Pig Island

Mo Hayder, Author
Mo Hayder, Author . Atlantic Monthly $24 (352p) ISBN 978-0-87113-952-8
Reviewed on: 12/18/2006
Release date: 03/01/2007

At the start of Hayder's profoundly creepy and creepily convincing thriller, hard-bitten journalist Joe Oakes arrives on the west coast of Scotland to visit a reclusive cult on remote Pig Island. Oakes hopes to investigate a supposed half-animal, half-human creature distantly glimpsed in a tourist's film and settle his long-held grudge against the cult's founder, charismatic crackpot Malachi Dove, who has long since withdrawn to his barricaded compound on Pig Island. In the ensuing mayhem, Oakes wins the confidence of Dove's mysterious daughter and learns the hard way that the investigative skills on which he prides himself are flimsy at best. Though gruesome enough to satisfy even the most hardcore horror fan, this rigorously imagined novel is also full of apt (if bleak) detail and graced with a perfect plot twist at story's end. Hayder (The Devil of Nanking ) offers both a riveting story and a nuanced, distinctly modern look at secrecy and publicity, belief and skepticism, normal and taboo, (in)sight and blindness. (Mar.)

The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!