Woodcutter by Reginald Hill

“When love is in opposition to grim reality, there is usually only one winner.” So goes the underlying motif of this story by veteran mystery writer Reginald Hill.  This is not another installment in Hill’s excellent Dalziel and Pascoe mystery series (which I also heartily recommend—if you haven’t yet had the pleasure start with A Clubbable Woman), but a thriller that is part fairy tale, part romance, part crime novel and all wonderful.

It is the story of Wolf Hadda, who was raised on a great estate in Cumbria by a father who was its forester (hence the title).  Wolf has worked hard to rise from his humble beginnings and has built up a successful business and a big bank account.  But suddenly Wolf finds himself in a nightmare of false accusations. He has no idea why this is happening and who is responsible.  Even worse, he’s not sure who his true friends are anymore.

So what will happen? Will the winner be love or grim reality? I’m not saying. What I will say is I heartily recommend this book to anyone in the mood for a great read. It has a large cast of compelling characters, terrific plotting, beautifully rendered descriptions of the Cumbrian countryside, and a faithful dog. As a crime novel I think it stands with the best of P.D. James and Elizabeth George.

If I haven’t convinced you yet to read this book, let me finish with this thought. When I began the novel I was a little overwhelmed to realize it was a healthy 400 pages.   After all, there are so many books and not enough time to read them all. But when I finished it, I lamented: Oh I wish this book had been longer! Not many books draw that reaction from me.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.


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