Characters we don’t want to believe exist
I’ll never forget the first Mo Hayder book I read: The Treatment. When I finished it I was filled with bleakness. I decided then that her writing was not for me and removed her from my author list. A few years later I picked up The Devil of Nanking (first released as Tokyo.)
Why? It’s an easy answer, for putting aside the darkness of her writing she is brilliant. And fully considering the darkness, she is brilliant. As I made my way through Devil I knew I would be reading more of her as I felt prepared for the many sides of her writing style. Some of which I found to ease a bit in later books.
Detective Inspector Jack Caffery of the Major Crime Investigation Unit in Bristol is the recurring character in her books – seven to date. I enjoy his character, just the right amount of complexity, failings and morality to keep you in tow. Hayder also has three stand-alones: Pig Island, Hanging Hill and The Devil of Nanking.
I came across this delightfully funny interview in The Telegraph (UK) by Mary Wakefield. Have a read for a peek inside Hayder’s personality and perhaps it will help you decide if you want to take her on.