years. Readers who venture into this wooded area will be rewarded with a varied range of novels that encompasses football hooliganism, the English Civil War, spy thrillers, collaborators during the Second World War, psychological thrillers, and in his final published work, the tortuous path of revenge.
Wilfred "Wolf" Hadda is, by any standard, a singular man. Rising from modest roots as a woodcutter's son he has carved out a successful business worth millions. He has homes in England, the U.S., the Caribbean, and Italy, and a private jet to reach them. Knighted for his business achievements, he is married to a vivacious and intelligent woman from a wealthy family, to the envy of all.
But without warning one day his life suddenly comes crashing down around him. In the early hours of the morning the police force their way into his house, armed with a warrant and accompanied by a phalanx from the press. His computer is seized, and when the police find kiddy porn on it he is arrested.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My first novel by Reginald Hill, bought as an audible book to listen to whilst driving to and from work. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Karen R
I'm a moth to the flame of well-written British suspense thrillers --- I get drawn to them, I flutter excitedly around them, and I lose focus of much else while the flame burns. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I picked up a copy of this book years ago. I was very intrigued by the concept of the plot. I started reading it and had a very hard time getting into the story or the characters. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cheryl Koch
This is a brilliant book, and I thoroughly recommend it. Wolf Hadder, as a teenaged boy, falls in love with a girl that socially outranks him. Read morePublished 9 months ago by I taylor
This was a compelling read and one I did not expect. I suspect (am not sure) that Hill is a writer who differs from books to book. However, this book was a great read.Published 12 months ago by Marilyn L. Benson
Reginald Hill was for many years my absolutely favorite mystery writer. His death in 2012 shocked me deeply. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Srdjan Pesic