Hanging Hill

Mo Hayder. Atlantic Monthly, $25 (432p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2006-9
In this superb stand-alone from British author Hayder (Pig Island), the brutal murder of 16-year-old Lorne Wood, found dead in a park with words written on her corpse, draws together the Benedict sisters, Zoë and Sally, who have been estranged for years, despite both living in the city of Bath. Career-driven Zoë, a detective inspector, takes issue with her team’s reliance on a forensic psychologist. Pursuing her own line of investigation, Zoë discovers that Lorne’s modeling aspirations may have led the girl away from the catwalk and into something much seedier. Complacent Sally, a divorced mother, must take on extra housecleaning jobs to keep up with the spending of her teenage daughter, who was acquainted with Lorne. Reluctantly, Sally agrees to work extra hours for a rich businessman she soon learns makes his fortune in hardcore pornography. Secrets, both past and present, bind the sisters yet threaten to ruin multiple lives. Hayder uses her trademark violence to perfect sinister effect. Agent: Jane Gregory. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 02/01/2012
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